Roy Hibbert's Accidental Jumper (1/18/2017)
Longtime Pacers big man Roy Hibbert could score a little bit, but he was not exactly known for his outside touch. As it turned out, Hibbert's shooting skillz improved when he was...not attempting to shoot.
In the 3Q, Hibbert, now a Charlotte Hornet, attempted to feed teammate Frank Kaminsky for a lob out past the left elbow. While the rock did not reach its intended target, no Hornet was displeased with the results. Except maybe Kaminsky.
Notes: "That was a bad pass and a bad shot, that's all I can say," - Hibbert, as quoted from the ESPN game recap. Charlotte came out on top 107-85, with Hibbert dropping in a season-high 16—he didn't top six points in any of the season's remaining games.
Kaminsky finished with 11 points, all in the 4Q.
Runner Wil Myers Hit By Liner (8/25/2018)
Disclaimer: I'm about to praise a Dodger.
Clayton Kershaw wins games on sheer toughness. Kershaw wins games because of great command. He wins games with high intelligence. And because of those three qualities and many more, he hasn't had to win often based on dumb luck.
At least once, however, dumb luck in the form of runner Wil Myers put him in line for a W against the Padres as he squared off against San Diego OF Hunter Renfroe back in August 2018.
Notes: The fluke 8th-inning play preserved Kershaw's lead, but CL Kenley Jansen could not hold it, allowing a game-tying run in the 9th. Sadly, LA still won the game in extras, 5-4. Renfroe still finished up with two hits in five AB.
K-Rod Drops, Jason Kendall Scores (8/11/2005)
Over the years, we've seen games lost to birds on the field, kids reaching over walls, balls hitting catwalks, and more. Crazy, fluky circumstances that are extremely unlikely to repeat themselves.
That said, I think you'll see each of the aforementioned follies directly cost a team twice before you see a team lose again the way the L.A. Angels lost to Oakland in August 2005.
It was 4-4 entering the B9th; Kendall reached via FC and advanced to third on a single and groundout. Angels RP Francisco Rodriguez entered after the single, setting up a faceoff with Oakland 3B Eric Chavez...
Notes: Angels RP Scot Shields opened the inning. The catcher making the return toss is Bengie Molina. Rodriguez was indeed charged with an error, but at least Shields took the loss.
The victory put the Athletics up one game in the standings, although in the end L.A. won the division by seven games.
Hilarious Pickoff Attempt Of Anthony Rizzo (8/27/2017)
The funniest moments in baseball are usually organic and random, at least to me, someone who's never once laughed at a mascot or anything on a scoreboard.
My Top Three all-time are probably Marcell Ozuna climbing high on the wall to catch a fly ball that landed on the warning track, Manny Ramirez diving to cut off a throw from 50 feet away, and most recently, Cubs 1B Anthony Rizzo, aka "Tony", going all-out to beat this pickoff throw from Philadelphia's Nick Pivetta.
(As the video shows, shortly after the "close play", Rizzo did narrowly avoid being picked off.)
Notes: Obviously, this took place on Players Weekend. The first baseman is Tommy Joseph, aka "Tojo". Rizzo, who had reached with a 5th-inning BB, was later erased via triple play started by LF Rhys Hoskins, a pivotal moment in a 6-3 Phillies comeback win.
David Lee's Miracle Tip (12/20/2006)
There's no doubt you the NBA fan has, on more than one occasion, been close to ripping out your own hair waiting for the last two or so minutes of a game to complete. With all the time-outs, fouls and replay reviews, two game minutes can often take 20 actual minutes. It's painful to sit through.
"Why do teams put fans through this? Why does the league allow it when there's about a 1% chance it'll change the outcome?" we openly wonder. Easy: there's a 1% chance it'll change the outcome. As long as there's time on the clock, there's hope—just ask the Knicks' David Lee, who stole a victory from the Bobcats back in late 2006.
Notes: Apologies for the video quality.
By rule, with 00.3 or less on the clock, a tip-in is the only legal shot attempt that can be made. Lee's basket gave New York the double-overtime, 111-109 win over Charlotte. Jamal Crawford was the Knicks inbounder, and #32 Renaldo Balkman can be seen leaping in jubilation after the shot.
Billy Hamilton's Ugly Swing (4/18/2014)
Billy Hamilton has never been a great hitter, but he's always been a competent hitter. You wouldn't know it from his at-bat vs. Jeff Samardzija of the Cubs in early 2014, in which Hamilton—obviously fooled by the fastball he received—offered at the pitch in a way that words cannot accurately describe.
Notes: As you can deduce from the graphic, Hamilton's K led off the game. He'd later contribute an RBI double, helping Cincy to a 4-1 win behind Alfredo Simon.
Welington Castillo is the Cubs catcher.
Stephen Piscotty's Bad Collision (9/28/2015)
The number of full-speed collisions in MLB is, fortunately, far lower than one unacquainted with the game might expect. But they do happen, and when they do happen, one word can usually sum them up rather easily: frightening.
Case in point: 9/28/15. Cardinals CF Peter Bourjos, still playing hard in late September as his team tries to fend off the Pirates in the NL Central race, hits the ground for a drive of the bat of Pittsburgh's Josh Harrison.
Stephen Piscotty, who started in RF that night before shifting over to LF, also left his feet. Though Bourjos caught the ball, it came at a cost.
Notes: The delay ultimately lasted 16 minutes, and Piscotty was hospitalized (but released the following night with a concussion) He returned to play one last regular-season game 10/4 and started all four postseason games.
You see #27 Jhonny Peralta, #16 Kolten Wong and #22 Jason Heyward checking on their fallen teammate, along with manager Mike Matheny in the red jacket. RP Kevin Siegrist and C Tony Cruz are also seen.
Jon Jay would sub for Piscotty in LF, becoming the third of what would be FOUR Cardinal left fielders that night. St. Louis broke a scoreless tie with a three-run 9th that stood up..
Liners Off Matt Lawton's Head (5/27/1997)
Yes, Jose Canseco once allowed a fly ball to bounce off his head and over the fence for a home run. But at least...at least...it only happened to him once. The only possible way Canseco absorbs more grief for that blunder is if it repeated itself.
Minnesota's Matt Lawton, battling the tough roof and lights at the Metrodome, was a guy who did get boinked twice in the head on batted balls to the outfield. But because neither ball caromed over the fence, Lawton has somehow managed to escape any scrutiny for his mishaps over the years.
Or maybe it's just because he's not Canseco...
Notes: Because the first clip's pitcher (Brad Radke) batter (the White Sox' Ray Durham) and Lawton were all with their team forever, I can't pinpoint the date. But the presence of Chicago's Ozzie Guillen (#13) staring in disbelief narrows it down to 1995-97.
Hall-of-Famer Edgar Martinez is the batter in the second clip, taken on 5/27/1997. The 4th-inning single scored Joey Cora. Lawton did stay in the game after a delay, but was pinch-hit for in the 9th. His Twins eventually beat Seattle 11-10.