Make us your home page
Instagram

Get the quickest, smartest news, analysis and photos from the Bucs game emailed to you shortly after the final whistle.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Tampa Bay Rays in awe over rookie Desmond Jennings' spectacular catch

ST. PETERSBURG — Manager Joe Maddon has seen many great catches over the course of his more than three decades in professional baseball.

But the diving snow-cone grab by rookie Desmond Jennings on the warning track in the fifth inning of Monday's 5-2 win over the Yankees was tough to top.

"One of the best I've seen," Maddon said.

With the Rays clinging to a two-run lead, Yankees captain Derek Jeter led off the inning with a long fly to left-center. Jennings, a former Alabama receiver recruit, raced to the warning track — Maddon estimated he ran about 40-50 yards — laid out and snagged it as he hit the track, with the ball nearly popping out of the end of his glove.

"Player of the game, as far as I'm concerned," starter James Shields said. "That's probably one of the best catches I've ever seen. That's a game-changer."

Jennings said that after his first couple steps, he didn't think he'd be able to get to it.

"But it stayed in the air longer than I thought," he said. "The closer it got, the more I believed I could get it. Leading off the inning, that'd be a double or a triple. I just laid out and squeezed it as tight as I could, and it stayed."

Maddon said he thought back to a catch former Angels outfielder Darin Erstad made at the old Yankee Stadium years ago.

"I think Desmond had to run farther to get to the ball and really had to lay out on a hard surface, which makes it even worse," Maddon said. "His football training came in very well right there."

Centerfielder B.J. Upton, who has made his share of spectacular catches at Tropicana Field over the years, said he knew it'd be a tough play, "especially in that part of the ballpark."

"But he's got great speed," Upton said. "That's one of the best catches I've seen."

Said shortstop Reid Brignac: "Any time the ball is in the air, with him and B.J. in the outfield, if it's not leaving the park, it's a pretty good chance he's going to catch it."

Jennings has dazzled since his mid July callup with his blend of speed and power. But on Monday, his glove stole the show.

"He's been an unbelievable player since he got called up," Evan Longoria said. "That was probably the biggest play of his career right there."

Tampa Bay Rays in awe over rookie Desmond Jennings' spectacular catch 09/27/11 [Last modified: Tuesday, September 27, 2011 12:07am]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Aaron Hernandez had severe CTE; daughter sues NFL, Patriots

    Bucs

    BOSTON — Tests conducted on the brain of former football star Aaron Hernandez showed severe signs of the degenerative brain disease chronic traumatic encephalopathy, and his attorney said Thursday that the player's daughter is suing the NFL and the New England Patriots for leading Hernandez to believe the sport …

    Aaron Hernandez's lawyer says the former New England Patriots tight end's brain showed severe signs of the degenerative brain disease chronic traumatic encephalopathy. [AP photo]
  2. Bucs' Josh Robinson excited for return to Vikings

    Bucs

    For much of Josh Robinson's four seasons with the Vikings, there was excitement leading up to the arrival of the $1.1-billion U.S. Bank Stadium, which opened last season, just as Robinson signed with the …

    Josh Robinson (26) tackles Chicago punt returner Eddie Royal (19) during a game between the Bucs and Bears in 2016. [LOREN ELLIOTT | Times]
  3. For starters: Rays at Orioles, meeting up with ex-mate Tim Beckham

    Blogs

    The Rays open their final roadtrip of the season tonight in Baltimore, and - continuing the theme of the week - willl cross paths with another familiar face, INF Tim Beckham.

    Tim Beckham made a smashing debut with the Orioles, hitting .394 with six homers and 19 RBIs in August.
  4. From the archives: Account of famed Riggs-King match heightens Tampa mob intrigue

    Tennis

    With the Sept. 29 opening of "Battle of the Sexes" — the movie starring Emma Stone and Steve Carrell about Billie Jean King's landmark 1973 tennis win over Bobby Riggs — we thought there might be renewed interest in this 2013 Peter Jamison story from the Tampa Bay Times.

    Emma Stone as Billie Jean King and Steve Carell as Bobby Riggs in "Battle of the Sexes."  [Melinda Sue Gordon, Fox Searchlight Pictures]
  5. It's not a game, but the names are all the same in this football family

    Footballpreps

    TAMPA — A coach yells across the field into a scrum of blue-and-white clad football bodies at Jefferson High: "Kim Mitchell! Kim Mitchell, come here!"

    These twins are not only identical, but they have almost identical names. Kim Mitchell III, left, and Kim Mitchell IV are  talented football players at Jefferson High with Division I-A college offers. Kim  III wears No. 22 and plays cornerback while Kim IV wears No. 11 and plays safety. (Scott Purks, Special to the Times)