There are baseball plays that are simply joyful. I love highlighting plays like that. Something brings me joy and I want my readers to know about it, provided you don’t already. To that end, take a gander at this absolute beauty.
A close play at the plate is exciting all on its own. The bang-bang nature of a chopper to third followed by a quick throw home. You follow the ball on its path to home plate wondering if it will beat the runner. Faster than you can even think that question, the ball reaches home and you see the runner attempting to beat the tag. The slide is good, but the tag is laid down and you hit that euphoric moment of the umpire emphatically declaring the runner safe or out.
In this case, the runner was out, but let’s be honest, that’s not what makes this play worth sharing. Nope, it’s the beefy frame of Diablos Rojos del México pitcher Jumbo Díaz trucking towards home plate to provide his own emphatic out-call that makes this play worth taking the time to watch. I’ve long held that Díaz is a treasure within the game of baseball and this play only further cements that fact. I restarted the video I don’t know how many times just to watch him heading on home and pumping his fist towards the ground with the power of a thousand suns.
At a certain point, every other aspect of the play melted away, and all that remained was Díaz’s trek home followed by his fist thrusting through the air. It was glorious when it happened, is still glorious now, and is the sort of play that you could show someone years from now to explain the pure joy that can come from a moment in time during a baseball game. Thank you, Jumbo Díaz, thank you for being you, the game of baseball is better as long as you’re still in it.
Lead photo courtesy of Enrique Gutiérrez – Séptima Entrada