The other day I was watching a little postseason baseball—totally not while I was at work—when I saw St. Louis Cardinals center fielder Jon Jay make a fantastic catch up against the left-center field wall during Game 2 of the NLDS. At the time the Cardinals were up 7-3, but it was only the 6th inning, and had the ball fallen it would gone for at least a double, maybe even a triple, and possibly started a rally for the Nationals. So obviously, as big plays tend to do, this one inspired me to put together today’s list of animated GIFs of fantastic baseball catches. Not all of them were as important or even as amazing as the catch Jay made against the Nationals, but some of them definitely are. So take a look, and get yourself pumped up for another postseason baseball quadruple header today.
We start off the list with a bonus GIF. Twins outfielder couldn't quite complete this Spiderman catch, but if he had it would have been one of the all-time greats. So the guy deserved some credit just for coming close.
Bonus: Ben Revere's Almost Amazing Catch
The best part of this one isn't the catch itself, though it is impressive. It's the way pitcher Aaron Laffey just tosses it over his shoulder as he walks off the field. He's just like, yeah, what up?
21. Yeah, how you like that?
I'm going to give Detroit Tigers right fielder Brennan Boesch the benefit of the doubt here and assume the sun was in his eyes, and not that he's afraid of the ball like a 5-year-old playing tee ball.
20. Is this tee ball?
Sometimes you only get to make an amazing catch because you misread the ball of the bat. For Curtis Granderson, this was one of those times. But hey, awesome is awesome, no matter how it came about.
19. Granderson's Leaping Catch
Oakland's Josh Reddick might not have needed to scale the right field wall at the Rogers Centre in Toronto to make this catch. But he probably didn't know that at the time, and better safe than sorry.
Interestingly, the catch came on a long fly ball off the bat of Travis Snider, who apparently was taking notes. He made a pretty nice catch himself later in the season, after being traded to Pittsburgh. Maybe that one's on the list, too. I don't know. You'll have to keep reading.
18. Reddick's Climb
What can you say? Sometimes the ball goes over the wall, and sometimes it takes you with it.
17. Over the Wall
We told you about this catch by Cardinals center fielder Jon Jay a few weeks ago. Not bad, right?
Oh, and what the heck, I should throw in Jon Jay's catch in Game 2 of the NLDS, too. After all, it did inspire this list:
16. Not stylish, but effective
I know some of you might be thinking, "what's so special about this catch? Mike Trout doesn't even have to dive for it." However, that's precisely the point. Mike Trout doesn't even have to dive for it. The guy is just that fast. I mean, just look at the ground the kid covers—that is why the guy should win the AL MVP award this year. Well, that and his amazing batting skillz.
15. Mike Trout's Non-Diving Catch
How about those reflexes, huh? And the thing about this one is, unlike most great catches on comebackers, this kid had to reach back across his body to make the catch, with all his momentum working against him.
The Rays' Casey Kotchman makes as good a catch as you're going to see from a first baseman to rob this Texas player of a base hit during the 2011 ALDS.
13. Kotchman Catches Bullet
Orioles relief pitcher Luis Ayala made a pretty stylish basket catch with his hat earlier this year on a home run hit by teammate Ryan Flaherty. But do you want to know the crazy part? Ayala did the exact same thing two days later on another home run hit by teammate Chris Davis.
So, yeah, that's the kind of season it's been for the O's.
12. Luis Ayala's Hat Catch
Speaking of great bullpen catches, how about this one? That dude is about as cool and nonchalant as you can be. He's like, home run? Yeah, whatever.
11. Bullpen Catch
Now that we're into the top 10, we'll be seeing a number of catches that are simply titled with the player's name. The reason? They are so amazing that they will probably live on in jumbotron montages for years to come, and all you need to say to describe it is call it "the so and so catch"...just like this one by D-Backs center fielder Chris Young.
10. The Chris Young Catch
It's a shame Cubs shortstop Starlin Castro can't maintain this level of focus all the time.
9. Bobble Recovery
Brave center fielder Michael Bourne robbed a Yankee of a home run earlier this season with this perfectly timed leap.
8. Home Run Theft
I didn't believe my eyes when I first saw this one a couple years ago, but apparently it's real. This is Masato Akamatsu of Japan's Hiroshima Toyo Carps. Obviously, the guy was a big Bo Jackson fan. (If you're too young to know what I'm talking about, never mind.)
7. The Climb
See what I was talking about? Travis Snider robs a guy of a home run by scaling the wall just like Josh Reddick did on him.
It's always nice to know a guy is paying attention.
6. The Travis Snider Catch
I know it's probably sacrilegious to say, but this one rivals "The Catch"—you know, the one by Willie Mays—in my book.
5. The Adam Jones Catch
Seriously, have you ever seen anything like this before? Granderson's liner lodges itself in reliever Chad Jenkins's glove and knocks the thing right off his hand. Then all Jenkins has to do is catch the glove with the ball in it.
4. The Chad Jenkins Catch
Things are alway a bit dicey with Pablo Sandoval on the field.
3. San Fran Defense
Not only is this catch amazing in its own right, but it also preserved Matt Cain's perfect game earlier in 2012. To me, these rare combination of ability and significance makes this one of the greatest catches in MLB history.
2. Gregor Blanco's Perfect Catch
Here's an oldie-but-goodie: Jim Edmond's over-the-shoulder diving catch from his days with the Anaheim Angels of Southern California, America. Once again, purists may disagree, but this one has to at least rival the Willie Mays catch, doesn't it?