MLB outfielders robbing hitters of a home run has almost become a cliche. The routine grabs help fill out the “Top Sports Plays” segment during the slow days of summer.
Austin Jackson’s was different.
On Tuesday, the Cleveland Indians outfielder leaped high over the center-field wall at Fenway Park, secured the ball and did a back flip into the bullpen to rob Red Sox designated hitter Hanley Ramirez of a home run. The Indians were leading 7-5 in the fifth inning when Jackson made the amazing catch.
Some called it the “catch of the year.” Others said it might be a catch for all-time.
The type of catch you'll tell your grandchildren about.
Ladies and gentlemen, Austin Jackson. pic.twitter.com/xK2rr0QV6U
— Cleveland Indians (@Indians) August 2, 2017
“It’s just kind of a reaction, honestly,” Jackson told MLB.com. “You don’t really think about it. You don’t really practice it. In the moment, you see yourself going down head first, so you do whatever you can to break [the fall].”
Indians manager Terry Francona was a big fan of the catch.
“That was one of the best catches I think I’ve ever seen,” Francona told MLB.com. “I’ve been in the game a long time. That’s a hard wall out there and a lot of guys run away from it. Austin went up and over. That was one of the most exciting plays I’ve seen in a long, long time.”
Despite Jackson’s play for the ages, the Red Sox went on to win the game 12-10.