Still Unbelievable

I hardly got any sleep last night. I went home after the game still trying to really absorb what happened.

A perfect game from Matt Cain. The most unbelievable thing I’ve ever seen.

And I keep thinking how incredibly grateful I am to have made the catch that kept the perfect game going.

I watched the replay a dozen times when I got to the apartment I’m renting a few blocks from the park. My wife and almost-two-year-old son were waiting up for me. She was upset she didn’t come to the game, but I told her it was OK because it was so loud and the baby probably would not have been happy. She told me that when I was being interviewed on TV, the baby just stared at the screen like, “That’s my dad!’’

When I watched the replay, all I could think was, “I can’t believe you really did that. That’s crazy.’’

What I liked most was the feeling it created in the ballpark. Everyone just went crazy. And I think at that moment Matt knew he was going to do it. It was like he got more confident as the crowd got louder.

When he tipped his cap to me, well, that’s the greatest compliment a fielder can get because he knows you’re there for him. That’s what a team is about.

In the dugout, everyone went nuts. They’re asking me, “How’d you make that? That was the greatest catch I’ve ever seen in my life.’’ There were two really great moments. Bruce Bochy came up to me and said, “In all my years, I’ve never seen a play like that, man. That was great.’’ And he gave me a hug.

Then Matt came up to me and said, “What are you doing playing there? How’d you make that?’’

“I’m there for you, man’’ I said. “I did it for you.’’

I was playing a few feet closer to the gap than usual. Ron Wotus, our bench coach, talked to me before the first game of the series on Tuesday about how we’d position ourselves for different hitters. He said Jordan Schafer is a gap hitter. So when Matty went 3-2 on him, I knew he’d have to throw Schafer a pitch he could hit and let the defense take care of it.

In a situation like that, all I’m thinking is, “Hit it to me.’’

All of us knew what was at stake, of course. You try not to look at the scoreboard. You try not to think too much about it. But you have a bit more intensity. You’re focusing more.

As soon as the ball came off the bat, I was running. I got a great jump. Then I just ran as hard as I could. I saw the ball coming closer. I kept running. Then I threw myself at it. When I popped back up with the ball in my glove, I think the umpire didn’t believe it because it took a few seconds before he called the out.

In the ninth inning, I saw Melky in left field waving his arms for the fans to get on their feet. So I did the same thing in right field. We all wanted to do whatever we could to send Matty all the support we could.

Then Arias threw it to Belt and the game was over. We all just leaped on Matty. It was the best feeling. Matt so deserves it for everything he’s done for this team. We were so happy for him.

I believe in fate. I was thinking about all the factors that had to come together for me to have been at that spot at that moment. So many great things have happened to me since I joined the Giants, so actually I was expecting to have a moment like that. I really was. There was something about this team that I felt in the clubhouse during spring training. Just how everyone gets along. I felt like there was something special going on. And I felt like there was some reason I had landed with this team for this season.

And now I have the highest honor a player can ever have: to play a key role in the greatest single game in a team’s history.

I’m still sorting through all my text messages, mostly from friends and family in Venezuela. For some reason, the sports channel in Venezuela was playing the game, so my family stayed up really, really late to watch. (They’re three hours later than the West Coast.) They were all so happy for me.

I think I’ll go the Murph, our great clubhouse manager, to see if there’s a ball or something from the game I could have. Wouldn’t it be great to have the actual ball I caught? And get Matt to sign it?

That would be something special to pass down to my son.

82 Comments

Perro no se cuando llegues a ver este mensaje ni si sera importante o no. pero tengo que decirte que son las 4.30 AM y había visto este mensaje a medias hacia unos meses y no lo pude terminar de leer :S lo volví a buscar y me decidí a escribirte. yo fui uno de los que pude vi el juego ese día en vivo en meridiano casualmente haha y te digo q de V A I N A no voltee la casa por la venta cuando vi esa jugada justo un inning después q la de melki, cargo el vídeo conmigo en mi celular recordándome lo grande de ese día y del béisbol y me alegro que como venezolano hayas podido formar parte de ese momento tan grande en la historia! NO tengo toda la vida siendo fanático de béisbol ni sabre de toda la historia pero creo q te haz ganado un buen lugar en ella. y como fan de los GIANTS me alegra que seas parte de ese equipo y que te la estes pasando bien =) éxito en tu familia y en tu carrera que espero que continué con los Giants,
postdata (como los gringos ) : si Alguna ves vienes a jugar algún partido a Puerto Ordaz (EDO BOLÍVAR) no me caería mal tener una pelota autografiada x ti seria un buen recuerdo para cuando tenga mis hijos también jeje cuídate hermanito

Gregor – that catch was absolutely amazing. You should be extremely proud to have made it. Before Matt Cain’s perfect game, “The Catch” meant only one thing to Giants fans – Willie Mays’ catch. Now, the term “The Catch” is ambiguous because your catch will also always be referred to by Giants fans as “The Catch.” Mays’ catch was amazing, but I think yours might have been more impressive. I was watching it from Section 104 that night, and it took my breath away. Way to go Gregor!

Muchisimas Gracias, Gregor, for one of the greatest catches in major league history in Matt Cain’s perfect game! Wish I could have been at that game. You have been truly awesome as the lead-off batter and outfielder! Love reading your posts. As a long-time Giants fan, yo quiero decir que you, Melky, and Angel have been one of the greatest outfields we have had. Le amamos Gregor Blanco, Melky Cabrera, y Angel Pagan! Wish you all continued success, and hope you all have a long career with the S.F. Giants. Viva Gigantes!!

Gregor I will be coming to the game next wednesday when you and the team play the dodgers . Matt did a great job of pitching that night.

Hola Gregor!! So glad that you are a SF Giant :) Happy Father’s Day and I hope that you are back on the playing field soon!

You are an amazing player! Gregor, Gigante para siempre!

Gregor, what an unbelievable play!!! I’m so glad you’re a GIANT. I was just telling my girlfriend yesterday that you, Melky and Angel, are like a team within a team out there…WE LOVE YOU GUYS! Happy Father’s Day and I sure hope you do get that ball somehow! :-)

Dear Gregor, There would not have been a Perfect Game without your Perfect Catch. I don’t think I will ever get tired of replaying that moment because every time I watch it, I am reliving history and crying GIANT TEARS OF GIANT JOY! We are so blessed to have you on our side, Gregor Blanco, and I know you will continue to captivate all your fans with your spirit and your dedication to the team. Thank you!

Tiburon you fit this team perfectly . We’re one of the few teams that require two CF’s. So many of us Gigantes fans have been dying for speed in the outfield and even more on the bases . Hope you are a Giant the rest of your career , playing with such passion.

I saw it leave the bat and I said “OH NO, TRIPLE!” They are always triples when they’re hit there. Then I saw you tearing after it – perfect route – and I thought “where the hell did he come from?”. Then you launched. Could not believe you caught up to it and came up with it. When I didn’t see the ball bounce and you stuck your glove up, I went crazy screaming – EVERYBODY was. After a few seconds though I knew I had to stop because Matt still had to get guys out that inning, and I had to back off so he could calm down and focus. That was the insane defensive play the nohitter needed (Melky made a really good catch earlier also).

I had my friend take a picture of the divot you made in the warning track. I was at the Jonathan Sanchez nohitter too, and the indelible image I took from that was Aaron Rowand hitting the wall and the divot he put in it catchig the ball for the second out in the 9th. You put the same divot in the dirt. They should leave it there the rest of the year. Your catch was definitely top two alltime I’ve ever seen, and it might just be #1. I still don’t know how you caught it. God gave you wings.

My nickname for you is now “Divot” in honor of your dive and slide.

Your son and lots of other kids have a great role model! Thoughtful and talented, congratulations to you on your part in Giants’ history. Hope the rest of the season is great.

