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Three Mets players best known for one fantastic defensive catch

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, NY – JUNE 01: Head Trainer Ray Ramirez walks Mike Baxter #23 of the New York Mets back to the dugout after being injured crashing into the wall during the game against the St. Louis Cardinals at Citi Field on June 1, 2012 in the Flushing neighborhood of the Queens borough of New York City. (Photo by Mike Stobe/Getty Images)

Mike Baxter in Johan Santana’s no-hitter

Not all of the greatest plays took place in October. On June 1, 2012, an outfielder named Mike Baxter added his name to the list of great plays by Mets players.

If you blink, you may have missed Baxter’s career. His MLB career included parts of six seasons with the 2012 campaign accounting for nearly half of those games. While he did have a productive season for New York, this one game stood out above the rest.

In a game with a much happier ending against the Cardinals than the one with Chavez’s catch, Baxter made the catch to protect Johan Santana’s no-hitter. Ironically, this one was also hit by Molina.

After retiring 19 Cardinals without allowing a hit, Molina came to the plate for St. Louis looking to break up what could become the first no-no in Mets history. He lined a shot to deep left field. Baxter got on his horse, reached out, and made the play only to then crash into the wall. Clearly in pain after making the play, Baxter literally gave his body up for his pitcher, team, and the fans.

The injury ended up costing Baxter a significant portion of the season. He left the game after and wouldn’t play in a big-league game for almost two full months.

At the time of the injury, Baxter was hitting .323. He was becoming a candidate to receive much more playing time than many expected. He would get plenty of chances to play in August and September but saw his numbers dip. He eventually ended the year hitting .263.

Baxter only spent a short time with the Mets. His name is still one people remember thanks to this one amazing grab to preserve something fans of this franchise waited 50 years to see.

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Great defense sometimes gets overlooked because the numbers to represent it aren’t as obvious as they are for offense. In big moments like these, there’s no debate. These three Mets players came through when the team needed them. By just mentioning their names, all fans can picture the historic fielding gems they made.

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