Hunter Renfroe's wild no-look catch was so good even Shohei Ohtani couldn't believe it
On Thursday, Shohei Ohtani and Mike Trout—fresh off their climatic WBC battle—kicked off their 2023 MLB campaign under the lights of the soon-to-be defunct Oakland Coliseum. But when the dust on the basepaths finally settled, it wasn’t either of the Angels superstars who left with the highlight of the night. Instead, it was outfielder Hunter Renfroe who made this spectacular (and spectacularly bizarre) no-look catch in the bottom of the fifth inning.
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We’ve seen diving catches, sliding catches, wall climbs, and home-run robberies, but we’ve never seen one quite like this before. This is free-jazz improvisation. This is the Jackson Pollock to Mickey Mantle’s Monet. It’s the visual embodiment of prayer being answered, which figures because, well, they are called "the Angels."
Unfortunately, despite Renfroe’s way-too-early catch-of-the-year candidate—which even had Ohtani shook—the perennially underachieving Angels began 2023 with a 2-1 loss to the lowly Athletics. Looks like they’ll need more than divine intervention if they want to finally live up to the hype and make the playoffs this season.