This Weird Fielding Play Happened in a College Game Last Weekend

The present author, in his ongoing pursuit of total obscurity, has passed much of the night composing another installment of his top-college posts which appear intermittently at FanGraphs.com. That, in itself, is almost certainly of little interest to the reader.

Perhaps of greater interest, though, is the video embedded here. While attempting to gather intelligence on probably talented and certainly draft-eligible Arizona center fielder Jared Oliva, I accidentally encountered footage of a strange baseball play/absurdist happening from this past Sunday in Pullman, Washington.

So far as I can tell, the principal characters in this avant-garde production are Arizona’s Cal Stevenson (batting) and Washington State first baseman James Rudkin. With one out and two on in the top of the ninth, Stevenson elects to perform a safety squeeze. He fulfills his duties admirably, laying down a deft bunt to the right side of the infield. Rudkin, recognizing the challenges that lay ahead of him, senses the need for improvisation. Rather than fielding the ball and throwing it to his catcher in the conventional manner, he instead uses his glove to forcefully roll the ball in the direction of home plate. The result? An improbable second out of the inning.

Rudkin’s play ultimately didn’t make a difference: Washington State lost by a score of 5-6. Is this the point, though? A brief examination of things suggests that, no, this isn’t the point. The mental acuity exhibited by a member of our own, typically helpless species: this appears to be the point. Or, if not that, then it’s certainly closer to the point.





Carson Cistulli has published a book of aphorisms called Spirited Ejaculations of a New Enthusiast.

10 Comments
Oldest
Newest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Daniel Kingmember
5 years ago

I think he might have been safe too!

Daniel Kingmember
5 years ago
Reply to  Daniel King

Also #keepnotgraphs