Devon White’s Spectacular Catch

It is generally accepted that “The Catch” – Willie Mays’ over-the-shoulder grab in Game 1 of the 1954 World Series is the greatest defensive play in baseball in ever.

“The Catch”

There are some though that would disagree – and one of those dissenters is a well-respected baseball man and frankly, living legend: Vin Scully.  It was game 3 of the 1992 World Series between the Toronto Blue Jays and Atlanta Braves.  David Justice takes a Juan Guzman fastball and drives it deep to CF.  Devon “Devo” White was there and glided over to the ball like a gazelle before splattering himself against the wall, robbing Justice of a 2-run double at the very least.  White still has the wherewithal to spin and fire the ball back to the infield, almost completing a triple play.

Devon White Catch

Scully witnessed both Mays’ and White’s catches respectively.  He says this:

“I saw Mays’ catch,” Scully said. “And this one, to me, was better.

“The big thing with Mays,” Scully went on, “was that he had a wide-open area. He didn’t have to be concerned with the wall. And that’s a major concern. So I’m inclined to think that White’s catch might have been better than Mays’.”

Though it doesn’t really make much difference which catch was “better,”  it is safe to say that this is the most celebrated defensive play in Blue Jays history.  Watch the videos below and enjoy the defensive stylings of the one and only Devo.

MLB.com’s take

has written for Mopupduty.com since 2006. Follow Callum on Twitter, LinkedIn and Instagram (@callumhughson)

  • AG

    Not only has this play never received the praise it deserves but the failed call on the triple play never generated the kind of controversy it should have. Shouldn’t getting robbed of a World Series triple play generate the same kind of controversy as being robbed of a perfect game?

  • http://www.bluejayhunter.com Ian

    It’s difficult to say which catch is better – hard to measure things on a level playing field. Devo made that catch look effortless and he had the outfield wall to contend with. Then he had the presence of mind to fire it back to the infield to start turning the double (triple) play.

  • Greg E

    Perhaps someone more long in the tooth can comment on whether or not the blown call on the Triple Play generated any major controversy at the time?

    • http://www.mopupduty.com matthias

      Jays fans STILL complain about the call

    • http://www.twitter.com/SandyCarp Sandy in Toronto

      I was only 12 at the time, but to this day I remember the front page of the Toronto Sun. Blown up to take the entire front page was a close-up of Gruber’s glove resting on the heel of Sanders. The headline was

      “We all knew it was a triple play”.

  • Jeff R.

    What’s amazing about this play is how much ground Devo covers, and how effortless he makes it seem. There’s just no comparison between the White and Mays catch – Devo has to deal with the wall and then turns to make a strong throw to complete the double (triple) play. Mays’ play is great, but just not on the same level.

  • http://www.chrissasaki.com Chris Sasaki

    Agree that the only accurate comparison of the catches (ignoring for the moment the triple play) can be made by someone like Scully who saw them both. We all saw Devo’s catch, so we know just how great it was (and, yes, how it deserves more adulation). But, to truly judge the Mays catch, you pretty much had to be there to see how hard Wertz hit the ball. Was it a rope, or did it have a lot of hang time? And how deep was Mays when he caught it? Centrefield in the Polo Grounds was 483′! Mays wasn’t at the wall, but it looks to me like he was easily beyond the 400′ mark. The triple play? It’s great to have another story added to baseball lore–at the same time, it’s been nearly 20 years and I still think it we was robbed!! :)

  • Ger63

    What a great team, stacked to the hilt. Devo was a vacuum in the field, he was a great leadoff hitter and he had some pop for a guy that weighed 170. That blown call on the triple play was brutal. Winning that game and the World Series lessened the sting of the blown call so the controversy died down, but it’s still talked about.
    What a play!

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_RPKQXMR7AEPHSHQFG7AV7PLVCY MAWBSTA

    The entire sequence was one of the most exciting and greatest defensive team plays in the history of the game. Most triple plays are a rocket to an infielder who steps on a bag and throws to another bag before the third runner can dive back in… this play was, and still is one of the most breathtaking moments in sports history. It should be in the annuls of every MLB hi-light video.

    Unbelievable.

    For those wondering, the Blue Jays were discriminated against the entire series. From the parading of the canadian flag upside down, the singing of the national anthem and the play-calling, it seemed (to canadian) that all of america including media and such, was against us.

    Personified with Grubers own “tomahawk chop” the jays overcame adversity in many forms, this “missed call” is something this umpire has to live with in the closet because it was nothing short of callous robbery.

    ..at least, that’s how I remember it = hah