Flashback: Willie Mays makes ‘The Catch’ in 1954 World Series
Willie Mays’ entire career was a highlight reel, but there is one moment that stands out above the rest.
On Sept. 29, 1954, Mays made arguably the greatest catch not only in postseason history but in baseball history. So great, in fact, that it is known simply as "The Catch."
It was Game 1 of the 1954 World Series between Mays’ New York Giants and the Cleveland Indians. In the eighth inning of a 2-2 game with runners on first and second, Indians first baseman Vic Wertz drove a ball more than 400 feet to deep center field. Mays drifted way back, made an over-the-shoulder catch and fired the ball back into the infield to preserve the tie (the lead runner advanced only to third base).
The Giants eventually won the game 5-2 on Dusty Rhodes’ pinch-hit, three-run homer in the 10th inning. And they won the World Series in four games.
During his 22-season major-league career, Mays hit 660 homers, collected 3,283 hits, drove in 1,903 runs and swiped 338 bases while batting .302. And he was just as dangerous in the field, winning 12 Gold Gloves and making a catch that still ranks at or near the top any list of the best ever.