Each time he brought the Giants closer to victory. . the good Lord willin' and the creeks don't rise . Al Dark hit a line drive to right field off Ralph Branca and stretched the hit into a double when Carl Furillo threw behind him. That explained Mays’ approach as he faced Astros reliever Claude Raymond with two out in the ninth inning, Jesus Alou on first base, a run in and the Giants trailing, 5-3. As the throw came flying toward the plate. If you can help us improve this game story, contact us. But Mays was well past his prime as a player. Mays, playing over in left-center for the notorious pull-hitting Furillo, had to come a long distance to make the catch. One of the penalties for refusing to participate in politics is that you end up being governed by your inferiors. Charlie Dressen: He'll have to do it again before I'll believe it. Three times during the tumultuous conclusion of the 1962 campaign, Mays came to bat with not just that day’s game on the line, but also the entire season. They were kids themselves, my mother and father -- no more than 18, either one of them, when I was born. I was born May 6, 1931, not in Fairfield but in a nearby place with almost the same name -- Westfield -- but the marriage of my father and mother didn't last much more than a year after that, and then I went to live at Aunt Sarah's house in Fairfield.
That was the year the Giants made their miraculous comeback in the last six weeks of the season to tie the Dodgers, who had lead by 13 1/2 games in mid-August . The Catch was a baseball play made by New York Giants center fielder Willie Mays on September 29, 1954, during Game 1 of the 1954 World Series at the Polo Grounds in Upper Manhattan, New York City.During the eighth inning with the score tied 2–2, Cleveland Indians batter Vic Wertz hit a deep fly ball to center field that was poised to score the runners on base. Clutch-hitting triptych of ’62, Part 1Sept. If an elephant has its foot on the tail of a mouse and you say that you are neutral, the mouse will not appreciate your neutrality.
first baseman Whitey Lockman, the cut off man, let it go through. He lined a single to center and got another standing ovation. It was a 1 - 1 ball game, eighth inning, one out, Billy Cox on third, Ralph Branca on first and Carl Furillo up. , The play prevented the Indians from taking the lead and, in the bottom of the 10th, the Giants won the game on their way to sweeping the Series. New York Times (1857-Current file),38. , Wertz worked the count to two balls and one strike before hitting Liddle's fourth pitch approximately 420 feet (130 m) to deep center field.
:16 The runner on second, Doby, is able to go to third. That statement rang true in this Giants contest against the Houston Astros.
 Regardless, the ball was not hit to the deepest part of center field; where Mays made his catch is estimated by baseball researchers as not more than 425 feet (130 m) from home plate. . The crowd's initial reaction was silence. :17 Boy! If he stopped running to set for the throw home, there would be no chance to throw out Cox.Mays' Incredible ThrowMays didn't break stride.
It is better to create than to learn! "They throw the ball, I hit it. . NEW YORK TIMES August 16, 1951. Willie Mays thrived partly by turning imagination into reality. New York, 1968. .so that he threw like a discus thrower . .  Mays also cited a catch he made against the center field wall at Ebbets Field in Brooklyn, New York, in which he had to scurry back so fast he did not have time to turn around. The Catch is often considered to be one of the best and most memorable plays in the history of baseball because of the difficulty of the play and the importance of the game itself. .
 Perhaps Jimmy Piersall, Paul Blair or Dom DiMaggio were better center fielders or maybe they weren't, but statistics will never reveal what it meant when Willie Mays was on the field and he was on your side. . The Catch was a baseball play made by New York Giants center fielder Willie Mays on September 29, 1954, during Game 1 of the 1954 World Series at the Polo Grounds in Upper Manhattan, New York City. Catcher Wes Westrum caught the throw belt high and tagged out the incredulous Cox. Mays finally connected solidly and drove Raymond’s pitch well past the outfield barrier. San Francisco needed to win and hope that the slumping Dodgers, who had led the Giants by four games with seven to play, would lose again, forcing a best-of-three-game playoff for the pennant. 6. You have enemies? ", All that Carl Furillo, who was a great competitor and the victim of the catch could say was, "He'll never make another throw like that one, the lucky slob. Everyone was wrong.Mays Made a Fine CatchMays broke to his left and running at full speed, made the catch, a play that most good center fielders would make, but Mays had to run towards the right field foul line, so he was moving away from home plate. Doby, the runner on second, might have been able to score the go-ahead run had he tagged at the moment the ball was caught; as it was, he ran when the ball was hit, then had to scramble back to tag.  The ballpark was demolished in 1964, and it is unclear what was being measured when. New York, 1966. “Maybe 70,” Mays replied. This kid made the greatest throw I ever looked at.”5 Furillo, then considered to have the best arm in baseball, was less charitable: “Luck. As bittersweet as it getsMay 14, 1972. The Giants' streak had just about started -- four in a row -- and they were playing Brooklyn at the Polo Grounds. 10.
In the stands there were 21,007 fidgety fans. And the Giants were hemorrhaging money.
They didn’t yet know that Los Angeles would surge past them by winning its final 13 games. However, the Polo Grounds center field was larger than average, and Mays, who was playing in shallow center field, made an on-the-run, over-the-shoulder catch at the warning track for the out. It was lighter than the model Mays typically swung. MAYS HELPS HEARN TOPPLE BROOKS, 3-1 :BOBBY THOMSON HAULING IN GIL HODGES' FOUL. Carmichael, John P., editor, MY GREATEST IN BASEBALL.
