On this date in baseball history, Willie Mays caught a ball

The Catch

On Sept. 28, 1954, in the Polo Grounds in New York, Willie Mays made his famous catch of Vic Wertz‘s blast to center field in Game 1 of the World Series. Pinch-hitter Dusty Rhodeshomered in the 10th inning to lead the New York Giants to a 5-2 victory over the Cleveland Indians.

Wertz already had three hits in the game when Don Liddle was brought in to face him with runners on first and second and one out in the 8th in a 2-2 game. After Mays made “The Catch” that saved at least two runs, Marv Grissom was brought into pitch for the Giants. Liddle flipped him the ball and said, “Well, I got my man.”

One final note from Liddle’s obit. Liddle’s five-year old son visited the Giants in the St. Louis clubhouse the following season. Willie, who had finally broken in a new glove, said to Craig, “I understand you need a glove to play baseball.” It was then that Willie gave Craig the glove that Willie used for “The Catch.”

The Glove

Craig Liddle, who later used the glove in Little League games, recalled Mays saying to him, “You take care of it, and it will take care of you.”

Liddle later loaned the glove to the Hall of Fame in 1992 and it’s been displayed in Cooperstown ever since.