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David Wright's Barehanded Catch (8/9/2005)

 

Injuries may have ruined the final few years of David Wright's career and caused said career to end earlier than it should have, but he left Mets (and baseball) fans with plenty of memories, such as the time he caught a popup using only his bare hand.

???

It happened in San Diego back in 2005; the star 3B ranged back on Brian Giles' half-swing popup into shallow left. It quickly became apparent this play was only going to be made ONE way...and Wright made it!

Notes: This play took place with one out in the B7th; despite Wright's valiant effort, the Mets went on to lose 8-3. Two days later, the Mets' defense stole headlines for NON-celebratory reasons when outfielders Carlos Beltran and Mike Cameron collided face-first into each other while diving for a ball.

 

Dae-Soung Koo was the pitcher who induced Giles' popup; he'd face exactly two more batters in the major leagues (on 8/20/2005) before returning to Korea.

#30 LF Cliff Floyd is seen praising Wright after the play.

 
Caldwell-Pope Rejected By The Board (12/11/2021)

 

NBA ballers probably don't get rejected much OFF the court, but ON the court is another story. Layups, floaters, jumpers, even dunks get stuffed if not safely executed. Sometimes, even the rim itself does the stuffing—if the prospective dunker doesn't have enough lift, or doesn't time his leap properly, the ball won't even make it over iron.

But until 2022, I'd never seen a player—not even an awful one—get rejected by the backboard. 
Enter Kentavious Caldwell-Pope of the Washington Wizards...

Notes: That was #21 Hassan Whiteside waiting for Caldwell-Pope at the basket. #2 Joe Ingles cleans up and is quickly fouled by Washington's Montrezl Harrell.

KCP finished the night scoreless (0-for-5) in 24 minutes. Though the game was close at the time of his embarrassing folly (mid-3Q), Washington fell to visiting Utah 123-98.

 
Mike Devereaux Robs A Homer (6/5/1992)

 

There's not a whole lot of setup needed here. Mike Devereaux (DEV-UH-ROE), Baltimore's CF in the early 1990's, could make plays. And against the eventual World Champion Blue Jays one night at old Memorial Stadium, Devo made what's possibly the best defensive play of his lengthy career on a DEEP Joe Carter fly ball in the T4th.

Notes: The Orioles, because of Devereaux's great grab, were able to escape with a 1-0 victory behind Rick Sutcliffe. Carter finished the day 0-for-4.

Offensively, Devereaux helped set up Cal Ripken Jr.'s decisive RBI single in the B8th with a single that moved teammate Brady Anderson into scoring position.

 
NFL: Five Penalties On One Play (8/19/2017)

 

They say there's at least one penalty on every NFL play, and there's something to that. But during this  preseason 2017 clash between Denver and San Francisco, we learned that if two teams try hard enough, it can commit up to five penalties on one play.

And those are just the ones the six officials were able to spot. At least it was preseason; there would be time to clean things up.

I do not blame the referee Pete Morelli for having to stifle laughter. I do blame the 49ers crowd for having the gall to express mild displeasure over their lone penalty.

Notes: I could have sworn I found a video showing SIX penalties on one NFL play last spring. But if I did, it has since disappeared into an online vortex of some sort, never to be seen again. My bad, TSR visitors.

In order, the penalized Broncos are #46 Dontrell Nelson, #81 Steven Scheu, #80 Jake Butt and #2 Dante Barnett.
#18 DeAndre Smelter was the penalized 49er. How the flip do four penalties on one club offset a penalty on another? Technically, a 49ers lineman could be two inches offsides while four Bronco DB's knock down and sit on four 49er receivers...and it'd be an offset?

That's Broncos WR #19 Kalif Raymond returning Bradley Pinion's punt, not that it mattered much in the end. (Raymond, FYI, was waived prior to the season opener.)

 
Jose Ramirez Really Steals Third Base (6/16/2021)

 

If defenses are going to keep shifting all over the field in an effort to stymie hitters, offenses are going to keep trying to find ways to take advantage of the defenses when they're caught unprepared for a given situation.

