Inspired by Endy Chavez -- ESPN's Baseball Tonight presented their all-time five best playoff web-gems. They didn't include Chavez' play.
Number 5 was Derek Jeter's ridiculously great backhanded toss to home plate from foul territory, which I mentioned in my earlier post.
Number 4 was confusing. They chose a play from the 1969 World Series between the Baltimore Orioles and the Amazin' New York Mets. There were several memorably great plays in that series, by Mets' outfielders, and by Orioles' third baseman Brooks Robinson. ESPN chose a great running basket catch by centerfielder Tommie Agee, but they kept saying the catch was by Ron Swoboda. The question is did they show the wrong highlight (Swoboda made a spectacular diving catch in that series) or did they show the right highlight, and simply misidentify the player responsible?
Third best was a catch by Dwight Evans in front of the Red Sox' bullpen, during the '75 World Series. Second best was Willie Mays '54 Series stunner, often called the greatest catch of all-time. ESPN's pick for the all-time playoff web-gem was the home-run saving grab by the late Kirby Puckett in Game 6 of the 1991 Series.
The timing on Puckett's catch was a little more memorable than Chavez' catch, especially since the Mets eventually lost the game tonight -- but Chavez' play was far more impressive. My top three would be -- in no particular order -- the Jeter play, Mays' catch and throw, and Chavez' sparkler from tonight's game.