Going, Going … Caught!

Baseball’s Great Outfield Catches as Described by Those Who Saw Them, 1887–1964


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About the Book

Though Willie Mays’ World Series catch of Vic Wertz’s long drive in 1954 immediately comes to mind, there are many catches that have been called “the greatest.” This work documents baseball’s best catches by outfielders from 1887 through 1964 (the year of Duke Snider’s retirement, the demolition of the Polo Grounds, and, arguably, Willie Mays’ last great grab). After introductory chapters on factors that influenced the catches and their legacies—from ballpark quirks, changes to the baseball and the evolution of baseball gloves, to sportswriters and photography—the book describes famous catches by decade from such players as Mays, Willie Keeler, Joe DiMaggio, Duke Snider, Roberto Clement, Curt Flood and many others. Extensive research yields a wealth of information for each catch, including commentary by period sportswriters, players, and, often, the man who snagged the ball.

About the Author(s)

Jason Aronoff is a retired school psychologist. He lives in Tonawanda, New York.

Bibliographic Details

Jason Aronoff

Format: softcover (7 x 10)
Pages: 276
Bibliographic Info: 50 photos, appendix, bibliography, index
Copyright Date: 2009
pISBN: 978-0-7864-4113-6
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments      v
Foreword by Dave Anderson      1
Preface      3

One. A Great Play, “The Greatest,” Photography, and Sportswriters      7
Two. Ballparks: Disputes, Dimensions, Quirks, and Crashes into Concrete      12
Three. The Dead Ball, the Lively Ball, the Long Ball, and Gloves      35

Four. The Great Catches Up to 1900      48
Five. 1900–1919      60
Six. 1920–1929      87
Seven. 1930–1939      110
Eight. 1940–1949      125
Nine. 1950–1964      144

Appendix: A Great Catch That Wasn’t      255
Bibliography      257
Index      261

Book Reviews & Awards

  • “Well researched”—Baseball Happenings
  • “Jason Aronoff has the range of a great centerfielder in his marvelous new book. While never taking his eye off the ball, Aronoff also reminds fans how baseball was once played”—Tonawanda News