Kiermaier returns to site of spectacular catch

Rays outfielder robbed Machado last season on Aug. 31

Kiermaier returns to site of spectacular catch

BALTIMORE -- Kevin Kiermaier remembered "the catch" well when asked about it prior to the Rays' game on Friday night at Camden Yards.

Flash back to Aug. 31: Chris Archer faced Manny Machado, who led off the bottom of the first for the Orioles and drove a ball deep to center field.

Kiermaier charged for the wall, leaped -- getting his arm high above the wall -- and snared what would have been Machado's 27th home run of the season.

The play made all the highlight reels and went viral on the Internet.

"It was one of those things where you get excited as a player, because you know you're getting close to the wall," Kiermaier said. "Thankfully, I timed my jump perfectly right there and made the catch. Looking back, I remember I couldn't feel the warning track very well with my feet right there. So I just hoped for the best.

"It ended up looking great by video standards. But, for me, I know there was a lot of skill, but some luck went with it as well. It was just a perfectly placed ball for me to make a catch like that, and I'm just happy I made it."

Kiermaier wins first Gold Glove

Kiermaier allowed that the catch likely contributed to him winning Gold and Platinum Gloves after the season.

"I think it had a small part of it," Kiermaier said. "But I'd like to think a lot of other things I did during the season did, too, influenced the coaches and the managers and Sabermetrics stuff along the way. But definitely, I think that had a part in it."

Rays manager Kevin Cash said everybody's reaction to the catch was "disbelief of what took place."

"It shocked everybody," Cash said.

Kiermaier said the catch is "going to have a spot in my heart forever."

"Feels like yesterday we were standing around here talking about it before the game, after the game," Kiermaier said. "Hopefully I'll provide more catches like that for many years to come."

Bill Chastain is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.