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30th Anniversary of "The Catch": 5 Other Great Catches in Sports

Sorry, Everson Walls: It's not your day.
Sorry, Everson Walls: It's not your day.

Thirty years ago today, Dallas Cowboy haters -- in other words, every right-thinking person in the world -- rejoiced when Dwight Clark of the San Francisco 49ers made what has gone down in history as The Catch to put the dagger in the Cowboys' title hopes.

It's widely regarded as one of the most historic catches in sports history.

It's not the only candidate, though. Here are five others.

5. The other The Catch

Long before Dwight Clark made The Catch, those two capitalized words were assumed to be referring to Willie Mays's unforgettable play in the 1954 World Series.

The Polo Grounds was built for polo, obviously, so it had very short distances down the lines for baseball but a massive center field that reached 483 feet from home plate. Mays took off after a Vic Wirtz smash, getting an amazing jump on it, caught it in stride with his back to the plate and, perhaps most importantly, whirled and fired a powerful no-look throw to hold the runners to the minimum advance.

In his very good Mays biography, author James S. Hirsch devotes an entire chapter to this single play.

4. David Tyree's one shining moment

One of the most improbable plays in Super Bowl history, leading to one of the biggest upsets in football's biggest game.

New York Giants QB Eli Manning escaped from a fierce rush and little-used wide receiver David Tyree became immortal when he plastered the ball to his helmet and held on for dear life.

Tyree later used his fame to campaign against same-sex marriage in his native New Jersey so, you know, there's that.

 

3. Hell yes, we're including this

The NFL officially classifies this as an incompletion. On the other hand, shortly after it the league instituted instant replay to make sure correct calls were made, so you do the math, yinzers.

2. Two for one

Sure, this list may seem a little New York-centric, but try to argue with it.

The Mets had long been a joke in the National League; in 1969 they put together an amazing late-season run to take the pennant. They faced the dominating Baltimore Orioles in the Series.

In Game Three, with the Series tied at a game apiece, Agee had a day for the ages. He led off with what turned out to be the game-winning home run, and then with two jaw-dropping catches he kept off the scoreboard the runs that would have tied the game.

The second catch saved the ass of Nolan Ryan, making his only World Series appearance. Agee's unlikely snatch of a drive prevented what could have been an inside-the-park grand slam if he had come up empty.

30th Anniversary of "The Catch": 5 Other Great Catches in Sports

1. Jackie Smith
Oh geez, our mistake, Cowboy fans. Enjoy.


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