Baseball Plays From 2014 That You Need to See to Believe

  • Brewers score three runs on wild pitch

    Scoring a run off a wild pitch is a nice bonus for any offense. Notching two runs on a wild pitch is a rarity. Three in one fell swoop? It takes extraordinary circumstances for that to transpire.

    Milwaukee needed a little luck and a lot of incompetence to pull this stunt off, and the bumbling Colorado Rockies were the perfect team to provide the latter. Thanks to some heads up baserunning by Jean Segura, the Brewers were able to clear the bases and tie the ballgame with their pitcher up to bat. Not a bad outcome.

    1 of 7
  • McCutchen makes near-perfect catch

    Separating the good catches from the great ones is an arduous task. There are so many diving plays made over the course of a season that they eventually bleed into one grass-stained mosaic. But this particular grab stands out for its stunning precision.

    Aided by the team at MLB Advanced Media, we can see that if Andrew McCutchen’s path to the ball was just a little bit off, the Pirates are giving up extra bases. Instead, with a route efficiency of 99.7 percent, Cutch tracked that baby down and turned a potential hit into a highlight.

    2 of 7
  • Kershaw’s 15 K no-hitter

    Pinpointing a singular moment in another dominant Clayton Kershaw season is like trying to choose a favorite child — it’s unfair to the rest of your kids. In this case, though, there’s a prodigal son that’s hard to say no to.

    We say hello yet again to the Rockies, who Kershaw fanned 15 times in route to an almost perfect game. A lone Dodgers error was the only thing standing between the Los Angeles ace and perfection, but that doesn’t take away from his dominance. Having become the first MLB pitcher to record 15 strikeouts in a start without allowing a hit or a walk, Kershaw now stands in a class of his own.

    3 of 7
  • Albert Pujols

    Though the modern age has dulled the shine of gaudy home run totals, the 500 home run club was still just 25 members deep entering this season; it means something to join that fraternity. Its 26th member – Albert Pujols – is another that will go down as one of the all-time greats.

    Though Pujols has seen his play dip since leaving St. Louis, seeing the Angels slugger reach the 500 level always felt inevitable. The three-time MVP was one of baseball’s best players from the moment he got his chance in 2001, and he continues to pass baseball legends with each extra homer he pounds into the stands. He’s at 517 and counting.

    4 of 7
  • Cespedes cannon throw out

    The closest defensive equivalent to a tape-measure shot is an outfield assist that leaves baserunners in disbelief. This laser beam from Yoenis Cespedes qualifies.

    Amazingly, Cespedes only has to make this throw because he totally botches the first part of the play. After booting the initial liner, Cespedes has to retrieve the ball from the deepest corner of the ballpark. That set him up to unleash this monster of a put out, and there’s little that Howie Kendrick can do but shake his head.

    Even Cespedes seemed conflicted about such highway robbery.

    5 of 7
  • Puig hits three triples in one game

    Yasiel Puig is in the headlines for different reasons depending on the reasons you follow baseball. While the theatrics and persona push him into the spotlight, it’s the on-field production that has captured the attention of baseball fans everywhere.

    Puig’s three-triple night against the Giants helped bury a division rival, but it also landed him in some exclusive company in Dodgers lore. Those three triples tied a franchise record set all the way back in 1901, when the team still called the borough of Brooklyn home. Watching Puig tear around the bases, you got the feeling that he’ll be threatening old marks in the years to come.

    6 of 7
  • Derek Jeter bows out at the All-Star Game

    You can love or hate the Yankees, but Derek Jeter has been a pillar of Major League Baseball for two decades. He was instrumental in one of the last true dynasties in American sports, and his individual numbers speak for themselves.

    His final All-Star appearance was classic Jeter fare — two hits on looping, inside-out cuts sprayed the opposite way. Jeter became the oldest player with multiple hits in the midsummer classic, strengthening an already iron-clad reputation as a gamer who stepped up when all eyes were on him. Taking one last curtain call amid stars from around the league, the Yankees captain received an uproarious sendoff from peers and fans alike, creating a final lasting image to commemorate his swan song.

    7 of 7
  • Jean Segura
  • Andrew McCutchen
  • Clayton Kershaw
  • Albert Pujols
  • Yasiel Puig
  • Derek Jeter

As the embers of summer die, so too does the prominence of America’s pastime. Baseball doesn’t quite fade to the background, but fall signals the return of other major sports leagues, forcing MLB to compete for the spotlight for the first time in months. Here at The Drop, we want to ensure that some special ballplayers and moments from the 2014 season get their proper due.

It has been a bit of a wacky season in some regards, with the reigning World Series champs trapped in the basement of the AL East and the Kansas City Royals showing signs of life for the first time in the last 28 years. One of baseball’s stalwarts, Derek Jeter, is riding off into the sunset, while young faces are in the driver’s seat for the MVP award in both leagues. A changing of the guard is at hand.

Narrowing down a topsy turvy season to a handful of signature moments is quite difficult, particularly because criteria vary from moment to moment. How do you judge one diving catch against another, let alone compare it to a towering grand slam? Fans may dig the long ball, but baseball’s subtle moments are often its finest. The reverence for history in MLB is second to none.

We do the tough work so you don’t have to. Inquire within for a short list of memorable moments from the 2014 MLB season, where the quirky, the exceptional, and the legendary are given equal space to strut their stuff. Here are the Baseball Plays From 2014 That You Need to See to Believe.

Follow Kyle on Twitter at @KyleNeubeck