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2021 Play of the Year: Nominees and ballot

Then there were six...

Colorado Rockies v Arizona Diamondbacks Photo by Norm Hall/Getty Images

Thanks to everyone who poured over the initial selection of 30-plus candidates, and suggested candidates to make the final ballot. Recs were the main determinant in figuring out which plays made the final cut. ‘Hacks suggestion was disqualified - while an accurate summary of the season as a whole, this is intended as a positive celebration of the campaign. Lord knows, we need all the positivity we can get after this year. So, here are the six candidates from which you can pick.

I nominate Josh Rojas robbing homerun

High jump, elbow above the wall, glove bent back clearly OVER the wall.
I’ll take that one
Jack Sommers

He’s not wrong. But possibly the best thing is Tatis’s reaction, like a small kid who just had the puppy he received for Christmas, replaced with a lump of coal. Couldn’t happen to a nicer person. Or to a nicer team. Really, if the Padres’ mission this year was to dethrone the Dodgers as the least-likable team in the NL West, they went about it the right way...

Nominate Defensive play from 23 May vs Rockies

Because three players showed their skill.

This is very much a combination of several parts, all of which had to be executed with almost perfect precision, in order for the end product to be an out at the plate. If Reddick had not bare-handed the ball off the wall. If Rojas hadn’t moved over to get the ball on the fly and fire a perfect throw home. If Varsho hadn’t been perfectly positioned to apply a quick tag on the runner.

We need a Nick Ahmed play, because he is contractually obligated to be in the poll.


The days of Nick Ahmed winning Gold Gloves may be behind us, but he is still more than capable of turning in spectacular plays like this one. The shortstop had to bare-hand the ball, then throw it across his body, and get it on the money to the first baseman, in order for it to beat the runner.

Ramos. Crashing into the wall inspired me


Ramos may only have been the third-oldest debutant for the D-backs this year (Miguel Aguilar and Joe Mantiply were both older). But in his 12th year as a professional, Ramos still had his moments. He clearly showed no fear or concern for his own safely, in taking away extra bases from a rather more well-known player, the Dodgers’ Mookie Betts.

Also nominate the third three-run homer by a pitcher in franchise history (Humberto Castellanos).


Yeah, pitcher home-runs may be very rare beasts - this was the first for Arizona since 2019. and may be the last ever, depending on what happens in the new CBA. But that makes the sheer joy they provide when they show up, all the more memorable. That this one made the final cut, out of the 143 home-runs hit by the D-backs this year, proves my point.

VanMeter walk off

This sums up the 2021 season and does it true Dbacks fashion.

Normally, a walk-off home-run in the last PA of the year would be something worthy only of good memories. But considering that we spent much of the season watching the Tankapalooza standings, that this home-run may have denied the team the #1 overall pick in the next draft (see also: new CBA) made it bittersweet. In 10 years, we may look back and rue this. Or we may not. Only time will tell...

Here’s the poll, or a link for those on mobile, etc.