Hands down Endy Chavez made the greatest catch in playoff history. I refuse to hear any argument to the contrary. And Carlos Beltran made a catch in the 14th inning that was just a jaw dropping, jump of the couch and grab the TiVo remote to rewind it type of catch.
But if we remove the fact that Endy's catch was in an extremely close game 7 of the playoffs, who's catch was better. Remove the context of the play and let's determine which catch was a greater feat of outfield athleticism.
First, Endy's catch was made a shorter than average outfielder who stretched his body to its fullest extent to bring back a home run. Any home run saving catch is phenomenal, and timing a jump to catch ball is seriously difficult, not to mention having to deal with a wall.
But Endy Chavez's catch did have one thing missing that Beltran's catch did have: a pain in the neck, pointless grassy knoll to deal with.
Carlos Beltran's catch immediately reminded of Willie Mays' famous over the shoulder catch. But Beltran took it up a notch by dealing with that little hill in center field AND the fact that he had to fall to his knees to catch it. Not to mention the ground that Beltran covered to get to that 430 ft. flyball. The jump he got off the bat was phenomenal.
Therefore I would argue that Carlos Beltran's "Lone Man on the Grassy Knoll" catch was a greater feat of outfielder athleticism than Endy Chavez's "The Catch" if we compre each catch outside of the context of the games that were played.
But Endy will always have a place in my heart for Game 7.