On May 27, 2003, AT&T Park hosted a matchup between the Diamondbacks and the Giants and also served as the setting for possibly the greatest base running error (or three) in the history of baseball.
Let’s set the stage: With one out in the bottom of the ninth inning and a runner on first, Marquis Grissom stepped back up to the plate having taken a ball on the first pitch of his at bat. At the same time, Ruben Rivera led off from first, unknowingly about to make one of the funniest, but biggest base running mistakes of his life.
On the next pitch, Grissom took a 1-0 pitch deep into right center field. And although the ball seemed to be catchable, it was misplayed by the right fielder and Rivera was going to have a chance to score. Unfortunately (for him), he decided to do this instead:
Apparently, Rivera thought the ball was caught, so he races back towards the bag at second to head back to first … the only thing was it wasn’t. Realizing this, Rivera decided to take back off in the right direction, but he misses second base the second time around (third time’s the charm).
An error allows Rivera to safely get into third base and he was saved from (the bulk) of the embarrassment … that is until he decided to get greedy. Upon seeing the ball get kicked away, Rivera tried for home as the winning run, and it is there where he is thrown out by a wide, comfortable, afternoon-nap-of-a-mile sealing his fate forever.
I’d continue to pile it on Rivera, if it weren’t for the announcer’s ability to succinctly summarize what we just saw: “And that was the worst base running in the history of the game.”
Maybe next time, Ruben.