Shawn O'Malley discusses his highlight reel catch where he leaped into the stands to make a big catch in the Mariners 7-5 win over the Yankees.
Shawn O’Malley was inserted in the game in right field as a defensive replacement in the top of the seventh inning for Seth Smith. With one out, he made one of the best defensive plays of his career and a certainty to be on Mariners’ highlight reels for years to come.
Chase Headley lofted a pop fly near the stands in right field. O’Malley sprinted toward the wall and never hesitated, leaping over the short wall into the stands where multiple fans were vying for a souvenir. He somehow came down with the ball for the out and managed not to get hurt.
“I was staring at the ball the whole way,” he said. “I just kind of took a chance, man. You never know if you are going to catch it until you try. It was just a last-minute instinct decision to give it a little extra and jump into the stands and see if I could come back with it. Fortunately, it wound up in my glove.”
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It all worked out so well like he knew exactly what he was doing.
“It’s not like I planned it or had a game plan for going into the stands,” he said. “But fortunately I got up with no bumps or bruises and I’m happy we got the out.”
An infielder for most of his career, O’Malley has started playing outfield in the past few years as part of way to get on the field as a utility player. He looked like a veteran outfielder on the play.
“I think everybody thinks about plays like that. you think about what it would be like to rob a home run or jump into the stands to make a great catch,” he said. “You don’t really thinking about the consequences after doing it – what you are going to hit or who you are going to hit. fortunately, tonight I didn’t hit anybody. I feel like I got let down nice and soft. That was great and I did so with the ball in my glove, which was awesome.”
One fan – a man in a black coat – was probably his biggest obstacle to overcome.
“I think I saw somebody right there next to me,” he said. “But It’s such a blur. I know there were a lot of people standing up. I remember seeing an arm and I just tried to get my glove in front of it as quick as I could. Fortunately I was able to do that.”
And he didn’t have anything spilled on him in the process.
“I don’t think so,” he said. “I don’t smell any beer on me. That’s good, but I should have seen if somebody had a hot dog.”
Manager Scott Servais – a diehard football fan – called O’Malley and Guillermo Heredia, who entered the game at the same time as a replacement in left field, his “hands team.”
“In talking about it earlier today, when we have a lead in the seventh, eighth, ninth inning and depending where we are at in our lineup, to go ahead run our ‘hands team’ out there.”