Los Angeles Angels outfielder J.B. Shuck made sure to leave no doubt about what was the most sensational play on Friday’s slate of MLB games—and perhaps the 2013 season as a whole.

In the fourth inning of Friday night’s game against the Toronto Blue Jays, Angels pitcher Tommy Hanson served up a meatball to Jose Bautista, who obliged by smacking the ball deep to left field. Backing up to get under the booming fly ball, Shuck gathered his balance, planted on two feet and leapt up and over the left-field wall at Angel Stadium.

After landing hard in the seats—notice the half-interested effort in bracing Shuck’s fall by the fans, though at least one tries to lend a helping hand—the lefty fires the ball back into the infield to confirm the catch. He seemed noticeably shaken up by the play, but stayed in the contest.

As Blue Jays manager John Gibbons came out to get an explanation of the play, it gave the Angels fans and players an opportunity to stand and applaud Shuck. Gibbons was questioning the legality of Shuck going into the stands to catch the ball. MLB Network’s official Twitter feed even got into the act by promoting the play’s need for an explanation as to whether it counted.

Spoiler: It counted, as it should have. Shuck did not go into the stands to catch the ball, as in actively leaping over the fence and then catching the ball. He jumped while still in play and his momentum carried him over and into the stands—a big difference in the rulebook. 

Not all was lost for Toronto on the play, however. Maicer Izturis was able to advance to second base, and later scored the Blue Jays’ second run of the game.

But the night belongs to Shuck. As seems to always be the case when astounding catches are made, Shuck came to the dish in the bottom half of the fourth. He singled and later scored a run as part of a three-run inning to give Los Angeles a lead.

The 26-year-old Shuck has had a solid season in his first big-league campaign, batting .293 with one home run and 24 RBI. 


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