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Wise remains on 'cloud nine' after catch

Wise remains on 'cloud nine' after catch

DETROIT -- Dwight Clark, Joe Montana and the San Francisco 49ers should not take offense to the following statement.

But "The Catch" now has a new video clip attached to it, at least in the athletic world on the South Side of Chicago.

White Sox outfielder Dewayne Wise is the proud owner of the nickname after making arguably the greatest catch in the proud history of the franchise. Here's the reason for such an assessment.

When Wise went over the center-field fence at U.S. Cellular Field on Thursday to snag Gabe Kapler's bid for a home run to open the ninth inning, it was the first play of the day for the defensive replacement who entered in the ninth. Wise then juggled the ball after he snow-coned the catch and was falling, grabbing it barehanded before the baseball hit the ground.

Then, there's the little matter of Wise's permanent addition to the highlight reel preserving Mark Buehrle's perfect game -- the 18th one thrown in Major League history. So, Wise's hero status checked in just below Buehrle's against the Rays.

Judging by the 10 interviews Wise has done around the country since the last out Thursday, people certainly recognize his impact on history. On Friday, though, Wise went from superhero back to reserve for the start of a four-game series against the Tigers at Comerica Park.

About the only difference was Wise earned starts in both ends of the split doubleheader.

"I just wanted to get out there and play today," said Wise, who had one hit while starting in center field during the 5-1 loss to Detroit in Game 1, and who started in center field for Game 2. "It's just good to get in and get some at-bats."

Glory for a player such as Wise, who had 102 at-bats in 2009 entering Game 2, comes in small, infrequent doses. He played well enough to become an effective starter during the playoffs last season against the Rays, but when Carlos Quentin returned from the disabled list on Monday, there were questions as to whether Wise or Brian Anderson would be the odd man out.

Buehrle and the rest of the White Sox probably are glad that Wise was the player who stayed after Thursday's miraculous effort.

"It's been crazy. I've been on cloud nine," Wise said. "My phone hasn't stopped ringing since last night or this morning. Everyone has been calling to tell me what a great catch it was."

Being in the heat of the moment, Buehrle didn't get to see Wise's catch until he watched the highlights Thursday night. The left-hander was even more stunned than he was at the time of the play.

A few other White Sox players marveled at Wise's ability to make the leap toward and eventually over the wall from a dead sprint. And this intricate piece of baseball history began with one simple thought when Kapler made contact, according to the low-key 31-year-old Wise.

"I gotta go. I gotta catch this ball," said Wise with a laugh. "I put my head down right away and started running. I wasn't sure if I was going to get right there. I looked up and I knew I had a shot. I took two steps and jumped up and there it was in my glove. I was just happy to be a part of history."

Scott Merkin is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.