Lorenzo Cain and Oswaldo Arcia are not household names. Cain is a 28-year-old outfielder for the Royals. Arcia is a 23-year-old outfielder for the Twins. On Thursday night in Kansas City, they exhibited a moment of talent and sportsmanship that deserves recognition.
In the top of the seventh inning with the Twins leading 5-4, Arcia crushed a pitch from Royals reliever Francisley Bueno. In center field, Cain raced back to the warning track. Leaping at the fence, 410 feet from home plate, Cain flashed the leather for a graceful grab.
On the other end, Arcia paused between first and second base and tipped his helmet to Cain. The Venezuelan then trotted back toward the visitor's dugout in disbelief.
The Royals' bench followed with an eruption of hat tipping to Cain. Such an act has long been a sign of respect in American culture, but Derek Jeter and Air Jordan's RE2PECT campaign has brought the concept to new levels.
There is also another layer to the feel-good baseball moment. The Royals are leading the Central Division. The MLB season is about five-sixths of the way through. It just so happens the Royals have not made the playoffs since 1985 -– the longest postseason drought in Major League Baseball. Four MLB teams have been added in those past 29 years. All four have made the playoffs multiple times.
There is something buzzing in Kansas City right now. Cain's catch made be a web gem, but it was not the most spectacular snag in MLB history. Both teams and fans sensed that the catch was part of a bigger story unfolding in the Heartland this season.
The Royals tied the game in the bottom of the seventh, but the Twins scored six runs in the top of the tenth to win 11-5 in extra innings. That is neither here nor there as the Royals remain in first place.
Also, in a weird twist, Cain did not actually finish the game in center field. Jarrod Dyson took right fielder Nori Aoki's spot in the batting order. Defensively, Cain shifted to right while Dyson played center.
if you didn't notice, Lorenzo Cain, who had one of the better outfield catches of this year, moved from CF to RF a few innings ago
— Brandon H. (@BHIndepMO) August 29, 2014
-- Follow Jeffrey Eisenband on Twitter @JeffEisenband.