The Year was 1909

New York Giants Baseball

Now that baseball season is underway, what is the most spectacular catch ever made? Or is it two? There are surely a lot of candidates, but these two can’t be beat. The first one happened on Monday Aug. 16, 1909. It was made by New York Giants’ right fielder, Red Murray.

Red Murray

The red-haired John Murray, the son of a coal miner, was a standout in all sports. After Notre Dame, he chose baseball, and eventually ended up as one of the powerhouse players, batting clean-up on John McGraw’s formidable New York Giants. Murray led National League outfielders in home runs, RBIs, assists and stolen bases an astounding 16 times.

Forbes Field

On Monday, Aug. 16, 1909, the Giants were at Forbes Field for just one game. The score was tied 2-2 going into the late innings. Thunderclouds had threatened for most of the game. The storm hit but the game continued. Pittsburgh’s Miller hit a long fly ball to right. Red Murray ran for it, reaching out, catching it about three feet above the grass. Boom! Lightning struck him! Amazingly, Murray held on to the ball, knocked out cold. The game went into the books as a 2-2 tie. John McGraw said it was the most amazing catch he’d ever seen.


Red Murray continued his baseball career. Five years later, he was still playing right field for the Giants and they were again playing Pittsburgh at Forbes Field. It was Friday, July 17, 1914. Again, the weather was bad. After 9 innings, the game was tied 1-1. After 20 innings, the game was still tied 1-1. Then in the top of the 21st inning, the Giants scored two runs on a homerun. The Pirates came up to bat. There were two outs when a Pirate hit a long fly ball to right. Red Murray caught it just as lightning struck him! He was knocked out cold and the ball was in his glove!

One Comment Add yours

  1. Steve Ellis says:

    He’s a real classic looking ball-player. Looks a bit like Wally McGee! It’s just incredible that he was hit by lightning while making a catch — TWICE! The odds of being hit by lightning once are infinitesimal. You’re much more likely to be hit by a falling coconut! But twice? And surviving both? That’s just crazy!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.