Ron Swoboda’s catch

In Uncategorized on October 29, 2010 at 5:38 pm

I remember a few years ago, one of the sponsers during the World Series had a contest to rank the greatest catches ever. I forget which catch was voted # 1 but it may have been a Gary Matthews Jr. catch from a meaningless game few years back ( of course no one mentioned that Matthews’s name had come up several times during the steroids scandal) . The Mays catch in the 1954 World Series came in second I believe. However, nowhere was the Ron Swoboda catch in game 3 of the 1969 World Series mentioned. Mickey Mantle called Swoboda’s catch the “greatest catch he had ever seen.”

Swoboda’s is an amazing play, a combination of, luck, instinct and precision timing. But what fascinates me most is the sheer quickness at which the play unfolds.  Brooks Robinson’s line drive off Tom Seaver is headed to the gap in right center field seemingly before Robinson has even left the batter’s box. There is no reaction time. Swoboda dives for the ball, his body stretched as if on a Medieval rack. He spears the ball in the webbing of his glove, rolls over and is up on his feet in one motion to make the throw into the infield. All this action happens in seconds. That there were 2 runners on in the ninth inning of a one run game, pivotal game 3 of the series, gives it even more meaning.  Had Swoboda not made the catch the Mets very likely would have lost the game and the series to the heavily favored Orioles.  One of the enduring images of the 1960s, the Mets world series victory, would never have occurred.

The catch changed history.

  1. hi sam,

    what a great piece of video….back in those days, it was ok to douse a mayor with champagne…..

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