Quite simply, it might have been the best catch of the 2013 MLB season.
With one out and a runner at first, Rangers left fielder David Murphy lifted a high pop fly that drifted toward the third-base seats.
However, Donaldson wasn't about to let the stands—or the tarp in his path—stop him from making an amazing play.
Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle had a close look at the play from the press box, and she was absolutely in awe of what she witnessed.
Josh Donaldson just made the hands down catch of the year in the major leagues.— Susan Slusser (@susanslusser) September 4, 2013
Donaldson leaped over the tarp for a foul ball outstretched for a backhand grab and fell down completely behind it, made catch. Insane.— Susan Slusser (@susanslusser) September 4, 2013
For emphasis, Donaldson held up the ball at the last moment, the rest of him completely hidden from view by the tarp. Outstanding.— Susan Slusser (@susanslusser) September 4, 2013
And no question, fans are on to something. It was definitely one of the top defensive plays of the season.
Josh Donaldson made the catch of the year tonight— Brett Pinar (@brett_pinar) September 4, 2013
Josh Donaldson made one of the greatest catches I've ever seen— Aaron Carstens (@AaronCarstens) September 4, 2013
The play made by Josh Donaldson tonight is easily the play of the year— Ryan Martinelli (@Ry23no) September 4, 2013
I am a Rangers fan but that catch by Josh Donaldson was amazing #SCtop10— VA Dog Hunter (@JKeating757) September 4, 2013
It's pretty clear how fans on Twitter feel about the play.
Donaldson has been terrific at the plate all season, hitting .292 with 19 home runs and 77 RBI. But he's also been stellar defensively, with FanGraphs ranking him sixth in the majors with an 8.1 UZR.
With Oakland in a tight battle with the Rangers for the AL West title, the players on both sides are treating every game like it's their last. There was definitely a playoff atmosphere in the air on Tuesday in Oakland.
But Donaldson's play was more than just playing for the chance to experience October baseball; he was willing to sacrifice his body to do what he could for his team.
I'll take nine Josh Donaldsons who have that kind of competitive fire.
Doug Mead is a featured columnist with Bleacher Report. His work has been featured in the Seattle Post-Intelligencer, SF Gate, CBS Sports, the Los Angeles Times and the Houston Chronicle.