August 11, 2003

It's one of the rarest plays in baseball...: and Rafael Furcal made it look easy. It was enough to make me drop the phone and yell at the TV, which I rank as a pretty cool moment. What's the coolest baseball moment of your life, either playing, on TV or in person?

posted by wfrazerjr to baseball at 01:04 PM - 22 comments

Wow, I actually understood that. No-assist triple play. Congrats to Furcal. And kudos to La Russa for making the aggressive call, and not chickening out, which he would've been well within his rights to do. I also like the no-regrets, no-big-thing responses from the Cards players afterwards. Fun.

posted by worldcup2002 at 01:14 PM on August 11, 2003

Anybody know where I can get to see this on this thar intarweb thing? I understand it very well, I'd just like to see it for myself.

posted by squealy at 01:19 PM on August 11, 2003

I saw something new in a local men's league game just this last weekend. We polled everybody around and were in agreement that it had never been seen before. Runner on first, nobody out. As the pitcher goes into his delivery, the runner breaks for second. He got such an incredible jump that the catcher didn't even attempt a throw. He just returned the ball to the pitcher. Seeing how second base was relinquished uncontested, the runner concludes the pitch was fouled off. He puts his head down and jogs back to first. Nine defensive players, two base coaches and two umpires are staring at him incredulously. The pitcher is so shocked it doesn't even occur to him to tag the guy or throw to first. The runner gets to first, commences to take his lead, and six guys simultaneously ask him, "D____, what the fuck are you doing?" He thought the batter had fouled the pitch. Next pitch, he gets the same humongous jump, but this time the pitcher steps off the rubber and picks him off at second. From the professional ranks, about a month ago I was invited to a Mariner's game, and I saw a guy tag up on a fly ball deep to Randy Wynn in left. He successfully made it to the next base. What's so odd about that? He tagged up from first and made it to second without even sliding.

posted by vito90 at 01:21 PM on August 11, 2003

squealy, has video posted on their front page. It's in RealMedia format though. The hardest part about Furcal's play was his leap to catch the liner. The runners had no chance.

posted by mbd1 at 01:32 PM on August 11, 2003

Thanks, mbd1. Man, video has a long way to go on the Internet. It's like trying to watch a hockey game on a crappy 13-inch TV.

posted by dusted at 01:50 PM on August 11, 2003

On TV was Pete Rose breaking Ty Cobb's hit record, gave me goosebumps. In person was Tom Browning's perfect game, it was nerve-racking

posted by mick at 02:01 PM on August 11, 2003

Coolest moment I saw on TV was probably McGwire's 62nd homer. I was watching on a lounge TV in the student center at Duke, and no one else was around for me to high five and exchange various phrases of disbelief with. I've go no really memorable in person moments - I guess the first (and only) game I went to in Busch Stadium would have to be it. I was about 10, and I was so pissed off that we got to the park late. Here is the box score from that game.

posted by mbd1 at 02:34 PM on August 11, 2003

vito90: If I remember the rules correctly, you can't do that anymore in baseball. If you successfully take a base, you cannot return to a previous base for any reason. It's an obscure rule that MLB put into the books to stop a specific player from stealing 2nd, then 1st, then 2nd again. He was hoping to get the catcher to throw to 2nd so the other baserunner (on 3rd) would then steal home. In fact, an application of this rule (no returning to the previous base) was applied in the Blue Jay game yesterday. After a bizarre richochet on a line drive (the ball hit the pitcher and was caught by the shortstop) they then attempted to throw back to 1st base to catch that runner trying to get back to the base (since he didn't tag up on the play). However, the ball was thrown WAY over the head of the 1st baseman and into the crowd (!). The rules state that the baserunner is given the next base and one additional base (moving him to third). However, he never did get back to 1st base to "tag up". So he just wandered around the bases until he was standing on 3rd. After they examined the pitcher to see if he was okay, he got into the set position, stepped off the pitching rubber and then threw the ball to 2nd base. They called the runner out for not tagging up. As soon as the baserunner got to third, the opposing manager made it very clear what was going to happen BECAUSE the baserunner could NOT go back and touch 1st base now (since he'd already touched an additional (3rd) base "safely").

posted by grum@work at 02:55 PM on August 11, 2003

You know, I read the link, and all the comments, and I still have no idea what this is all about!

posted by salmacis at 03:11 PM on August 11, 2003

How about the incident that led to the "no running the bases in reverse order" rule? One of my faves.

posted by Succa at 03:22 PM on August 11, 2003

salamcis: it's like in cricket if the fielder caught the ball getting the batter out (1st out).... .... and then somehow got the other batter out by beating him to the stumps or whatever they do to get running batsmen out (2nd outs).... .... and then doing that again to another runner (your 3rd out -- though obviously you cannot get '3 outs' on one play in cricket since you only have two batsmen on the field at one time and actually i don't even know if you can get them both out on the same play) yeah, that makes no sense coming from someone who only has a basic understanding of cricket and doesn't know the lingo. the reason it is a big deal is that you have to get three outs to retire the batting team and to get them on a single play is very rare and to have a single player be responsible for all three put outs is very very mega rare.

