catch lightning in a bottle

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catch lightning in a bottle

To achieve or succeed at doing something that is incredibly difficult, unlikely, and/or elusive. Primarily heard in US. The playwright caught lightning in a bottle with his first play, taking the world by storm and thrusting him into the spotlight of fame. This rookie team, such underdogs in this championship, are trying to catch lightning in a bottle with an upset win over the number one seed.
See also: bottle, catch, lightning

catch lightning in a bottle

Try to do something that's impossible. The phrase has been attributed to the baseball manager Leo Durocher, who may have originated or simply liked to use it. In any event, it's an apt metaphor for something that no one can do (unless “lightning” refers to lightning bugs, another name for fireflies).
See also: bottle, catch, lightning
References in periodicals archive ?
national soccer team who caught lightning in a bottle at the Women's World Cup in 1999, it was always about something bigger.
that could also be the bad news too, the latter referring to the 2004 mid-season trade that sent all-star catcher Paul LoDuca, middle reliever Guillermo Mota and Jose Lima packing when the team was gelling like no Dodger team since that '88 team that caught lightning in a bottle, beating Mets and A's teams that looked on paper to be superior, in the League Championship and World Series respectively.
After the (Elite Eight), people would say we caught lightning in a bottle.
HBO has a hit with ``61*'' - the behind-the-scenes story of a baseball player who caught lightning in a bottle one year and made home-run history.