At his peak, Joe Mauer was one of the best all-around catchers baseball has ever seen, and this amazing play proves it. During a game between the New York Yankees and Minnesota Twins on May 17, 2009, Mauer made an unbelievable tag at the plate to save the game.
The Yankees and Twins were tied 2-2 in the bottom of the ninth. With the Yankees at bat and Brett Gardner in scoring position, Twins pitcher Jose Mijares needed to get out of a jam. But when Francisco Cervelli ripped a ball back at the pitcher and Mijares was only able to knock it down, Gardner took his shot and went for home.
Unfortunately for the Yankees outfielder, Joe Mauer was ready.
Mauer actually did three incredible things during this play. First, he quickly corralled the ball and got ready to throw. Then, after realizing he couldn't get the out at first base, he pump-faked a throw that kept Gardner going to home. After this, he dove back to home plate and applied a perfect tag to get Gardner out.
Mijares was able to retire the next batter and send it to extra innings. However, the Twins would ultimately lose the game on a walk-off home run by Johnny Damon.
Even so, this defensive play, one of the best you'll ever see by a catcher, would live on as one of Mauer's finest moments.
Sign up for FanDuel Sportsbook today and get your first bet risk free for up to $500!
Tristan Jung is not a FanDuel employee. In addition to providing DFS gameplay advice, Tristan Jung also participates in DFS contests on FanDuel using his personal account, username tristan1117. While the strategies and player selections recommended in his articles are his personal views, he may deploy different strategies and player selections when entering contests with his personal account. The views expressed in their articles are the author's alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of FanDuel.