Apr 8, 2013; Miami, FL, USA; Florida Marlins former third baseman Mike Lowell on opening night at Marlins Park. Mandatory Credit: Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports
Welcome back to the Greatest Moments in Marlins History. The Academy Award goes to… Mike Lowell! Wait a minute, Lowell was never in a film that was nominated for the Oscar and he hasn’t even been in any movie to earn a nomination for an actor. This is all true, but during two different games Lowell pulled off a performance for the ages. Those performance lands him on the Greatest Moments in Marlins History (again). For moment 12 we take you back to September 15, 2004 and August 10, 2005 for Mike Lowell’s hidden ball tricks.
What is the hidden ball trick? The hidden ball trick is when a defensive player misleads a base runner on the location of the ball. It has been around as long as players have been playing this game. Some might think is unsportsmanlike; others might think it’s a very clever move when pulled off correctly. As for me, I just remember trying it as a kid so many times and never pulling it off. Sometime I wish I was Bill Coughlin (unofficially he pulled off the trick 7 times, and once was in the World Series). Mike Lowell has pulled it off twice (and both times with the Marlins), so let’s start with the September 15, 2004 trick.
On September 15, 2004 during a game against the Montreal Expos, the Expos took a 2-1 lead in the 4th inning. The ruse started when John Patterson singled to left field. Miguel Cabrera ran the ball in and tossed it to Alex Gonzalez. Lowell realized that Manny Acta (the 3rd base coach) and the runner (Brian Schneider) weren’t paying attention. Lowell got the ball and made everyone believe he gave it to Carl Pavano. Schneider was still talking to Acta when he (Schneider) shifted to put his other put on the bag. Lowell saw this shift and as soon as Schneider took his foot off the bag Lowell tagged him out. The hidden ball trick strikes!
Then on August 10, 2005 during a game against the Arizona Diamondbacks the Marlins were up 6-5 going into the 8th inning. Luis Terrero singled to start the inning and was moved to 2nd on a sac bunt. Tony Clark would single to left field and move Terrero to 3rd. Once again Lowell had an idea. When Lowell received the ball from Miggy he had a flash back to 2004. He looked and saw that the runner and coach were not paying attention to him, so he walked over to 3rd base. I have to give Todd Jones credit because he saw what was going on and just stood back off the mound and watched. Terrero, thinking Jones had the ball, took his lead and Lowell tagged him out! The hidden ball trick strikes again! (This would make a great movie title)
Two hidden ball tricks in less than a year, can it get any weirder? Only one way to find out, come back and see what else we have in store.