Usually, "taking advantage" of the shift means hitting/bunting away from it when one might not ordinarily do so. But in the case of longtime Indian/Guardian Jose Ramirez, it means exposing the Orioles' lack of situational prep when he found himself in a pickle after a two-run oppo single off Keegan Akin. 

Ramirez escaped the pickle by reaching second base. Clearly having not practiced what to do in such a situation, the O's—specifically 3B Maikel Franco—left third base completely vacated, with Ramirez somehow the only man on the field who immediately took notice. Things like this separate good teams from bad teams, people!

Notes: Once on third base, Ramirez soon scored, doubled home by teammate Harold Ramirez (no relation). Up 4-3 in the B3rd at the time of Ramirez's advancement, Cleveland held on to win 8-7.

All the Orioles involved in the rundown—Franco, SS Freddy Galvis, 1B Trey Mancini and 2B Pat Valaika—were established MLB veterans, though they hadn't played together in Baltimore for long and Mancini isn't a 1B by trade. Definitely a far cry from the days of Eddie Murray, Rich Dauer, Doug DeCinces and Mark Belanger.

 
The Houston Astros Screw Up (8/6/2012)

 

Whenever a young Little Leaguer makes a mistake on the field, coaches/parents are quick to remind him/her that hey, even the pros screw up sometimes. No matter how monumental your goof may be, short of hitting the ball and running to third base, some big leaguer somewhere has goofed in exactly the same way.

Just check out this series of blunders from the last-place, but still major-league 2012 Astros. If some of the (supposed) best players in the whole country can blow a game in such fashion, anyone can.

Notes: That's C Kurt Suzuki of Washington laying the bunt down against Astros RP Wilton Lopez. Steve Pearce, who I forgot ever played for Houston, is the overeager 1B who plows into Lopez and throws the ball over a young Jose Altuve's head.
Roger Bernadina, who had led off the T11th with a single, scored to put the Nationals up 5-4.

Houston RF Brian Bogusevic is also charged with an E for his errant throw home, which allowed Suzuki to trot all the way to third base. To Lopez's credit, he retired the next three Nats without Suzuki scoring, but a one-run lead was all Washington needed to win.

 
Ty Lawson And The Eternal Ball Roll (2/23/2017)

 

If you're a casual hoops fan, you may wonder why the hell some players let inbounded passes roll...and roll...and roll before picking them up. This is because the shot clock doesn't start until an offensive player touches the inbounded ball (though the game clock does continue to run).

So letting it roll a bit before touching it saves the offense the time they would have spent dribbling/passing upcourt, and kills time for the opposition.

In the past 10-15 years, this technique (known as leashing*, at least by me) has become increasingly common, to the point some dudes do it even when there's no pressing strategical reason to.
Such as Kings G Ty Lawson, whose decision to leash with his team up by 15 late against the Nuggets ran off 23 seconds of game clock...but also put the whole arena to sleep.

* I derived this term because the player walks next to the slow-ambling ball as if it is on a leash. It's the best I could do, folks.

Notes: That's Nuggets G Jameer Nelson who (eventually) meets Lawson near halfcourt, forcing him to finally pick up Anthony Tolliver's inbounds pass. Sacramento eventually defeated Denver 116-100. 

 
Wade Boggs' 3,000th Hit (8/7/1999)

 

One of the very best hitters of his generation, Wade Boggs does not always get the love he deserves as a baseball player (the Red Sox took some 20 years to retire his #26, for example. I know he left them for the rival Yankees, but still.) But during the 1980's, if you needed one man to get on base via hit, walk, whatever to keep your season alive, Boggs should have been that man.

The star 3B ripped 2,098 hits for Boston 1982-92, added 702 more as a 1993-97 Yankee, then ended his career back home in Tampa Bay with the fledgling Devil Rays—just in time to bang career hit #3,000 out of Tropicana Field in August 1999. It was a two-run shot in the B6th that cut Cleveland's lead to 11-9!

