In the Oakland Athletics very first Spring Training game of 2014, right fielder Josh Reddick, made what everyone is calling “The Catch Of the Year.” He did it not once but twice! Not only that, both times he robbed the same hitter, the San Francisco Giants’ Michael Morse, of a home run!
His first catch over the right field ten-foot high fence is considered the better of the two but when you look at them side by side you can hardly tell the difference. The A’s right fielder, nicknamed “Spiderman,” can be seen literally jumping and scaling the fence while at the same time looking over his left shoulder to catch a ball that literally made a catcher in the Giants bullpen jump out of his seat. Apparently he thought the ball was going to land in his lap when it landed in Reddick’s Glove.
Can it REALLY be the “catch of the year” if it isn’t even March yet? The answer from many is “yes.” In fact, most everyone that witnessed the catch feel the same way A’s outfielder Sam Fuld felt when he said,
“The first one he made was the best play I’ve ever seen, on the field or as a fan or anywhere. Best play I’ve ever seen live, and then it just got wacky with the second one. You’ll never see that ever again.”
Even the Giants fans at Scottsdale Stadium rewarded Reddick with a standing ovation at the end of the inning. That is extremely unusual, to the point of never seen before, at a game between these two teams. There is a certain rivalry between the two teams from the Bay Area that prohibits that kind of salute to the visiting team’s players. For the 2012 Gold Glove winner the catch and the ovation both felt very special,
“For being on the road, especially against this team, I was really surprised of the noise that was made between just those Giants fans. It was unreal….It was something special, had my heart pumping for a little bit.”
When asked if it was the best play of his career Reddick said,
“Without a doubt. I have no idea how I did that.”
No one knows how he did it but come October many believe it will still be counted as the year’s best web gem.