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Three Mets players best known for one fantastic defensive catch

Tim Boyle
NEW YORK, NY - SEPTEMBER 11: Mike Baxter #23 of the New York Mets wears an American flag on his uniform and cap during the game against the Chicago Cubs at Citi Field on September 11, 2011 in the Flushing neighborhood of the Queens borough of New York City. (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - SEPTEMBER 11: Mike Baxter #23 of the New York Mets wears an American flag on his uniform and cap during the game against the Chicago Cubs at Citi Field on September 11, 2011 in the Flushing neighborhood of the Queens borough of New York City. (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images) /
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NEW YORK – OCTOBER 19: Endy Chavez #10 of the New York Mets catches a ball hit in the sixth inning hit by Scott Rolen #27 of the St. Louis Cardinals during game seven of the NLCS at Shea Stadium on October 19, 2006 in the Flushing neighborhood of the Queens borough of New York City. (Photo by Nick Laham/Getty Images) /

Endy Chavez in the 2006 NLCS

Endy Chavez joined the Mets for the 2006 season after a year where he hit .216 split between the Washington Nationals and Philadelphia Phillies. A light-hitting outfielder with some amazing speed, he put together a fantastic campaign in the regular season. Through 390 trips to the plate with the 2006 Mets, Chavez batted .306/.348/.431.

It’s Chavez’s defense, though, which made him a memorable part of this organization.

In the top of the sixth inning, Jim Edmonds of the St. Louis Cardinals stood on first with one out. The batter, Scott Rolen, drove what should have been a tie-breaking two-run home run into left field. Chavez picked up on the ball and raced toward the outer banks of Shea Stadium.

When he got to the wall, Chavez leaped up and snagged the baseball in a graceful yet reckless manner. Unlike many defensive plays we had seen in the past, many from Edmonds and Rolen, there was no time to think about the highlight reel. Chavez only had an opportunity to react.

Fortunately for New York, his speed was just enough to get there and make the catch. In what was only a few seconds, Chavez recorded the second out of the inning. He wasn’t finished yet.

Doubtful anyone could possibly make the play, Edmonds was caught off first base then doubled up on the throw to the infield. The inning was over and the two teams headed to the bottom half of the inning with the score still tied at 1 a piece in a deciding Game Seven of the NLCS.

Unfortunately, this catch didn’t have the same happy ending as Swoboda’s. Yadier Molina hit a two-run home run in the ninth inning a little too far for any of the outfielders to reach. The Mets famously went down in this game with the final at-bat belonging to Carlos Beltran whose bat didn’t even leave his shoulder.

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