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Jackson’s Diving Grab Saves The Day

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DETROIT, MI - AUGUST 23: Austin Jackson #14 of the Detroit Tigers makes a diving catch in the tenth inning during a MLB game against the Toronto Blue Jays at Comerica Park on August 23, 2012 in Detroit, Michigan. The Tigers won 3-2 in extar innings. (Photo by Dave Reginek/Getty Images)

DETROIT, MI – AUGUST 23: Austin Jackson #14 of the Detroit Tigers makes a diving catch in the tenth inning during a MLB game against the Toronto Blue Jays at Comerica Park on August 23, 2012 in Detroit, Michigan. The Tigers won 3-2 in extar innings. (Photo by Dave Reginek/Getty Images)

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It wasn’t “The Catch,” but it certainly was “A Catch,” and a very important one at that.

Austin Jackson is giving Detroit the best long-term center field play since the days of Mickey Stanley (1964-78), and the current occupant has a case for being better by dint of superior speed.

Stanley seldom left his feet to make a catch, simply because he didn’t have to. His route to the ball was always straight and true.

Same thing for Jackson, although he astonished witnesses when he left his feet in the 10th inning Wednesday to make a game-saving catch of what looked to everybody to be an RBI double or triple into the gap in right-center.

Probably a triple, since the hitter was fleet Toronto rookie Anthony Gose.

“I couldn’t see him at first,” Alex Avila said. “I thought the ball was in the gap. Suddenly he was in my field of vision. He never has to dive for a catch, and he just came out of nowhere.”

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