Notes: Kudos and THEN some to the security who wipes out the clown hoping to get a piece of the seemingly-oblivious Boggs near home plate.
Boggs took criticism for smooching the dish—some perceived it as a selfish act too in line with his past reputation. Not criticized: the smooch he blew his late mother while rounding first base.

That's D-Rays 1B coach (and former Red Sox teammate) Billy Hatcher hi-fiving Boggs.

Indians P Chris Haney serves up Boggs' blast, which also scored OF Terrell Lowery. Despite Boggs' three hits and four RBI, the D-Rays fell to Cleveland 15-10. Since Boggs, two others have homered for their 3,000th hit: Derek Jeter and Alex Rodriguez of the 2011 and 2015 Yankees, respectively.

Boggs played 10 more MLB games before his final season came to a premature end (torn knee cartilage). He finished up with 3,010 hits and to date, his #12 is the only number retired by Tampa Bay aside from Jackie Robinson's universally-retired #42.

 
The Music City Miracle (1/8/2000)

 

There's little I can write about this infamous game-winning play that hasn't already been written, and no scrutiny I can perform that hasn't already been performed 25,000 times. 

So I'll just tell you that Tennessee TE Frank Wycheck's lateral pass to WR Kevin Dyson was ruled legal and will forever stand in history as legal—much to the chagrin of the Titans' Wild Card opponents, the Buffalo Bills, who led 16-15 with 16 seconds remaining leading up to the play.

Notes: Nashville, where the Titans play, is known as the Music City, in case you can't figure out where the name originated.

That's Titans FB Lorenzo Neal Sr. recovering the kickoff by Buffalo's Steve Christie. Dyson went 75 yards for the score.

Buffalo got the ball back with three seconds left, but their own lateral attempt ended after 13 yards and Tennessee took the 22-16 victory. The Bills quickly fell into mediocrity; despite the occasional winning year, the franchise wouldn't triumph in a playoff game for another 21 years.

Tennessee went on to play the St. Louis Rams in the Super Bowl, but lost when Dyson was tackled just shy of a game-winning TD.

 
Andre Dawson Beaned...And Pissed (7/7/1987)

 

If there was a Rookie Symposium for MLB (as there is in the NFL), I would imagine that in the 1980's and 1990's, one of the first warnings to be issued to big league noobs would be "Do NOT, under any circumstances, piss Andre Dawson off."

Dawson was not one to go seeking trouble, but he emitted toughness like few others in the game not named Don Baylor, Kevin Mitchell or Jeffrey Leonard, and would certainly set out to right any perceived wrongs directed his way.

So when San Diego SP Eric Show committed a B3rd beaning of first-year Cub Dawson one afternoon at Wrigley Field—in Dawson's first PA after homering off Show—it was only a matter of (a brief recovery) time for Dawson to go about evening the score.
It is not known just how closely Show's underwear matched the rest of his brown uniform in those moments, but you can use your imagination.

Notes: That's enraged Cubs SP Rick Sutcliffe we first see getting to Show before everyone collapses into a sea of humanity; he is later seen checking on his fallen friend at the plate—I just gained new respect for Mr. Sutcliffe.

You KNOW tensions are high when an umpire (Charlie Williams) directs a player off the field for his own safety...and said player/team OBLIGES WITHOUT QUESTION. It is not clear if Show, who'd already allowed five runs by that point, would have been removed under normal circumstances.

Four Cub players (Sutcliffe, Manny Trillo, Dawson and Scott Sanderson), coach Johnny Oates and manager Gene Michael were ejected after the melee; young Cubs SP Greg Maddux was also ejected in the T4th after a retaliatory plunking of Padres C Benito Santiago.

Dawson received 22 stitches in his lip/lip area, but suffered no broken bones or concussion. The Cubs ended up winning 7-5, and four months later Dawson was named NL MVP!