Ohio State fell behind early in their season-opening game against Miami (Ohio) on Saturday, but the deficit didn’t last long. Sophomore receiver Devin Smith gave Ohio State the lead with an incredible one-handed touchdown grab. Unlike most one-handed catches where the ball is on its way down and falling to the receiver, this one was on a line when Smith plucked it out of the air. Not bad for a kid who had 14 catches for 294 yards and 4 touchdowns last year.
Giants infielders Pablo Sandoval and Brandon Crawford combined to make one of the craziest catches of the year, though it was Crawford’s amazing reflexes that made it possible. Astros catcher Jason Castro fouled a ball down the left field line during Tuesday’s game and Sandoval, who was playing third, seemed to have it. Sandoval lost control of the ball as he went to the ground, and he flipped it in the air unintentionally. Crawford alertly dove for it and made an awesome grab to end the first.
Crawford also made a sweet over-the-shoulder basket catch later in the game just so you would know that wasn’t a fluke. The second-year player isn’t doing much at the plate, but he’s holding his own at shortstop for the Giants.
If Doug Flutie can do it, so can Andrew Robison. When the starting quarterback for Franklin Christian Academy in Tennessee went down with cramping recently, the only backup quarterback they had handy was a bit young for varsity play. No, he was not a freshman. He wasn’t an inexperienced sophomore or an eight-grader whose skills are so advanced he can hang with the high schoolers. Instead, the quarterback they turned to is in sixth grade.
Enter Robison, who is no more than 11 or 12 years old yet somehow managed to fire a 63-yard touchdown pass with his first ever snap in a varsity game. As Off the Bench pointed out, that unofficially makes him the youngest player to ever throw a touchdown pass in a varsity high school game.
Robison is the starting quarterback for Franklin’s middle school team, and he is listed at 5-foot-1, 100 pounds. Typically we would wonder if his parents were angry with the coach for putting their son in danger against much larger kids, but Andrew’s father, Drew Robison, happens to be the head football coach and athletic director at Franklin Christian.
We are no strangers to major colleges recruiting 14-year-old quarterbacks and eighth graders to play hoops, but is it possible Robison will set the bar even higher (lower?) after his recent performance? Nothing would surprise us at this point.
Photo via MaxPreps
Whether the Little League World Series interest you or not, you have to admit the fact that kids who are 12 and 13 years old can make plays like the one you see above is amazing. During Friday’s first-round game between Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada and Nuevo Laredo, Tamaulipas, Mexico, center fielder Thomas Neal made an incredible diving catch that would be a top play on Sportscenter even if a Major Leaguer had made it. Neal went completely horizontal to preserve a 10-8 lead in the third inning of a game where runs were not exactly a rare commodity.
Amazing catches like this one that Josh Reddick made or this one that Gregor Blanco came down with are rare in the MLB, let alone at the Little League Level. The difference is the big leaguers get paid to make incredible plays. Little Leaguers lay out for the love of the game and nothing more.
H/T Big League Stew
Anytime a player robs a home run, it qualifies as a spectacular play. The home run-robbing stab is one of the most exciting plays in baseball. By somehow climbing a 10-foot wall in Toronto on Sunday, Blue Jays outfielder Rajai Davis took the feat to new heights.
Casey McGehee hit what appeared to be a certain homer for the Yankees in the seventh inning, but Davis timed his jump perfectly and was able to climb the wall and pull the ball back into the park. You could say that Rajai channeled his inner Mike Trout, since it’s a feat Trout has perfected with catches like this one and this one, but the height of the wall is what really makes this catch impressive. Definite top play of the season candidate.
Who would have ever imagined baseball cleats could be a fire hazard? All I can say is Eric Thames is lucky there was no gasoline or dry grass under his feet during the third inning Wednesday night, otherwise he may have had to stop, drop and roll. Thames went into the right field corner to chase a foul ball during a game against the the Orioles and collided with the garage door on the outfield wall. He was unable to make the catch, but he did make some sparks fly — literally.
As far as I know, this is a first. We’ve seen plenty of crazy things on the diamond like grounders taking U-turns and tipped barehanded catches, but sparks coming off a players feet is certainly one of the more rare sights.
Mike Trout is making a habit of delivering amazing catches for the Angels. The 20-year-old center fielder robbed White Sox second baseman Gordon Beckham of a home run in the second inning of Saturday’s game. The catch wasn’t quite as spectacular as his one to rob J.J. Hardy in Baltimore in June, but he still went way over the wall to bring one back and save a run, which was critical since the Angels won 6-5 in 10 innings.
As if leading MLB in runs and batting average weren’t enough, Trout is up there for best catches as well. This guy is phenomenal.
Here’s a look at his catch against the Orioles in June for comparison: