Home Sports Endy Chavez has the most bittersweet play in Mets history

Endy Chavez has the most bittersweet play in Mets history

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Game 7 of the 2006 NLCS ended in misery for the Mets, but not before Endy Chavez came up with one of the best catches in team history.

The Mets and Cardinals were tied at 1-1 in the top of the sixth at Shea Stadium, when Oliver Perez walked Jim Edmonds with one out to bring up Scott Rolen.

Rolen then crushed the first pitch he saw from the left-hander to deep left field, where Chavez raced back to the wall, leaped and caught it with his arm extending well over the fence.

Chavez landed, looked at his glove and fired the ball to second baseman Jose Valentin, who fired to first, where Carlos Delgado completed the double play.

“As soon as I saw the ball hit to left field, I knew it was going to be by the fence, or it’s gone,” Chavez told The Post last year. “My reaction was to get to the fence as quickly as I can. The ball kind of beat me, and I thought, ‘Oh no, I can’t get to the fence faster than the baseball,’ so on my way to the fence I just tried to time it and make a jump so I can try to catch it.’’

It worked.

“I did everything to get to that point and put my glove out there on time, and the ball came in my glove,’’ Chavez said. “At that point, with the contact with the fence, and the contact with the ball and my glove, my glove almost fell off. I tried to grip it, but I thought I threw the ball in the air, and I thought, ‘At least it’s not a homer,’ and then I saw it in my glove, and I was like, ‘Well, it’s here.’ ”

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Endy Chavez makes a leaping catch in Game 7 of the 2006 NLCS
Endy Chavez makes a leaping catch in Game 7 of the 2006 NLCSJeff Zelevansky

The play kept the game tied and the Mets loaded the bases with one out in the bottom of the inning, but came up empty.

Then in the ninth, Yadier Molina hit a two-run homer to left off Aaron Heilman that Chavez could only watch go over the fence in left.

Still, the Mets weren’t done, as they filled the bases again in the bottom of the ninth. With two outs, Carlos Beltran took a called strike three on an Adam Wainwright changeup to end the game — and the Mets’ season.

“It seemed destiny was on our side,” Mets closer Billy Wagner said of the catch after the game. “But it is a cruel sport sometimes.”

The Mets finally made it back to the World Series in 2015, when they lost to the Royals.

“I always joke that I made a lot of good catches, but that was the famous one,” Chavez said last year. “I joke with my teammates and my friends — all it takes to be famous in the majors is one catch. That year, I hit .300 for the first time in my career and nobody talked about it. It’s just the catch.”

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