Now that baseball season is underway, what is the most spectacular 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.
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.
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!