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Yoenis Cespedes made perhaps the best throw you will ever see in your life

Jun 11, 2014, 8:10 AM EDT

source: AP

I’ve been watching baseball for around 35 years. I’ve been watching it closely and obsessively for most of that time. Given our prejudices which favor recency over memory, I’m willing to admit that, perhaps, I have seen a throw better than Yoenis Cespedes‘ throw in last night’s A’s-Angels game. But if I have, I simply can’t think of one.

Eighth inning, Howie Kendrick on first base. Mike Trout doubles to left field. Cespedes goes to retrieve it but he misplays it, it kicks off his glove and rolls to the wall going down the left field line. Kendrick is on his horse, rounds third and heads for home. Then:

That’s probably 300 feet on the fly, in high arc but coming straight down into Derek Norris‘ glove. The umps reviewed. Officially to see if the tag was made and/or the plate blocked. Unofficially: because the video guys in New York just wanted to see the throw again. I assume, anyway.

Someone will find some old video of a Vlad Guerrero or a Dave Parker or a Bo Jackson throw today that they will claim featured a better throw than the one Cespedes uncorked. And, as these things go, beauty is in the eye of the beholder. It’ll take some pretty impressive old video, however, to get me to say this one wasn’t the best.

  1. tmohr - Jun 11, 2014 at 10:32 AM

    Roberto Clemente made the same throw, but in the ninth inning of a World Series game.

    • moogro - Jun 11, 2014 at 11:49 AM

      I love that he has to turn to his right and then throw. Sick.

  2. rmgruber - Jun 11, 2014 at 10:52 AM

    Not as far a throw, but the technique and speed… laser.

    • peymax1693 - Jun 11, 2014 at 10:56 AM

      If you watch a clip of Ichiro’s throws when he played in Japan you will be amazed because not only does he display an absolute cannon, but he manages to throw through the cut-off man on a lot of them, like all of us outfielders were taught.

    • jtpercell - Jun 11, 2014 at 11:11 AM

      Obligatory:

      • moogro - Jun 11, 2014 at 11:52 AM

        I could watch that all day.

    • asimonetti88 - Jun 11, 2014 at 11:15 AM

      I remember this throw so well. I was living in Seattle at the time, Ichiro was a rookie (I believe) and the Mariners were rolling in their SoDo Mojo days. I was watching at home and this throw literally got me to jump out of my seat. In his early MLB career, I think you’d be hard pressed to find a more exciting player than Ichiro (maybe even ever). He was must-watch entertainment every time he came up to bat or had a ball hit his way. Even as an Angels fan it was hard to not appreciate how amazing of a player he was.

      • APBA Guy - Jun 11, 2014 at 11:35 AM

        Agree completely. I’d head to the Mausoleum for every Seattle/A’s afternoon game to see Ichiro. Absolutely could not take your eyes off the guy. Fabulous player. Did so much to help the team.

    • daveitsgood - Jun 11, 2014 at 12:34 PM

      My buddy and I had season tix for the A’s that season and were sitting behind home plate for that game. We saw that throw and just went “DAAAAMMMNN” and no more words were said.

  3. peymax1693 - Jun 11, 2014 at 10:52 AM

    That was a great throw by Cespedes, but I remember 2 others throws that were more impressive (at least based upon my sometimes faulty memory).

    One was Jesse Barfield, when he was a Yankee, throwing out Chili Davis trying to tag from second to third on a fly ball deep to right center. Barfield was by the warning track in the Metrodome and threw an absolute laser to third. IIRC, it’s trajectory was much lower then Cespedes’.

    The other throw that stands out for me was Mark Whitten, who was playing fairly deep in right field, throwing out Ron Gant at the plate when he tried to score from second on a base hit. I couldn’t find the video, but I would swear the ball was never more than 10 feet in the air the entire time.

    • mikhelb - Jun 11, 2014 at 12:57 PM

      Barfield had one of the best throws i have seen.

  4. jbeagles23 - Jun 11, 2014 at 10:53 AM

    That was ridiculous.

  5. sabathiawouldbegoodattheeighthtoo - Jun 11, 2014 at 11:08 AM

    Maybe they don’t have cutoff men in Cuba.

  6. campcouch - Jun 11, 2014 at 11:30 AM

    the look on the guy’s face behind him is priceless. Oh-Noooo….

    • moogro - Jun 11, 2014 at 11:55 AM

      The guy in blue doing the Home Alone in the still photo? Awesome.

  7. nbjays - Jun 11, 2014 at 11:31 AM

    Here’s a nice compilation of patented Ichiro Laser Beams. None of these seems to have the least bit of arc on them.

    • spacenettle - Jun 11, 2014 at 2:47 PM

      “Don’t go on Ichiro.”

  8. The Cub Den - Jun 11, 2014 at 11:54 AM

    I’ll go out on a limb and state that Cespedes has the best arm in baseball. A truly gifted player! One of my favourites.

    –Mark
    http://mlblogscubden.wordpress.com/

  9. moogro - Jun 11, 2014 at 12:22 PM

    Oh this is so boring. Home run highlights are the best.

    /sarcasm

  10. savior72 - Jun 11, 2014 at 12:42 PM

    Rick Ankiel throw was better

  11. rmgruber - Jun 11, 2014 at 12:43 PM

    Ichiro… just wow. Watching his highlights was a reminder for me. That dude has a sniper rifle for an arm.

  12. mikhelb - Jun 11, 2014 at 1:03 PM

    the best… EVER?

    I still prefer that O’Neill throw in the all-star game to nail Fernando Viña at home plate all the way from left field in the 8th inning (Paulie was a Right Fielder but that day he played LF).

    And it was already mentioned Barfield’s throws from LF to 3B when he was playing for the Yankees.

  13. linhsiu - Jun 11, 2014 at 2:52 PM

    Great throw…

    As an Ichiro fan, I will give the “best” title to that perfect throw to third that was linked above…

  14. tgthree - Jun 11, 2014 at 3:10 PM

    • tgthree - Jun 11, 2014 at 3:10 PM

  15. jrob23 - Jun 11, 2014 at 10:33 PM

    It’s impressive but best ever? lol. I’ve thrown a ball the length of a football field before. There are probably 100 outfielders and 3/4 of the pitchers that can do that as well. As others have mentioned, Barfield, Dwight Evans, Ichiro, Bo and probably countless others have made better throw. Such hypebole but totally expected from CC

  16. brianc6234 - Jun 13, 2014 at 11:07 PM

    Way too much hype over this throw. Then the umpires messed up since the catcher completely blocked the plate which is now illegal.

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