If a catcher could rob a home run, it might look something like this

August 28th, 2022

When you see a baseball player sizing up a ball at the wall, taking a leap of faith and making the grab, you usually expect it to be an outfielder. But seeing a catcher do that? Well, that's a bit like witnessing a shooting star.

The backstop for Double-A Richmond proved in a single play on Saturday night that catchers can be the best athletes on the field. Brett Auerbach made one of the most spectacular and difficult catches you'll see behind the plate on a popup near the entrance to the dugout on the third-base side. 

With perfect form, Auerbach took off his mask on contact, located the ball in the air and saw it headed for the stands behind the plate. When he got to about the on-deck circle, Auerbach could tell the ball was headed out of play faster than he could catch up to it, so he took a running jump not unlike Michael Jordan taking off from half court in "Space Jam."

Somehow, Auerbach timed the jump exactly right and caught the ball while landing in the netting. When he bounced back off it, the backstop pounded his chest protector one time, picked up the mask he'd left behind and headed back to his dugout as though he'd made this play a thousand times before. Oh, and then he went on to launch a three-run homer in the ninth inning. 

Just one small step for man, one giant leap for catchers everywhere.