posted by gspm at 03:28 PM on August 11, 2003

Oh, and the coolest moments I've seen in baseball (on TV or live): 1) Cal Ripken's record breaking game - if you didn't get teary-eyed when he ran around the park shaking hands, you had no soul. ESPECIALLY when you consider that he had to be pushed onto the field to do it because he didn't want to hold up the game. Since then, all of these "special moments" (3000th hit, 300th win, etc) have had these annoying scripted moments where they stop the game. In this case, the moment was spontaneous (and necessary as the crowd had been giving a standing ovation for TWELVE MINUTES). Throw in the fact that he hit a home run in that game as well, and it becomes a bit mystical. 2) Mark McGwire's 62nd home run - I dragged my wife into the room when he came up to bat so she could understand what I was about to go apeshit about in a couple of seconds. Shaking hands with Maris' family was a very nice touch. I have the TV audio feed of that moment in mp3 format at home. I'll post it if anyone wants to relive that moment again. 3) "Touch'em all, Joe! You'll never hit a bigger home run in your life!" (radio call from Tom Cheek) - I'm getting goosebumps just thinking about it. I was with about 5,000 other people crowded around a bank of television sets in the main window of HMV on Yonge St. when it happened. 4) "I don't believe what I just saw!" (radio call from Jack Buck) - Even Hollywood won't write scripts this corny. 5) Seven years ago I made a running/diving catch with two outs and the bases loaded in the inning to preserve a lead in one of the first games I played with my new company team. It was co-ed rec softball, but out of all the diving, sliding, leaping catches I've ever made, none have involved a longer run (from right field to BEHIND the centrefielder) or farther jump (my teammates said I was horizontal for a good 6 feet) than that one. From what I was told, because of the unlikeliness of me catching the ball (deep in centrefield), every single runner (except the hitter) had crossed home plate before they figured out what happened. I got high-fived by players on the other team when I trotted back to the dugout. Succa: That's the event I was trying to remember in my previous post. Thanks for finding it for me.

posted by grum@work at 03:30 PM on August 11, 2003

One of the coolest plays I saw in person was at a Yankees vs. Mets game a couple years ago. The ball gets hit back to the pitcher (El Duque) and it gets stuck between the fingers of the glove. So he tosses the ball and glove to Tino at first for the out. Another cool in person moment was watching Don Larsen toss the first pitch to Yogi Berra (on Yogi Berra Day) and then seeing David Cone pitch his perfect game.

posted by goddam at 03:37 PM on August 11, 2003

another jersey girl. cool.

posted by garfield at 03:56 PM on August 11, 2003

Thanks mbd1. Now does anyone have a magnifying glass? ;-)

posted by squealy at 04:17 PM on August 11, 2003

I was at Fenway watching Martinez vs. Cone when McGwire hit #62. The second they showed McGwire's homer on the big screen, the whole game stopped and the fans gave a standing ovation. Even the players were watching it. The Sox had the second best record in the AL that year, only 22 games behind the Yanks.

posted by usfbull at 05:45 PM on August 11, 2003

best moments for me were both on TV and both just left me so excited I didn't know what to do. It's tied between #62 for McGwire (I was living in SF when Barry did it, and I am one of the few who like Barry, but the moment was nowhere near as good as 62) and Tino Martinez in the 2001 World Series. 62 was me alone in the TV lounge of my Cornell dorm and Tino was me alone, in the dark, sipping on Heinekin, out in San Carlos... my roommates said they'd be home but never made it. The situation was the same for the end of Game 7 except I pretty much just sat there in stunned silence for an hour, then started cursing Rivera out for another hour. I can't remember anything particularly amazing in person or in a game I played in, for baseball, which means that nothing good has ever happened in my actual physical presence. I always thought Ripken was just about the most overrated player there was (inasmuch as he stopped being a deserving all star starter many years before retirement) but even I choked up at the record breaking game.

posted by Bernreuther at 05:47 PM on August 11, 2003

I'll second Grum on Ripken's record breaker. It seemed so completely genuine that I almost recovered my love for the game. Almost.

posted by kloeprich at 08:07 PM on August 11, 2003

I was on the steps of my high school waiting to be picked up from football practice when Jack Clark went deep against Tom Neidenfuer in the 1985 NLCS. I remember everyone going nuts on the steps while Jack Buck went nuts on the radio. My own best memory: one of my buddies was playing against me in a summer baseball high-school league. Two out, two on, bottom of the seventh in a seven-inning game. He absolutely hits a freaking bullet down the line and somehow I leapt and made the play to end the game. He never had to get out of the box, and he just stood there holding the bat, looking at me. Then he yelled, "FUCK!" at the top of his lungs and threw the bat over the dugout. That was pretty funny.

posted by wfrazerjr at 09:20 PM on August 11, 2003

another cool moment at a yankees game, but this didn't happen on the field. i was sitting in the bleachers when a group of young englishmen sat next to me. they asked me to explain the game of baseball to them. so for the next 9 innings i explained baseball as they tried to explain how english soccer leagues worked. once the bleachers creatures started on their routines, they caught on pretty quick and started adapting their soccer chants to baseball. they even taunted the unfortunate canadians who were sitting behind us (they were playing toronto).

posted by goddam at 09:25 PM on August 11, 2003

'69 Mets, back when I was still young enough to love baseball, and they won the World Series. Specifics of the games have evaporated but not the feelings in my eight year old head. Barry's 73rd was pretty good too. I was watching it on TV and chatting in the MSN room where I was soon to meet my wife, giving them pitch by pitch updates.

posted by billsaysthis at 10:31 PM on August 11, 2003

Jeter's relay shovel pass to home in the 2001 ? playoffs...

posted by machaus at 10:45 PM on August 11, 2003

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