Major League Baseball
The 15 best moments from the 2016 MLB season
Major League Baseball

The 15 best moments from the 2016 MLB season

Published Nov. 15, 2016 2:49 p.m. ET

Here one second, gone the next.

It's the theme for any baseball season, and perhaps more so for 2016 than any other regular season—one that saw greatness, grace and tragedy in monumental measure.

Now, we celebrate those who made the moments that, in turn, made the 2016 regular seasons one of the most memorable stretches in recent memory.

The following are the top 15 moments of the 2016 MLB regular season. They're everything from ridiculous to prodigious, and they're all unforgettable in their own way.

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15. Travis Wood’s catch in the vines

For reasons founded heavily on Joe Maddon voodoo logic, Cubs reliever Travis Wood found himself in left field in early August on a double-switch with fellow reliever Carlos Strop. He then found himself in the ivy making a play most outfielders would muck up.

14. Rougned Odor smashes Jose Bautista in the face

The right cross felt 'round the league.

13. Miguel Cabrera reaches 100 RBIs for 12th time in career

He's in rarified company for a 33-year-old batter.

12. Trevor Story’s seven home run rookie blitz

The 23-year-old raked, teeing off on a record seven home runs in his first six MLB games.

11. David Ortiz faces Jose Fernandez in All-Star Game

After being promised a meatball from his good friend, David Ortiz watched as Jose Fernandez served him a changeup on his second at-bat of the 2016 MLB All-Star Game.

No one had a better sense of humor than Fernandez.

10. Rookie Michael Fulmer throws 33.1 scoreless innings

From May 22 to June 17, rookie starter Michael Fulmer stitched together 33.1 consecutive scoreless innings for the Detroit Tigers, setting a franchise record and recording the longest rookie blank slate run since Fernando Valenzuela.

9. Tyler Austin and Aaron Judge hit back-to-back HRs in first major league at-bats

Aaron Judge and Tyler Austin—rookies who raked. Quickly:

Judge wasn't going to be shown up.

8. David Ortiz hits home run for young fan with heart condition

Maverick Schutte, a young Boston Red Sox living with a heart condition, received the gift of a lifetime in late April when David Ortiz promised him a home run and then delivered—hitting a game-clinching two-run shot off the New York Yankees.

7. Yankees rookie Gary Sanchez drag-races to 20 home runs

Gary Sanchez has sprinted to the 20 home run mark in his first 51 MLB games—tying the Boston Braves' Wally Berger for fastest to the 20-dinger mark in MLB history.

6. Max Scherzer's 20 sexy strikeouts

Max Scherzer struck out 20 through nine innings against the Tigers in May to tie an MLB record. He then got sexy.

"Tonight, at the end of the night, was a special night," Scherzer said. "Because, I mean, the strikeouts are sexy. And to be able to punch out 20...it's sexy."

 

5. Ichiro Suzuki gets his 3,000th hit

Say what you want about Pete Rose and combined hit records, Ichiro Suzuki is one of the greatest ballplayers of our generation or any other.

"More than the number 3,000 itself," Suzuki told MLB.com through a translator, "when I saw the teammates come out and how happy they were and how warm the fans were, it's not about just the 3,000 and what I did, it's about my teammates and my fans. That's powerful today."

 

4. Bartolo Colon hits first career home run

A HERO.

And they turned it into a card.

"The three years I've been here, I was chasing [a home run]," Colon told ESPN via an interpreter. "Even back in my Montreal days. But I wasn't expecting something like this....my heart was beating a lot. And today's a day I'm never going to forget."

3. Jake Arrieta’s second no-hitter

For the second consecutive season, Jake Arrieta rung up another no-no for the surging Cubs with a 16-0 stomping of the Cincinnati Reds back in April. Arrieta walked four and punched out six in the romp, which ended in a team-wide mosh pit at the Great American Ball Park and one brave, foolish fan running onto the field and joining in the celebration.

"This is why [Arrieta] won the Cy Young last year," Cubs catcher David Ross said. "He's got the capability of doing that every night. I think mentally he expects to do that."

2. Vin Scully’s final game at Dodger Stadium

After 67 years in the booth, Vin Scully's final home game as announcer of the Los Angeles Dodgers ended with a walk-off home run from Charlie Culberson. It was Culberson's first home run of the season, and just the fourth of his four-year MLB career.

"I don't remember touching the bases," Culberson told The Press Enterprise's Mark Whicker. "I was just floating. I remember trying to soak it in as much as possible...I wish it was something everybody could experience. Except, for us, everybody kinda did."

    Unquestionably the most incredible moment of the 2016 season. Nothing even comes close, which is a lot to say about a home run that ultimately meant nothing in the actual ledger of baseball.

    But Dee Gordon's leadoff home run in the bottom of the first on Monday night was nothing short of miraculous. The Marlins' 160-pound second baseman was one of the most visibly shaken in the aftermath of Jose Fernandez's untimely death, and in the team's first game back after the boat accident that took their teammate, he raked his first home run of the season during his first at-bat—moments after paying tribute to Fernandez by taking his first pitch as a righty.

    Two balls later, Gordon clobbered a lunar shot to right field. By the time he reached home plate, Gordon was sobbing. He finished the game with a season-high four hits.

    "I ain’t never hit a ball that far, even in BP,”  Gordon said. “I told the boys, ‘If you all don’t believe in God, you better start.’ For that to happen today, we had some help."

    Dan is on Twitter.  

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