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A Brief History of MLBers Throwing Their Gloves with the Ball Inside

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Fun moment last night in Toronto, as Blue Jays first baseman Vlad Guerrero Jr., who’s the reigning American League Gold Glover at his position, fielded a grounder, got the ball stuck in his webbing, and completed the play by tossing his entire glove to the pitcher covering first.

Guerrero is the sixth player I’m aware of to secure an out in this manner. Here are the other five:

Sept. 3, 1986: Giants pitcher Terry Mulholland fields a grounder, tosses his glove to get the out at first:

June 5, 1999: Yankees pitcher Orlando “El Duque” Hernandez fields a grounder, tosses his glove — overhand! — to get the out at first (I was watching on TV when this one happened and was pretty stunned):

May 3, 2014: White Sox first baseman Jose Abreu fields a grounder, tosses his glove to get the out at first:

April 19, 2015: Cubs pitcher Jon Lester fields a grounder, tosses his glove to get the out at first:

July 16, 2017: White Sox pitcher Derek Holland fields a grounder behind his back, tosses his glove to get the out at first:


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Are there other examples of players throwing their gloves with the ball stuck inside? If you know of any, please post them in the comments. (Let’s not include players throwing their glove at a batted ball, as that’s a separate category. Thanks!)



ITEM! A Deep Dive on the Creamsicles

As you probably know, the Buccaneers are finally reviving their creamsicle throwback uniforms this fall. You may also think you know everything you need to know about this uni set, but do you really? For this week’s Premium article over on Substack, I’ve done a deep dive on the creamsicles (similar to the treatment I gave the Broncos’ 1997 set a few weeks ago), and I even learned something new myself along the way!

You can read the first part of the article here. In order to read the entire thing, you’ll need to become a paying subscriber to my Substack (which will also give you full access to my Substack/Bulletin archives). My thanks, as always, for your consideration.



Mascot Update

Thanks to everyone who sent kind thoughts yesterday about Uni Watch girl mascot Caitlin. Yesterday’s visit to the vet didn’t really resolve anything, but at least I learned that she’s not right at death’s door, which I had feared. She’s definitely not well, though, and I’m pretty sure she’s not very happy or comfortable. We’re trying some new meds, so that may help. If not, I may soon have some hard decisions to make. Here’s hoping it doesn’t come to that, at least not for a while.



Can of the Day (with a uni connection!)

As soon as I saw this can, I thought, “That ‘P’ looks like the old Phillies logo!” Too bad the can is red instead of maroon.

Comments (41)

    I was at the Stadium for the El Duque one. I didn’t realize how far he threw it. Boy he was athletic, wasn’t he?

    Paul, assuming the Mulholland was the first to do the glove-toss, are you aware of any discussion at that time about whether that was a legal play? MLB has so many strange and arcane rules that I have to imagine someone must have challenged it.

    It’s sort of like the hat-catch, which I believe is not a valid out (though I may be mistaken).

    I am not aware of any such discussion. I’d also be willing to bet that Mulhalland was not the first player to do this!

    It happened at a (much) lower level in 1940, and “national baseball authority” John B. Foster ruled that a thrown ball-in-glove would NOT lead to an out. link

    The official rules of the game define a catch in very detailed terms, and specifically exclude catching with a hat or with a thrown glove. Whereas the rules for tagging either a runner or a base are vague and broad. So a catch must be made with a bare hand or a gloved hand, but a tag can be made by any method of possessing the ball.

    Nothing prior to 1986? I’m guessing it just wasn’t documented as well before that, but it makes me curious. Do you think oversized gloves contribute to this issue? Hard to imagine players in the 1930s having as much trouble getting a ball out of the smaller gloves they wore. (Okay, I also really like the way the smaller gloves look, so I’m desperate to find a reason for their return)

    In re: ” Do you think oversized gloves contribute to this issue?”
    This is the matter in a nutshell. The onset of gloves the size of a bushel basket in the ’80’s created this “problem.”

    I think one of the contributors to balls getting stuck in gloves is the style of webbing in the pocket. I’m thinking particularly of the open-grid, or “lattice” style webbing (I’m sure there is a proper name for this, but I don’t know what it is). It seems like it would be easier for a ball to get stuck between the pieces of latticework, than in a glove where the webbing between the thumb and forefinger is a solid piece of leather. I feel like the open-lattice style of webbing started becoming popular in the 1980s (which is possibly why Terry Mulholland is the first documented occurrence of throwing the glove and the ball). Was it being used even before that?

    ” I’m thinking particularly of the open-grid, or “lattice” style webbing (I’m sure there is a proper name for this, but I don’t know what it is).”

    “Here at Uni-Watch, we have a broad array of contributors who will find that name or get right on that omission and create one.”

    Yours is a good starting point.

    I use that style of glove, usually called an H-web or I-web. It is versatile and can be use on the infield and in the outfield. As an infielder, I find it takes the spin off the ball so it does not spin out of the glove. As an outfielder, if I look through it, I can avoid losing site of the ball that can be blocked by a closed web. Graig Nettles was using it in the 70s and he was pretty good. Not sure of earlier uses.


