It is time to remember the time Giants outfielder Kevin Mitchell caught a fly ball with his bare hand
Since the late 19th century, baseball has been played with gloves. There's obviously a pretty good reason for that: Baseballs are hard, and catching one with your bare hands at high speed is no fun. The process was hardly a straight line -- when first baseman Charles Waitt became the first confirmed glove-wearer back in 1875, he made it skin-colored in hopes that no one would notice and was roundly mocked by opposing fans -- but eventually, everyone gave in.
Everyone, that is, save for longtime Giants outfielder Kevin Mitchell. Sure, Mitchell presumably used a glove for most of his 745 games in left field. But that was clearly all for show -- just ask Ozzie Smith:
During San Francisco's game against the Cardinals back on April 26, 1989, The Wizard sliced a foul ball down the left-field line. It was a long run for Mitchell -- so long, in fact, that he couldn't quite get there in time. The ball was about to sail over his head, and he couldn't reach back across his body with his glove ... so he just stuck out his hand and plucked the ball out of the air.
Mitchell would go on to win the NL MVP award that season -- possibly because he slashed .291/.388/.635 with 47 dingers, but probably because he broke the brains of voters just a few weeks into the season.