The Oakland Athletics entered Tuesday night in a tie for the AL West Division lead with the very team they were slated to play, the Texas Rangers. With only 24 games remaining in the regular season, the A’s have dropped two consecutive crucial games to the team that stands between them and the postseason.
Nevertheless, the A’s were given something to smile about on Tuesday night in Josh Donaldson’s defensive display.
I first heard about Donaldson’s grab from an MLB Memes twitter account, but you can see the gem for yourself:
When I saw the play, I knew it was an instant candidate for MLB catch of the year, but this thought begged me to do some research.
In a similar play, Pablo Sandoval of the San Francisco Giants ran into foul territory in Wrigley Field and caught the ball leaning over the wall. Sandoval’s momentum sent him over the wall and crashing to the cement floor below, but he was still able to hang on to the ball.
Although Sandoval’s catch and hold was spectacular, the fact that Donaldson had to leap over the tarp with a laid out body extension makes me think the play in Oakland was more impressive.
Another play that happened not too long ago in late August came from New York Yankees pitcher David Huff, and had the internet abuzz. Huff chased down a long bunt towards the first base side and made a sideways glove flip to get the batter out at first.
Having re-watched Huff’s play, I find it very difficult to declare Donaldson’s own play as the outright winner, but the latter certainly makes a strong case.
It will be exciting to see the rest of the great grabs this year and see which one comes out as the ultimate catch. Please leave a comment below if you think Donaldson’s catch deserves to be the best of the year, or respond with which play you think was better. Thanks for reading!