Was Aaron Hicks' catch the play of the year?
On Tuesday September 26th 2017, it was the top of the first inning and bases were loaded for Wilson Ramos of the Tampa Bay Rays. The pitch left Jordan Montgomery's hand, and it was heading right down the middle. Ramos geared up, drove the ball to right center field, and stared it down like he knew it was gone. A grand slam was about to fall into the Yankee bullpen, when out of nowhere, Aaron Hicks leaped. Timing his jump to perfection, Hicks was able to snag the ball, which would have landed a few feet over the fence. The play was reminiscent of one of those plays that children pretend to do in little league during warm-ups where they tell their friend to throw it over the fence, so they can jump and rob it. Unlike little league, the Yankees are a professional baseball team and are in a pennant race. The Rays scored on the play, as it ended up being a sac-fly. The score at the end of the game was in favor of the Yankees, as they went on to win 6-1. Was this the best defensive play of the year? Lets take a look.
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There are many great defensive plays that have happened so far in the 2017 season. One that sticks out is when Jackie Bradley of the Red Sox robbed Aaron Judge of a home run on July 19th. The Yankees were down 3-0 in the eighth when Judge hit a ball to deep center field, which was robbed by Bradley in the deepest part of Fenway Park. This game was not as significant as the game where Hicks robbed Ramos, so I would still give the edge to Hicks' catch.
Another play that stands out is when Kevin Pillar of the Toronto Blue Jays robbed Jose Ramirez of the Cleveland Indians of extra bases and two RBIs on May 8th. This early in the season, the game didn’t mean all that much and if Ramirez’s ball got down, then the game would have only been a 4-2 game in the sixth inning. Hicks’ play also tops Pillars play, due to the scenario.
The last play of 2017 that really stands out is when Keon Broxton of the Milwaukee Brewers robbed Randal Grichuk of the St. Louis Cardinals on August 30th. There were two outs and both teams needed the win. The Cardinals were down by one and had a runner on base. Grichuk hit the delivery to deep center, and Broxton robbed him of a go-ahead blast in the top of the ninth inning to end the game. Both of these teams were fighting for playoff hopes down the stretch going into September, so this play was pretty big.
However, now that both of those teams are on the fringe of elimination, that only leaves one play that is the most memorable. That play is Aaron Hicks' play, which is the biggest play of 2017, in my opinion. Not only was it the biggest play in terms of saving a game, but also it could possibly be the best defensive play of the year. If the Yankees go on to lose that game, who knows what could have happened. Thanks to Aaron Hicks keeping the game close with his catch, the Yankees continued their great month of September with another win. Plays like these are what allow teams to play in October and a reason why the Yankees will be making an appearance this year.
Article by: Cameron Hauze