On July 25, 1951 — 1951 – Ouch!! Willie Mays’s oft-recalled bare-handed grab of left-handed Rocky Nelson’s screaming opposite field line drive takes place in Forbes Field in the 1st inning of a 5 – 4 Giant loss to Pittsburgh. Mays runs to the left-center corner of the bullpen (also known as Greenberg Gardens, or Kiner’s Corner), about 410 feet from the plate. At the last minute, the wind gets a hold of Nelson’s slicing shot and starts pushing it back towards right. Mays looks up and locates the ball but too late to adjust. As he will recall on June 3, 1957, after robbing Roberto Clemente on a shot to almost the same spot, “I couldn’t get my glove around. So I just stuck my bare hand up and the ball stuck.”

 


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Sources:
Baseball Reference July 25
National Pastime July 25
Retro Sheet
Hall of Fame
SABR Games Project
Replay The Game