This is probably the first time that the Play of the Year has gone to a player on the same day his review gets posted. For this evening will bring Seth Beer’s review, since he came all the way down at #47 in our rankings. But despite that, both he and we will always have the 2022 Play of the Year, as voted for by SnakePit readers. He received a plurality of votes, but at 41% fell short of an absolute majority. Alek Thomas’s thievery from Joey Votto came second at 25%, but the votes were fairly well spread, with Buddy Kennedy’s backhand flip being the only candidate not to receive any votes. It’s the first time in five years an offensive play has come out on top, and ends Josh Rojas’s streak of wins at two.
Let’s see how the voters who picked Beer explained their choice:
- imstillhungry95: For me, it has to be Beer. It was an opening day statement that this was not the team of 2021. That team would have rolled over and given up. Not this year. They might not have been the best or even good enough, but they put up more fight than we’ve seen in years. It started there.
- NikT77: I had to go with Beer. I had just gotten home from the hospital where my Mom was in the ICU and that HR was the only form of relief I’d felt all day.
- SafeTwire389: Despite how the rest of the season went (particularly how his offensive season went), that moment was absolutely incredible after watching the team get no-hit for 7 innings on opening night.
Hey, it was only six innings: Pavin Smith, the first batter up after Yu Darvish left the game - and the first after St. Penelope made her 2022 debut too - broke it up with a clean single. But Arizona still entered the last of the ninth trailing 2-0. Enter new Padres’ closer, Robert Suarez. 19 pitches later, exit new Padres’ closer, Robert Suarez, having failed to record an out or allow a hit, loading the bases on two walks and a hit batter. Replacement Craig Stammen’s first pitch to Beer then made its way to the backstop, putting the tying run on third base, still without a hit. His second pitch?
Yeah, suddenly that designated hitter seems like a pretty good idea, doesn’t it? :) Seth became the first Diamondback ever to hit a walk-off home-run on Opening Day - and as has been well documented, it took place on National Beer Day. If you’d made this up, Hollywood would have rejected it as implausible. Said Beer, “I’ve been in a situation like that before in college and you think, ‘They’re going to probably put me on, get the next guy up, have a force. And then I’ve been pitched to and been unprepared for the situation and failed. I can’t control that. But I was ready to hit. That was just a learning experience from failures over the course of my career. I was ready to hit in the moment.”
“It was a surreal feeling. It’s still a dream. It’s still really hard to put into words. I just kind of blacked out... Man, it’s crazy. I was like, ‘I think I’ve got to just take my helmet off and throw it because that’s what those guys did when I was watching as a kid.’ So for me it was almost like living a dream. Just had to make sure it didn’t come back down and hit me on the head. So I just kind of threw it, looked over and was like, ‘All right, I’m good.’”
— Seth Beer
It wasn’t the best of seasons thereafter, for the team in general, and Beer in particular. But this was a moment which will remain etched in the memories of all those who saw it, and is now permanently enshrined in the SnakePit Hall of Fame, as the Play of the Year for the 2022 campaign.
- 2021: 4/29, Josh Rojas robs Tatis
- 2020: 9/8, Josh Rojas trips “awkwardly”
- 2019: 6/12, Ahmed nabs Kingery after review
- 2018: 6/18, Dyson’s tremendous leaping grab
- 2017: 8/8, Jake Lamb grand-slam vs. LAD
- 2016: 10/1, Archie Bradley fields comebacker
- 2015: 9/18, A.J. Pollock catch at wall
- 2014: 8/8, David Peralta steals home
- 2013: 6/9, Gerardo Parra’s bare-hand force
- 2012: 9/9. Adam Eaton double-play
- 2011: 9/27, Ryan Roberts’ walk-off grand-slam
- 2010: 9/1, Brandon Allen, come from behind grand-slam
- 2009: 5/4, Triple-play vs. LAD
- 2008: 7/29, Alex Romero, game-saving catch
- 2007: 6/5, Brandon Lyon covers third-base