Wednesday, September 5, 2012
The greatest play ever made
By David Schoenfield
From Tuesday's chat:
Andrew (Toronto): Caught two straight games in the recent Jays/Rays series. I'd never seen a game end with an out at the plate live before ... and then I saw it two games in a row. Gotta love baseball. Do you have a favourite "I can't believe I saw that with my own eyes" moment?
Me: OK, here goes. Greatest play I've even seen, bar none. Mariners-Blue Jays, 1985 I believe. Gorman Thomas up, Phil Bradley (former Missouri football player) on second. Thomas base hit, here comes Bradley, here comes the throw (forget who made the original throw). Bradley DESTROYS Buck Martinez at the plate, but Martinez holds on to the ball. I believe he broke his leg on the play. Or maybe his collarbone. (Note: He broke his leg and dislocated his ankle.) Meanwhile, Thomas keeps running. While laying on the ground, Martinez throws to third base, but it goes into left field. For some reason, George Bell is actually backing up the play. Here comes Gorman. Here comes the throw. Remember, Martinez is STILL ON THE GROUND. He can't get up. The one-hop throw goes right into his glove, Gorman tries to dance around the tag, but Buck makes the play. Greatest play I've even seen.
With apologies to Willie Mays, there's never been anything like it. Anyway, I'd never seen a replay of the play; didn't think it existed. And then last night Joey Taylor (@CustomTaylord) sent me a link via Twitter. Video! Somebody dug it up. And it's pretty much as I remember it. Jesse Barfield made the original throw, Bradley did destroy Martinez, and Gorman did dance around Martinez. A 9-2-7-2 double play.
Anyway, I'm not allowed to link directly to the video, but if you find Joey's Twitter feed or go to a certain web site that hosts videos and search for Buck Martinez, I'm sure you can find the video, although it doesn't quite show the entire play in all its glory.