Seeing Isn’t Always Believing

I’ll be honest; even after repeated viewings and reviewings (and an entire night to let it all sink in), I’m still not entirely convinced this play is even possible.

In debates concerning the game’s greatest defensive shortstops, I’ve always been an earnest Omar Vizquel supporter — partially because the bulk of his career occurred during my formative baseball years, and partially because he was so incredibly smooth. Yet even he (in my profoundly unscientific opinion) was no Wizard in terms of those jaw-dropping “He just did WHAT???” moments that are a defensive master’s true calling card. (In fact, I think Vizquel’s smoothness might actually have worked against him in that particular area; he had a way of making the ridiculously-difficult look almost routine.)

Is Detroit’s Jose Iglesias worthy of being mentioned in the same sentence (or paragraph, or book) as Vizquel and Smith? It’s really early for that conversation.

But that play? That play’s as head-shakingly unbelievable as they come.

Attribution(s): “Drawing of Someone Trying to Catch a Baseball Who Is Most Definitely Not Jose Iglesias” provided by Shutterstock.

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About Joseph Susanka

Joseph has been doing development work for institutions of Catholic higher education since graduating from Thomas Aquinas College in 1999. A grateful resident of Wyoming, he spends his free time exploring the beautiful Wind River Mountains, keeping track of his (currently) seven sons, being amazed by his (currently) lone daughter, and thanking his lucky stars for Netflix.

  • bharper8

    As some one who grew up watching the Cardinals, I’ve always considered Ozzie sui generis, but all these guys are able to do things so infinitely beyond anything I’ve ever been able to do that ranking them seems almost tasteless.

    • Joseph Susanka

      Wise words, Bob. On the other hand, I am almost obsessively compulsed to rank anything/everything/anyone/everyone.

      At least in this case, I recognize that my attachment to Vizquel (or, to a lesser degree, to Rey Ordóñez) is connected to my viewing experiences rather than actual defensive abilities.

  • KVandeVoorde

    I’m a Tiger’s fan, and was watching that game last night. Replay after replay after replay, I’m still unsure it was physically possible for that combination of actions to have taken place. Iggy’s got a gift of coordination and will that doesn’t come around often. Time will tell whether he belongs in the conversation along with the stars of the past. As fans of baseball, and especially the Tigers, all we have to do right now is sit back and appreciate what we have the opportunity to watch and admire!

    • Joseph Susanka

      I felt like I hit a glitch every time I rewatched that clip, KVandeVoorde. Right about the time he somehow manages to throw the ball, my mind would shut down. Over and over again.

      …I’m still not quite sure what I saw.

  • Tonk22

    The Tigers pitching staff is way more excited about that play than anyone else.

    What amazes me most is that he is not touching the ground during the throw. I would probably break my nose if I tried that.

    • Joseph Susanka

      He may never hit, Tonk.

      …and he may never need to hit. Not if he does that. (He had a great juggling catch a couple days later, as well. I think he’s going to be a pretty reliable SC presence in the coming years.)