    I believe the Wilson first baseman’s mitt Vlad is using has a web style referred to as a “single post” web, which especially as it loosens up, does lend itself to balls getting stuck in a gap in the webbing. According to, this is a common webbing style for first basemen.

    Much love to Caitlin.. You’re not alone in the decisions making process. A 17 year old calico has had us thinking waaaaaaay too much about it. When your heart is in the right place it’s always about the pet.

    Throwing a glove at the ball (assuming it makes contact) results in a triple for the batter, yes?

    I, too, saw the El Duque play on TV!

    Thanks for the Caitlin update. Hang in there buddy. Let’s hope the new meds work!

    How would that be scored, as an error? And does it technically count toward hitting for the cycle?

    That’s a great question. Not sure how it would be scored. Guessing a 3 base hit, since a ground rule double is scored as a double, so why wouldn’t a 3 base award be the same?

    Rule 9.06(e) When a batter-runner is awarded two bases, three bases or a home run under the provisions of Rules 5.06(b)(4) or 6.01(h), the Official Scorer shall credit the batter-runner with a two-base hit, a three-base hit or a home run, as the case may be.

    “Throwing a glove at the ball (assuming it makes contact) results in a triple for the batter, yes?”

    Whaaat?? I never knew this was such a thing in major-league baseball, at the local ball diamond sure why not, but in the pros? Huh..

    El Duque looking sharp with the high socks and sleeves.

    That was a pretty good call by Joe Buck too.

    They’re just showing a little glove, much like Paul is doing for Caitlin (good to hear that news was not necessarily bad).

    Just noting for posterity’s sake that last night’s was the first instance of it I’ve “consumed” live. This is bike-riding season for me and I was out on a 15-mile jaunt listening to the Brewers’ broadcast via At Bat when this happened. I think it was Lane Grindle who had the call and he handled it with aplomb such that it was immediately clear what happened. The only thing I noted is he didn’t make reference to any of the past occurrences, though, only saying he’d never seen that before.

    Two others who threw their gloves with the ball inside for outs:

    June 25, 2004: Paul Byrd, Braves – no video, but article here – link

    March 12, 2015 (spring training): Mike Pelfrey, Twins – link

    The runner beat the throw, but Arizona State pitcher Ken Hansen tried to do this in the 1969 College World Series. link

    I think it should also be noted that this play was featured in the 1994 classic “Angels in the Outfield”. The second baseman threw his glove while turning a double play.

    Good vibes sent for Caitlin! I have a cat named Chuck Biscuits who is 19.5 years old, decisions being mulled constantly at my house…

    I can’t get beyond “Chuck Biscuits”. Great name. I’m now throwing a new name in the ring for my next bulldog.

    Hope nothing but the best for Caitlin. When it gets to that point with your fur buddy, it just is awful. Hope the new meds make her comfy and happy.

    Glad things didn’t turn out as you feared and that Caitlin is back at home with you, Paul. Hoping she has some good years left.

    Whoops, this got attached to the wrong comment – it should have been a reply to Weekend’s “Chuck Biscuits,” above.

    I once played with a guy who routinely threw his glove at an overhead ball he could not reach as a pitcher. The refs on our (very low) level always ruled it a catch and an out. Nobody complained, save for our center fielder who wanted to make the catch himself. It was against the rules what our pitcher did, we already knew it back then. But it was fun to watch, always. Also the angry center fielder, that was a bonus. All angriness was forgotten after the game, ofcourse.

    Vladdy has had some glove issues the last couple of years. Last year he had two (!!) go through the webbing. Maybe he upgraded his glove a little too much?



    I’m glad Caitlin’s appointment went okay. I was at the Mulholland game at Shea as a six-year-old and it was the most incredible thing I had ever seen at that point.

    The call on the Mulholland play is the best. In those rare moments of squealing spontaneity, it makes you realize how intentionally broadcasters pitch their voice to a specific timbre.

    Wishing you and Caitlin the best. Also, couldn’t help but notice the Drunk Cats print hanging behind you. I forget how I originally came across them, but I’ve given them as gifts and have one at my place too. They’re always a hit!

    Vlad and Abreu threw their mitts, not gloves.
    There’s a major structural difference between a glove and a mitt: gloves have individual fingers, while mitts do not. Catchers and first basemen wear mitts, and those are the only positions that are allowed to do so. I’ve seen first basemen switch positions and continue to use a mitt (I remember Kevin Millar doing this in left field) but it is technically against the rules.

    Good point. Similarly, I feel like I’ve also heard of situations where first basemen have changed positions, tried to keep their mitt on, and have been told by an umpire that they had to change. I believe there have even been situations where someone had to go back to the clubhouse to get them a regular fielder’s glove, because it was still in their locker and not in the dugout.

    Anyone who…wait for it…”Gets it” with pets, knows we all love these animals and want to best by them.

    Please ensure you get a paw print (if you haven’t gotten one yet) so she can…oh this is bad…”make her mark” (maker’s mark…c’mon….)

    When I was doing some drywall work at my old house, after I got done for the night, I left the ladder too close to the wall, and woke up to find the cat’s paw prints all thru a patch of drywall mud (now dry) about 6 feet off the floor!!! I made sure to get a picture before I sanded it and fixed it up.

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