They throw the ball, I hit it.
Underappreciated for years by San Francisco-area Giants fans since the franchise moved west in 1958, Mays finally earned the unqualified love and admiration that he deserved from locals when he hit his 512th home run to break Mel Ott’s National League record. , There is some question of the depth of straight-away center field. Houston left fielder Dick Simpson pursued the ball nonchalantly as Mays rounded second base and didn’t stop.  New York manager Leo Durocher summoned left-handed relief pitcher Don Liddle to pitch to Cleveland's Wertz, a left-handed batter. Third baseman Bob Aspromonte’s body language conveyed his disgust with Simpson, but Mays didn’t notice. .
If Willie Mays wasn't the greatest player to ever play the game, and he wasn't, he certainly was the greatest player in the history of the New York Giants. Consider: Most baserunners would have stopped at second on Hart’s hit, but Mays made it home, despite neither trying to steal on the pitch nor capitalizing on a fielding misplay. He can try that 50 times and he won’t come close again.”6 Sports columnist Bill Corum went so far as to suggest that Mays tried the throw because he wasn’t very bright: “A thinking ball player probably would have thought … that the play was impossible and never have attempted it.”7, Six years later, Furillo simply expressed astonishment. . It would have tied the score under most circumstances. The night before, the Giants had won the first game of a three-game series against the Dodgers, giving them four wins in a row, but they still trailed their crosstown rivals by 11½ games in the race for the NL pennant. According to Mays’s biographer James S. Hirsch, the catcher “estimated that when the ball reached him, it was traveling 85 mph, and if the umpire had called it, it would have been a strike.”2. Cronkite School at ASU Baseball’s Great Outfield Catches as Described by Those Who Saw Them, 1887-1964 (Jefferson, North Carolina, and London: McFarland & Company, Inc., Publishers), 155. BrainyQuote has been providing inspirational quotes since 2001 to our worldwide community. But Willie, making a complete whirling pivot on the dead run, cut loose with a tremendous peg .
The Giants scored first, in the bottom of the first inning. . Carl Furillo, one of baseball's most underrated players, was facing New York's big righthander, Jim Hearn. Fans in the bleachers must have wondered what in the world their boy was doing. . When Mays caught the fly ball, running full speed toward the right field foul line, he was moving away from the play. (. After the Giants traded Mays to the New York Mets for right-hander Charlie Williams and $500,000 on May 11, many people probably believed that Earth spinning off its axis would happen next. ENCYCLOPEDIA BRITANNICA. . And that's that. Hundreds of outfielders could have caught the ball, but only Willie Mays could catch the ball and throw out the runner.The Greatest PlayThe headlines in the papers next day called the throw "incredible," and "brilliant.". I may not have gone where I intended to go, but I think I have ended up where I intended to be. He was a player for the ages. “It sounds kind of childish. Jack Brickhouse, calling the game on television for NBC, along with Russ Hodges, described Mays' catch to viewers. That means you've stood up for something, sometime in your life. No conclusive chronicling of the at-bat exists, but legend has it that Mays heightened the drama by fouling off several two-strike pitches. It took only five days for the Los Angeles Angels slugger to pass him. In the top of the 8th inning with the score tied 2–2, Giants starting pitcher Sal Maglie walked Indians lead off hitter Larry Doby. “But Willie, making a complete whirling pivot on the dead run, cut loose with a tremendous peg that boomed into [Wes] Westrum’s mitt in perfect position for the catcher to tag the sliding Cox.”1 Westrum, not imagining a play at home, hadn’t bothered to remove his mask. And when the wind blew on the overhead utility lines and made the wires sing, I'd always think to myself that must be flowers going through the wires, somebody sending them to somebody else . Furillo hit a fly ball into right center field. If you are neutral in situations of injustice, you have chosen the side of the oppressor. Phoenix, AZ 85004 Phone: 602.496.1460 After the game, players on both teams continued express amazement at the play. Al Rosen singled, putting runners on first and second. .). Ruth was a better home run hitter. A crowd of 21,007 showed up at the Polo Grounds for the Wednesday afternoon game. The greatest rivals in baseball history were playing the second game of a crucial three game series at the Polo Grounds. 2005.Willie Mays' Great Play, Nine teams capable of making a World Series push . The Giants win was their fifth in a row, in a streak that continued through 16 games, placing them just five games behind the Dodgers when it concluded. But Tito Fuentes is said to have dropped the throw. 1 Joseph M. Sheehan, “Mays Helps Hearn Topple Brooks, 3-1,” New York Times, August 16, 1951. And I would do it.”. It was a play that couldn’t happen. Do what you can, with what you have, where you are. Furillo was a right-handed pull hitter, so New York center fielder Mays positioned himself in left-center. Well, no wonder Scully made that comparison. Pee Wee Reese singled to center field off starter Jim Hearn, running his hitting streak to 22 games, and advanced to second base on a wild pitch to Duke Snider. The New York Giants, who trailed the Brooklyn Dodgers by 11 ½ games, were in the midst of what would become a 16 game winning streak. What I did, though, was catch the ball and kind of let its force in my glove help spin me completely around.
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