MINNEAPOLIS — If ever there was a "you gotta be bleepin' me" catch, it was this.
The Chicago White Sox and Minnesota Twins played through hours of rain Tuesday night, things really picking up in the later innings. So the warning track was pretty well soaked and the sky was pretty well water by the time the bottom of the ninth rolled around.
But that didn't stop Billy Hamilton from unleashing what might be the catch of the year, going full Superman, complete with a splash landing, for an absolute jaw-dropper in center field.
And Jason Benetti's call said it all, as he channeled Hawk Harrelson and harkened back to Dewayne Wise's catch in Mark Buehrle's perfect game to comment on the weather conditions Hamilton had to fight for the highlight-reel grab.
"I thought he had no chance at that ball," White Sox catcher Zack Collins said. "That just goes to show how great a catch it was. The puddle at the end made it that much better."
How did Hamilton do it?
"I have no idea, to be honest with you," Hamilton said after the game. "It was one of those plays where you think you have a chance and you just want to go out there and do what you can to make that play.
"(Bullpen catcher Miguel González) came out of the bullpen to tell the outfielders that this track is not any good, so be careful on it. And I go out there and dive like I'm crazy.
"It's hard for me to pull up there and not try to make that catch, knowing the conditions and stuff. I'm just a guy that likes to go hard all the time. There's no condition that was going to stop me from diving to make that play."
The out-of-this-world snag capped an impressive showing for the White Sox, who once again bounced back from bad injury news for a victory. After hearing No. 1 catcher Yasmani Grandal would be out for the next four to six weeks before Tuesday's game, they gutted out a 4-1 win in which they had more runs than hits and pitched through the pouring rain.
"That's why they're inspiring. Hopefully they're inspiring the fans to fall in love with them," White Sox manager Tony La Russa said. "Because these guys just refuse to give in, refuse to give up. They give you their best shot. Quite often there's a win to show for it."
Hamilton's catch was emblematic of the contributions that bench players, substitutes and fill-ins have made all year in the face of an avalanche of injuries for this first-place White Sox team. Hamilton's catch might not have been a game-saver, in the traditional sense, but it's as good a visual as any when it comes to describing how these White Sox have kept their World Series hopes alive.
"It's something that's always good to see when you've got your guys that have your back and want to see you succeed," Hamilton said. "This team has been great all year with guys having each other's back and everything."