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Mays Saves the Day

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Mays Saves the Day

The Polo Grounds in Upper Manhattan, New York City.

Game 1 of the 1954 World Series between the New York Giants and the Cleveland Indians. 

Top of the 8th inning with the score tied 2–2.

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The Polo Grounds in Upper Manhattan, New York City.

Game 1 of the 1954 World Series between the New York Giants and the Cleveland Indians. 

Top of the 8th inning with the score tied 2–2.

No outs. The Indians are threatening to break the deadlock with runners on first and second.

Cleveland Indians star hitter Vic Wertz smashes a ball to centerfield.

It would've been well out of most modern parks, but the Polo Grounds is sprawling, with the wall Wertz's hit was traveling towards more than 470 feet from home plate. 

Giants all-star centerfielder Willie Mays breaks into a dead sprint to outrace the batted ball, turning his back to home plate.

This photo was snapped just as he lunged to make the snag, completing what some call the greatest catch of all time. 

Jack Brickhouse, who was calling the game on television for NBC, delivered this summation. "Willie Mays just brought this crowd to its feet…with a catch…which must have been an optical illusion to a lot of people. Boy!"

The Giants went on to win the game and the series.

Photo Credit: Franky Hurley/New York Daily News Archive/Getty Images

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