Javier Lopez remembers picking off Manny Ramirez

While Braves right fielder David Justice gets the credit for the biggest hit and Tom Glavine the best pitched game in the 1995 World Series, the best defensive play has to go to catcher Javier Lopez.

For those that witnessed it, they will never forget it. It came in Game 2 in the top of the eighth inning with the Braves leading 4-3 and reliever Alejandro Pena on the mound at Atlanta-Fulton County Stadium. Cleveland’s Eddie Murray opened the inning flying out to center, and Manny Ramirez followed with a bloop single right behind second base.

The dangerous Jim Thome stepped to the plate, and the 24-year-old Lopez remembered when Ramirez was on first earlier in the game.

“I kept seeing Manny take this big lead,’’ he said. “I was really hyped and the situation kept coming up. I saw myself in a situation where I could get him out. But I had to get Fred McGriff’s attention.

“McGriff was at first base and right before a 2-2 pitch,” Lopez said, “McGriff looked at me, and I signaled to him by touching the ground and picking up the dirt. He signaled back by tugging on his pants.’’

Lopez called for a pitch down and in, but Pena threw it up and in. Thome didn’t swing, and Lopez spun and whipped it to McGriff who tagged out Ramirez well before he got back to the bag.

Said Indians manager Mike Hargrove after the game, “The man just got out there too far. It’s in the scouting report that Lopez likes to throw. We’re aware of it; he’s aware of it. He just didn’t get back.’’

“It was a big play,’’ Lopez said.

Indeed, it was, as Pena walked Thome and into the game came closer Mark Wohlers, who ended the inning by getting Paul Sorrento on a flyout to center.

Wohlers would make it interesting in the ninth, as he got the final out of the game with the tying run at second, the Braves winning 4-3.

“I know a lot of people don’t look at me as a great defensive catcher,’’ said Lopez, who also hit a two-run homer in the game. “But a lot of people remember that play.’’