Thursday, October 28, 2021

The Catch

This post is written in response to an obituary of Arnold Hano, who wrote a book about attending the game where Willie Mays made a play in center field forever after simply known as "The Catch"

("Arnold Hano, Author Who Took You Out With the Crowd, Dies at 99")

It was July 1, 2004. 

I was sitting with my daughter in lower level seats just past first base as Derek Jeter began his full tilt sprint towards the falling parabola inevitably destined to land just fair inside the third base line. While this season would end in devastating defeat to these same hated Sox, this game would not. 

It happened in a blur, almost too quickly for the mind to fully comprehend. Then, all at once, everything stopped, as we waited to see if our hero, having descended from the heavens and landed with grave disregard for his well being, remained intact. He seemed swallowed up by the fans that surrounded him, hovered over him, willing him to health.

And then, he raised himself up, emerging as a god, his cheek showing evidence of his battle with the seat, or maybe the railing. With the fruits of his labor nestled securely in his glove, he  reappeared as a burgeoning legend.

That moment, nearly 50 years into my love affair with this team, accompanied by my 18 year old child who had grown up enveloped by my passion for the Yankees, was about as perfect as I could have ever imagined, ever invented.

I well understand that the surrounding circumstance of the effort of Mr. Mays made the scene  at the Polo Grounds, as reported by Mr. Hano, of far greater significance than the one I witnessed a half century later.

But, for me, there is, and will forever be, only one Catch.


Anonymous said...

I think I was the first call that your daughter made to find out whether I had been watching!


PickleBiz said...

I remember that game as one of the more truly exciting baseball games, start to finish, that I've ever seen. And yes, that catch was one for the ages.