No glove, no problem: Best barehanded gems

April 25th, 2023

Trying to field without a glove? It is not usually recommended, but may sometimes be necessary. The players below did what they needed to do to get the out, resulting in these unforgettable barehanded plays.

Wander Franco, Rays
April 24, 2023, vs. Astros

Franco raced a long way from his shortstop position into foul territory to get to this ball, and while he initially planned for it to land in his glove, he was forced to adjust at the last second for the incredible barehanded snag.

Jesús Sánchez, Marlins
Sept 20, 2021, vs. Nationals

While running to his left, Sánchez realized he had gone too far to catch Lane Thomas' fly ball, so he quickly reached back into fair territory with his right hand and made a top-notch snag.

Andrelton Simmons, Braves
July 28, 2014, vs. Padres

When Will Venable's weak flare behind the pitcher's mound took a tricky bounce off the infield dirt, Simmons demonstrated great body control. He reached back and grabbed the ball with his bare hand, while simultaneously positioning himself to make a strong throw to first base.

Gerardo Parra, D-backs
June 9, 2013, vs. Giants

Realizing he wasn't going to catch Andres Torres' fly ball to right field, Parra eased up, barehanded the ball off the waist-high bounce and came up throwing to second to get the forceout.

Brandon Crawford, Giants
May 16, 2013, at Rockies

A hard-charging Crawford wasn't able to grab Charlie Blackmon's humpback liner on the fly, but he stopped short, snatched the ball off a difficult hop and threw it to first to nab the speedy outfielder.

Brandon Phillips, Reds
May 10, 2013, vs. Brewers

In one fell swoop, Phillips barehanded Ryan Braun's grounder up the middle while kneeling on second base, then whipped the ball to first to complete a nifty double play.

Asdrubal Cabrera, Cleveland
May 19, 2011, vs. White Sox

A tailor-made double-play ball up the middle became anything but when pitcher Joe Smith deflected it with his glove. But Cabrera stayed with it, barehanding the ball and flipping it behind his back to second base in one smooth motion to start a spectacular 6-4-3 DP.

Jorge Posada, Yankees
July 10, 2009, at Angels

Despite getting tangled up with Chone Figgins and losing his glove, Posada didn't let anything distract him from grabbing a foul popup.

David Wright, Mets
Aug. 9, 2005, at Padres

One of the signature plays of Wright's career came in this 2005 game at Petco Park, as the third baseman sprang into action to chase down Brian Giles' broken-bat flare to shallow left field. He stretched out his right hand and made a remarkable over-the-shoulder catch as he fell to the ground.

Kevin Mitchell, Giants
April 26, 1989, at Cardinals

Mitchell was an offensive powerhouse in 1989, winning the National League MVP Award after leading the Majors in homers (47), RBIs (125) and OPS (1.023). And yet, his most memorable moment of the year -- and perhaps his career -- arguably came on defense, when he reeled in Ozzie Smith's long foul ball down the left-field line using his bare hand.

Ozzie Smith, Padres
April 20, 1978, vs. Braves

Upon reaching the Majors in 1978, Smith didn't take long to start building his legacy as one of the greatest defensive players in history. In just his 10th career game, the shortstop showed astonishing hand-eye coordination when a grounder to his left took a bad hop after he had already begun to dive. Reacting quickly as the ball changed direction, Smith was able to snare it with his bare hand before popping up and completing the throw to first for the out.