Think for a moment about how hard it must be to catch deep fly balls off the bats of professional hitters. Imagine, if you had the speed and talent, what it would be like to run back to the warning track and catch a ball that was launched off the bat of David Ortiz.
So much is happening in those moments. The ball bounces in the air, at least the way your eyes see it, as you sprint back to attempt the catch. The sun is a factor. The closer you get to the wall you have to be aware of where you are so as to not hurt yourself. As the ball descends, you have to decide if you are going to reach it or if the catch will require a slide or a dive.
Adam Eaton of the Chicago White Sox took on all of those challenges as part of his professional occupation as the center fielder for said White Sox on Thursday. Not only did he account for all of the issues listed above to make a sliding catch, but he also managed to avoid a potential collision with teammate Moises Sierra. A fine play by Eaton to rob Big Papi of extra bases.
Check out video of Eaton’s great catch below, courtesy of MLB.com: