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Photo of the Day: Willie Mays’ catch in color

Feb 20, 2013, 11:02 AM EDT

UPDATE: The photo was colorized by John Turney, and first pointed out at UniWatch last year. Awesome job. Sorry I was unaware of the provenance until a few minutes ago.

11:02 AM: I have no idea where this came from. I saw it on a friends’ Facebook page. I don’t know if it’s an original color picture or expertly colorized. All I know is that it’s the coolest thing I’ve seen in a while:


  1. vallewho - Feb 20, 2013 at 11:06 AM

    pretty awesome

  2. mrfloydpink - Feb 20, 2013 at 11:08 AM

    That is really cool, but is definitely colorized.

    • pauleee - Feb 20, 2013 at 11:18 AM

      Not sure if that’s true. I think I saw video (?) of The Catch on MLB Network recently, but I forgot the explanation.

  3. mayortito - Feb 20, 2013 at 11:11 AM

    483 ft. Vic Wertz linked to biogenesis?

    • mayortito - Feb 20, 2013 at 11:13 AM

    • badintent - Feb 21, 2013 at 12:32 AM

      Juiced ball, corked bat, Harlem thin air, usual suspects

  4. pauleee - Feb 20, 2013 at 11:16 AM

    Does anybody know if those monuments ever came into play? Someone running into them, getting knocked down?

  5. yankeepunk3000 - Feb 20, 2013 at 11:19 AM

    So awesome, love it. Just beautiful

  6. cur68 - Feb 20, 2013 at 11:19 AM

    Oddly enough, I like the black and white version better. I’ve seen it so many times that its the real one. The colour shot looks like someone else. A different incident, even.

    This, to me, is the definitive set of shots of that catch….

    • louhudson23 - Feb 20, 2013 at 1:09 PM

      The guy in the tie is at the fence in both shots,but in the b/w sequence,he has a line of people behind him and in teh color shot,the empty aisle is directly behind him. Even at different angles,it appears the b/w was touched up to fill in the aisle…

      • cur68 - Feb 20, 2013 at 1:22 PM

        Neat. I hadn’t noticed that. Dang you 1950’s photoshop! Dang you to heck!

      • nothanksimdriving123 - Feb 20, 2013 at 2:34 PM

        It appears to me that the different photos (the broader colorized shot and the tighter-cropped sequence pics) are taken from different angles and in the sequence shots the tall screen/wall blocks our seeing the empty steps/aisle. No trickery needed, IMHO.

      • shawndc04 - Feb 20, 2013 at 3:36 PM

        If you look at the video of the catch, there are people behind the guy with the tie at the fence. They were taken out of the colorized photo.

      • cur68 - Feb 20, 2013 at 3:44 PM

        Well, now I don”t know what to believe. My favourite Willy Mays Moment could all be a lie.

        I demand more stringent testing for colourized images!

      • tommyshih - Feb 20, 2013 at 4:06 PM

        @louhudson23 and @shawndc04 nothanksimdriving123 is correct, the colorized photo and the black & white sequence were taken from different angles. The colorized photo was taken from near home plate and the black & white sequence was taken from somewhere along the 3rd base line. If you take a look at the colorized photo, there is a guy in a white shirt directly above the man to the right of “tie guy.” He also shows up in the black & white sequence, but is directly above “tie guy” due to the angle of the shot. The view of the aisle is blocked by the wall from that angle, and the guy to the right of “tie guy” is cropped out of the frames.

      • phillyphannn83 - Feb 20, 2013 at 4:34 PM

        I meant to respond to this around 12 noon and you guys beat me to it. The angle of the shot is definitely what makes it appear that there is some photoshopping going on. Even if you doubt it, consider this…for what reason could someone possibly have for removing people from on the steps? There is none, which is why it didnt happen. Its an illusion…as youve all beaten me that point. *shucks*

      • nothanksimdriving123 - Feb 20, 2013 at 10:00 PM

        In the video, do note the empty aisle/steps reappearing above the screen which otherwise blocks our view of it.

      • badintent - Feb 21, 2013 at 12:34 AM

        You’re right. Now we know who really shot Kennedy from the grassy knoll.Good work !!

  7. stlouis1baseball - Feb 20, 2013 at 11:20 AM

    That is the coolest picture I have seen in a looong time.

  8. shawndc04 - Feb 20, 2013 at 12:09 PM

    Looking up the images I have not been able to find a color photo of the catch. I suspect that the image is colorized, but it is beautiful work. The temperature that day was 76 degrees, and although I thought it was overcast that afternoon (it was overcast thte next day), the shadows indicate that the sun was out.

  9. Gobias Industries - Feb 20, 2013 at 12:14 PM

    Willie Mays is black?!?

  10. sabatimus - Feb 20, 2013 at 12:31 PM

    I was afraid this might be colorized, and it was. But it’s the best colorization I’ve ever seen, even if I am a purist who generally dislikes colorizations.

    • nothanksimdriving123 - Feb 20, 2013 at 2:41 PM

      I won’t down-thumb your comment as it is your personal view, but your use of “purist” strikes me as ironic since, obviously, the original, pure scene the people there saw was of course in vivid color. It was only the use of less expensive b/w film that preserved our distorted memory of the scene as not being colorful.

  11. billgatesbarber - Feb 20, 2013 at 12:32 PM

    Nothing like a 440ft. out!

    • The Dangerous Mabry - Feb 20, 2013 at 12:35 PM

      There are a lot of people out there who will tell you that smaller ballparks have no impact on league-wide home run rates. I think we’ll just call this one “Exhibit A”.

      • louhudson23 - Feb 20, 2013 at 1:18 PM

        Of course smaller parks have an effect on HR production,as did a distorted strike zone, hard baseballs and player’s year round conditioning.. But those small parks are still with us,balls are clearly still harder than they were in the sixties and seventies when they could roll the cover and players still work out all year….but the freakish HR totals are gone ,pitching and defense matter again….testing has had an effect and HGH is clearly not as effective as steroids were at turning the game into HR Derby….

  12. schlom - Feb 20, 2013 at 1:19 PM

    There’s a good book about this whole game:

  13. hojo20 - Feb 20, 2013 at 1:46 PM

    I wish the World Series was played in daylight.

    • mybrunoblog - Feb 20, 2013 at 6:15 PM

      Agreed. I’d love MLB to try a WS day game or even start a game at 7pm EST.

  14. bigdicktater - Feb 21, 2013 at 5:51 PM

    Everyone know that “The Catch” was just the first out on that play?
    Willie’s throw from deep, deep center doubled off the runner at second base.

  15. Fleur the Kiwi - Jun 18, 2013 at 10:23 PM

    How long does it take to color an image like this? All the clothing …

  16. jturney2014 - Oct 31, 2014 at 9:18 PM

    It does not take long. Maybe 40 minutes.

    John Turney

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