Reddick astounds with two dazzling catches
A's right fielder robs Giants slugger Morse with pair of climbs up fence
SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- February's not even over, and Josh Reddick already made the catch of the year.
Many are convinced it's the best they've ever seen.
"By far," said 13-year veteran Nick Punto. "I'm still in awe."
And that was only the first one.
That's right. Reddick channeled his inner Spider-Man on two occasions Wednesday, both times against the Giants' Michael Morse in Oakland's Cactus League opener at Scottsdale Stadium, robbing the outfielder of at least one home run -- maybe two.
"He's known for doing that, man," Morse said. "I'm happy to help him work on it in Spring Training, I guess."
Stationed at shortstop, Punto almost missed the first one in the second inning, simply because "I assumed it was a home run, and it was," he said. "It was a lot over the fence. Not a little. I kept thinking, 'Oh, that's nice of him to do a courtesy jump.' He was at least 3 feet over a 10-foot wall."
Reddick leaped high above the ground and grabbed hold of the fence, and by the time he turned his head, the ball was already over it. That didn't matter.
"When I looked up, it was probably 2 feet above my head and I guess got lucky to throw my glove at it," Reddick said. "I just quick-snatched it, I guess you could say. I was shocked, even being able to come close to it."
"It all happened so fast," said Sam Fuld, watching from center field. "It's not like he was waiting, camped underneath it. He went from being 20 feet away from the ball to leaping for it. It was perfectly done. He didn't even gather himself. I don't know. I'm guessing he doesn't practice it, but it looks like he does. He was going full speed, and that fence is high. It was definitely a home run. A home run by a lot."
A giddy Reddick didn't even hesitate when asked if it was the best catch he's ever made.
"Without a doubt," he said. "I have no idea how I did that."
"That was one of the coolest things I've ever seen," said catcher John Jaso. "That was unbelievable. I'll never forget it. That was just such a cool way to start off Spring Training. Everyone was so pumped up in the dugout. Tomorrow, that's all we're going to be talking about."
And probably the day after, too.
Even Giants fans displayed the ultimate gesture, rewarding the 2012 Gold Glove winner with a standing ovation after the inning.
"For being on the road, especially against this team," Reddick said, "I was really surprised of the noise that was made between just those Giants fans. It was unreal. It goes to show they respect the game just as much as they do the rivalry. It was something special, had my heart pumping for a little bit."
Fans only had to wait an hour to see it again.
Reddick didn't have to jump as high for the second one, snatching another Morse ball right at the yellow line in the fourth inning, but it was still a special sight to see, on any other day the best of the web gems. This time, it ranked second.
That's just how good the first one was.
"The first one he made was the best play I've ever seen, on the field or as a fan or anywhere," said Fuld. "Best play I've ever seen live, and then it just got wacky with the second one. You'll never see that ever again. I just hope they had the TV cameras going, because that's going to be on TV for a while."
Reddick has since invited Morse to dinner via Twitter.
@Mcode38 dinner on me brother whenever you want- Josh Reddick (@joshreddick16) February 26, 2014
"After the second one, I turned and looked at him, because I knew he was going to have something to say," Reddick said. "We've known each other over the years. He just held his hands up, like, 'Why?' and gave me a little air fist pump. All I could do is bend over and laugh at him and kind of say, 'I'm sorry.'"
Joked Morse: "I thought we were friends."
Jane Lee is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.