On this date in 1993, the White Sox signed free agent outfielder Darrin Jackson to replace the departed Ellis Burks.
The single moment that stood out to me from DJ’s first go-round with the Sox was an unbelievable catch he made in right field on July 1, 1994 against the Milwaukee Brewers at “New” Comiskey Park.
The only better catch I’ve seen was the one Dewayne Wise made to preserve Mark Buehrle’s perfect game on July 23, 2009.
Two seasons ago, Avisail Garcia made a grab similar to DJ’s. The over-the-wall catch of a Chris Davis fly saved David Robertson’s bacon in a one-run Sox win at U.S. Cellular Field.
The next day I asked the affable DJ if Avi’s catch reminded him of the epic snare he made in 1994.
Jackson tried but he had no recollection of the play.
His catch took a grand slam away from Greg Vaughn and killed a third-Inning threat with the Sox clinging to a 1-0 lead. …
The catches were in the same spot and looked the same …
He had an RBI in the win which was part of a stretch which saw the Sox go 32-15 and take over first in the Central when the strike hit …
And a stunning picture of the catch graced the front of the next day’s Tribune.
Even when I showed DJ that photo, which I dug out of the Sox files, it didn’t really register.
I asked Jackson, one of the best defensive outfielders of his era, what his most memorable catch was.
While not sure of the date, Jackson went into demonstrative detail about an acrobatic play he made in San Diego.
I’m thinking ‘What’s the big deal? It didn’t rob a homer or save win.’
Then DJ put an all-time capper on the story.
“When I got to my feet, I saw Tony Gwynn going crazy about the catch,” DJ said.
How could I argue with that?