"The catch took my number and my name away," Chavez joked in late July. "Everybody just calls me 'The Catch.' It's unbelievable how the fans act about this. Everybody recognizes me now on the street.
"I'm glad to be a part of that kind of history in Major League Baseball."
Perhaps the fans in the upper decks had a better view of the backup outfielder's face, bringing about enough fame to have his grab in left field voted the No. 4 all-time moment at Shea Stadium.
After the spectacular grab -- captured in photographs with Chavez stretched up against the wall and the ball snow-coned on top of his glove -- he would return to the ground to double-up Jim Edmonds at first base.
Those two outs ended the sixth inning and kept the score tied at 1. That was until Yadier Molina's two-run home run in the ninth inning propelled the Cardinals to the World Series and eventually a championship.
Regardless, the play never ceased to amaze the masses, earning Chavez enough fan support to win that year's MLB.com "This Year in Baseball" Postseason Moment of the Year Award. Teammates, as well as the victim, Rolen, would gush about Chavez's thievery.
"Within the context of a game, that was the most unbelievable play I've ever seen on a baseball diamond," Mets first baseman Carlos Delgado said.
"It was an unbelievable play," Rolen said. "You're going to see a lot of highlights for that play for a long time. ... I thought it went over the fence. I saw some white when he caught the ball. I thought it bounced and went over the fence."
Jon Blau is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.