Atta boy viejo, you should soo be the starting CF on this team or any other! saludos desde Venezuela

You are a class act, Gregor. We’re thrilled to have you as our right fielder!

Eres grande Gregor!!! Veo y veo videos de ese juego y tu participacion en el fue pieza clave para ese juego perfecto, que ha quedado plasmado en la historia de los Gigantes y la MLB. Te sigo en Twitter y te he visto jugar no solo por la tele, si no que tambien en el parque y emites vibras positivas en donde quiera que te encuentres. Felicidades por el gran trabajo que haces para los SF Giants, todo en esta vida es causalidad y no casualidad, y hay una razon por la que tu estes con nosotros y ya la estamos presenciando; en nombre de toda una ciudad te doy las gracias por hacer que sucedan cosas magicas y unirnos en este mundo tan loco en el que vivimos, manteniendote siempre humilde y agraecido. Sigue adelante. Que Dios te bendiga y feliz dia del padre. GO GIANTS!!!!

That was the most amazing play I’ve ever seen, it was everything I could do to not wake up my children! I’m completely blown away that you were able to get there, and I love it that your focus was to get it done for Matty. You have cemented yourself in our hearts Gregor. We love our Giants and we love you. It feels like something magical is happening with this team! Go Giants!

I have been watching baseball for six decades and that was one of the handful of best outfield plays I have ever seen and that includes the Mays catch of 1954. Congrats on your catch. It will be replayed thousands of times. And it’s great to have you as a Giant.

That was the catch of the year! Absolutely insane Gregor. It was a pleasure watching you make that play and watching Matt pitch that absolute gem.

By the way, I’m the guy in the bleachers with the big sign of your face…

that catch is EPIC>>>> kuh ra zee . I screamed when u caught that ball ..UNREAL>>> You are the lead player we havent have for a long time….Thank You for saving the game and all the hard stuff u do …..
Thanks Bam Bam for bringing Gregor to our team. Love the “3 amigos” on the OF (Melky Pagan and Gregor)

great play, great call, great game.

Gregor, it has been an absolute pleasure watching you play, and that catch … wow! You left us all speechless! Thank you for all of your hard work and dedication and for being the wonderful White Shark that you are.

Gregor: I was very sad when the team traded away Andres Torres. But you have come in and shown that you are the same type of player. I’m very haap you are on the 2012 Giants team.

I still can’t believe you made that catch.

I am with Matt Cain, what were you doing there? How did you make that play? You must have covered 100 feet to make that catch. For what was on the line and the fact that as a RIGHT fielder you made a catch in CENTER field, that has to be one of the best catches in baseball history. Atta Babe!

hola gregor no tienes porque estar impresionado por esa jugada, todos sabemos que haces esa y muchas mas dificiles que esa. eres tremendo fildeador, y pa donde va grogor pa encima………

After reading your blog and all the comments there really isn’t much I can say that hasn’t been said. Welcome to the Land of the Giants. Together we truely are GIANT.

As one of the 42-plus thousand people in the ballpark when you made that catch, there was an electricity in the air I have never felt at any game I’ve attended. Like you said, we all knew at that moment, that Matt was going to pitch a perfect game and we all knew that you guys were all aboard and were doing your best to make it happen. Thanks for your part in an incredibly thrilling game. Two of our party were from Canada and this was their first baseball game. When we explained the siginificance of what you guys had accomplished, one of them became so overcome she began to weep.

Thank you for your insider perspective! That catch was amazing! My 7 year old son, Alberto ran around the backyard all day today trying to copy your catch and telling everyone to call him Blanco! Your hard work and amazing effort that you bring day in and day out make you a role model! Thanks Gregor!

Thank you, Gregor!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

What a wonderfully humble man you are, Gregor! Happy Father’s Day!

That was a great catch! You played GREAT! Im glad you decided to come to the SF GIANTS! Que viva mi gente latina!

I love your blog. I’ve had a few of the youth I work read it too so they can see that work ethic, confidence and determination is the key to success. I’m waiting got the fans to start sporting white shark hats in your honor!!!

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