MLB's 15 Home Run-Robbing All-Stars (With Video)

Jim MancariCorrespondent ISeptember 20, 2011

MLB's 15 Home Run-Robbing All-Stars (With Video)

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    Seeing an outfielder reach over the wall to pull back a home run is arguably the most exciting aspect of the game of baseball.

    Over the years, a handful of outfielders have turned robbing home runs into an art form.

    Here are 15 home run-robbing All-Stars from the past two decades, complete with video highlights.

     

    Side Note: Clips of some of these players robbing home runs were unavailable. If you happen to find one, please post it in the comments section, and I will update the clips as necessary.

Honorable Mention

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    This catch is just sick and is a great way to start off the slideshow.

15. Vernon Wells

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    Though he’s been relegated to playing left field with the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim, Vernon Wells could track down anything while playing center field for the Toronto Blue Jays.

    He was sometimes overlooked since he played in Toronto, but Wells rightfully deserves his place on this list for his home run-robbing ability.

14. Devon White

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    The best part about taking back a home run is when it’s done in a clutch situation.

    There aren’t many more clutch home run robs than Devon White’s catch in the 1992 World Series—that actually would have led to a triple play if the umpire made the correct call on the third out.

    White played in the shadows of some other players on this list, but he took his share of Gold Gloves for his ability to leap over the wall.

13. Curtis Granderson

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    "The Grandy Man Can!"

    Not only can Curtis Granderson hit 40 home runs in a season, but he's also good for robbing a few as well.

    His tremendous speed allows him to get back to the wall quickly and position himself for a leaping grab.

12. Steve Finley

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    Steve Finley was notorious for taking away home runs.

    In this clip, it was his hitting of a walk-off home run that sent the Dodgers to the 2004 playoffs.

    Unfortunately, Finley might be better known for a home run he could not bring back—a division series-winning blast off the bat of backup New York Mets catcher Todd Pratt in 1999 that just barely eluded Finley’s outstretched glove.

11. Bo Jackson

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    Bo Jackson is easily one of the most athletic superstars in the history of sports.

    His speed came in handy when he played football, but also while playing baseball.

    Jackson's "run through the walls" mentality allowed him to make unthinkable catches look routine.

10. Gary Matthews, Jr.

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    Unlike some other members of this list, Gary Matthews, Jr. doesn’t exactly come to mind as a home run robber.

    However, with just one catch, he deserves a spot on this list.

    Matthews sprinted straight back on a ball hit by Mike Lamb of the Houston Astros and propelled himself up the wall to make virtually a no-look catch.

    Simply amazing.

    (No. 2 in this video.)

9. Mike Cameron

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    Mike Cameron has been Mr. Consistency with his glove for his entire career. His range and instincts cause him to be a vacuum at any of the outfield positions.

    While Cameron's age is catching up to him, there was a time that no ball would fall if hit in his vicinity—including home runs.

8. Grady Sizemore

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    If only Grady Sizemore never got hurt…

    Even so, Sizemore is still adept at bringing down would-be home runs.

    He thrives off his reckless abandon in the outfield—which has also been a factor in his injury history.

7. Andruw Jones

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    It seems like Andruw Jones has been playing this game forever.

    Jones broke into the league at age 19, and even from his early days, he really could "go get 'em" in center field. He eventually racked up 10 consecutive Gold Glove awards, mainly due to his prowess for robbing home runs.

6. Carlos Beltran

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    Throughout his career, Carlos Beltran always played deep center field.

    While bloop singles would often fall in front of him, playing deep allowed him to get to the wall fast to pull back home runs.

    (I guess he figured he would sacrifice a single for a chance to save a run.)

    Though knee problems have limited his range in his later years, Beltran will always be remembered as a terrific defensive player.

5. Kenny Lofton

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    Before Grady Sizemore arrived in Cleveland, it was Kenny Lofton making the acrobatic catches.

    Lofton's game relied on three tools: speed, speed and more speed.

    He was a great athlete who could save runs just as easily as he created them.

4. Ichiro

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    There is little, if anything, that Ichiro cannot do on a baseball field.

    It's easy to confuse him for Spiderman since Ichiro's always scaling the outfield wall to haul in outs.

    He could have his own highlight reel featuring all the home run-robbing catches he's made in both Japan and America.

3. Jim Edmonds

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    If a ball was hit to center field with two outs in the mid-to-late 1990s against the Angels, the pitcher could start heading for the dugout because Jim Edmonds was going to catch it.

    Edmonds had a knack for seeing the ball so well off the bat and reacting accordingly.

    Though his best catch might have been his full-extension, over-the-shoulder dive, he turned in many great over-the-wall catches.

2. Torii Hunter

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    Torii Hunter burst onto the scene for the Minnesota Twins in 1999. He tracked down everything in center field despite not being able to brace himself against the "garbage bag" wall.

    Hunter famously robbed Barry Bonds of a home run in the 2002 All-Star Game—the one that ended in a tie.

    He's still doing his thing as the right fielder for the Angels.

1. Ken Griffey, Jr.

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    Of all the home run-robbing All-Stars, Ken Griffey, Jr. takes the cake.

    Griffey was as renowned for his defensive skills as he was for his potent bat. Even with the injuries, he will go down as one of the greatest all-around players to have ever played the game.

    It was a privilege to watch Griffey roam the outfield, and I can't wait to see the highlight reels again once Cooperstown comes calling in a few years.