Hamilton's muddy, slip-and-slide snag: WOW

White Sox center fielder robs Kepler, calls diving catch 'top one' of his career

July 7th, 2021

MINNEAPOLIS -- has made some great catches over the course of his career. But none topped the performance against Minnesota’s Max Kepler with one out in the ninth inning of a 4-1 White Sox victory on Tuesday night at Target Field.

Kepler drove one deep to left-center, and Hamilton was off to the races at the crack of the bat. The speedy center fielder was contending with a downpour and a slick outfield, but he still ranged to the edge of the warning track, leaped and made the unbelievable catch.

After landing on the muddy warning track, Hamilton slid all the way to the wall before turning over and holding up his glove to show he'd hung on. Hamilton's jersey, caked in mud, will need a deep clean, but it was all worth it, especially for closer Liam Hendriks, who looked on in awe from the mound.

Hendriks raised his hands in victory and held them there for about 15 seconds. Meanwhile, Hamilton had no idea how he made the play.

“It was one of those plays where you think you have a chance and you just want to go out there and do what you can to make that play,” Hamilton said. “You don't want nobody to get on base in that situation.

“[Bullpen catcher Miguel Gonzalez] came out of the bullpen to tell the outfielder that this track is not any good, so be careful on it. And I go out there and dive like I'm crazy. But it's something I was very, very happy about doing. I wanted to do whatever I can to make that play and keep people off base.”

Hamilton was not the only one who thought the catch was outstanding, with the outfielder being congratulated by everyone on the team in the postgame victory line. White Sox pitching coach Ethan Katz even tweeted about the great effort.

“I've got a short-term memory. I've seen [Jim] Edmonds do some great things and Dave Henderson,” manager Tony La Russa said. “But I don't know if in the conditions, I've seen a better one than that. It was just sensational.”

“I was just thinking about that. I think that's probably one of the top ones,” Hamilton said. “I think that's the top one, to be honest with you. I was trying to be like my buddy [Twins center fielder Byron] Buxton over there. He makes those plays all the time, so I was just trying to do one just like him.”