Tuesday, Dec. 08, 2009

Perfect Catch Saves a Perfect Game

When Tampa Bay's Gabe Kapler connected with Mark Buehrle's ninth-inning pitch, U.S. Cellular Field let out a collective groan. Buehrle, the Chicago White Sox ace, was throwing a perfect game through eight innings, and Kapler's rocket into left center field looked like either a home run or a double off the wall. Perfect game over, no-hitter over. But Chicago's DeWayne Wise, a journeyman outfielder and defensive replacement in center, leaped over the wall and snared the ball. Adding to the suspense, Wise juggled the ball while falling back to the ground, but held on to rob Kapler of a home run to complete one of baseball's all-time great clutch catches. Two batters later, Buehrle completed the perfecto. President Obama, a White Sox fan, publicly crowed about Wise's grab (though he mistakenly pronounced his name Weis). The White Sox added a sign to the top of the left-center-field wall that reads simply "The Catch."