October 2013

Will There Be a Historic Red Sox Win?

BostonRedSox_B2If the Red Sox beat the Cardinals tonight or tomorrow in Game 6 or 7 of the 2013 World Series, it would be the first time they clinch a World Series title at Fenway Park since 1918!  95 years ago!

To give you a sense of how historic that would be:

  • The starting pitcher for the Red Sox in Games 1 and 4 of the 1918 World Series was….BABE RUTH!
  • The team the Red Sox was playing in the 1918 World Series was the Chicago Cubs.  The CUBS!  It was a match-up of two of the most “cursed” teams in baseball.  The Sox beat the Cubs in six games.
  • After they traded away Babe Ruth, the Red Sox wouldn’t win another championship for 86 years!
  • That’s not as bad as the Cubs, who haven’t won a Series since 1908!  Over 100 years!
  • The next World Series played in 1919 would go down in history as the famous “Black Sox” “fix” game by the White Sox.
  • When the Sox won in Fenway Park, which is now the oldest ballpark in baseball, it was only 6 years old!
  • And if you think Fenway Park was the new ballpark, Wrigley Field was only 4 years old!  And it wasn’t even called Wrigley Field.  It was called Weeghman Park.  And the Cubs only moved in 2 years earlier.

I am hoping for a historic win for Boston!

The Cardinals Are Annoyingly Lucky

2013-10-26 safe

Game 3 of the 2013 World Series.  Tie game with runners on second and third, one out.  St. Louis, in the bottom of the 9th, is hoping for a win. Jon Jay is at the plate and here’s Uehara on the hill. 

Jay cracks it up the middle to Pedroia, who’s playing in. Pedroia fires home to nab Molina at the plate. He’s out! Two outs.

Oh, but wait! Saltalamacchia fires down the line to Middlebrooks at third to gun down Craig who is trying to advance to third.  The throw… IS OFF-TARGET and gets past the outstretched glove of Will Middlebrooks! But left fielder Daniel Nava is backing up the throw.  Craig stumbles over Middlebrooks and runs towards the plate as fast as he can on his injured foot. Nava fires it home, in plenty of time, and Salty puts the tag on Craig.  The home plate umpire Dana DeMuth raises his arms and wipes them from side to side signaling Craig is safe. 

SAFE?!?! 

Third base umpire Jim Joyce called “Interference” on Middlebrooks after he dove for the offline throw, and Craig was automatically awarded home when he tripped over Middlebrooks’ body!

The Cardinals win Game 3 of the World Series by a score of 5-4 in a walk-off interference call on what should’ve been a game-saving 4-2-5-7-2 double play.

That was a crazy play!  Two plays at the plate and two runners clearly out by a mile, but the St. Louis Cardinals walk off the field in a victory.

Is anyone really surprised by this?  Is anyone really surprised that the St. Louis Cardinals somehow won the game on this bizarre kind of play?  This happens all the time to the Cardinals!  They win games based on the craziest flukes.

For example:

THE RALLY SQUIRREL

In the 2011 NLDS, Skip Schumaker had a 1-1 count against Roy Oswalt when a squirrel ran across the plate. The squirrel showed good luck to the Cards, as they won the World Series.

DAVID FREESE HOMER IN GAME 6 OF THE 2011 WS, 2 OUTS, 2 STRIKES

The Cardinals were tied with the Rangers 9-9, and out of nowhere Third Baseman David Freese hit a homer that cleared 400 feet in center. It went to a game 7, and the Cardinals won that game too thanks to Freese.

GAME 5 OF THE 2012 NLDS

I can’t… really!

THE INFIELD FLY RULE

The baseball gods struck again on a well-into-the-outfield popup, that Left Field umpire Sam Hollbrook called an out on supposedly the “outfield fly rule.”

THE OBSTRUCTION CALL

The Cardinals struck again against the Red Sox when Will Middlebrooks was called for obstruction.

I’m not saying that it was a good call or a bad call, and I’m not saying the Cardinals stink.  The umpires used their best judgment to try to get it right.  And the Cardinals are a good team.  They won their Division this year against really competitive teams, the Pirates and the Reds.  They beat the Dodgers in the NLCS.  They’re playing tough against the Red Sox in this World Series.  They have good talent on their team.

It’s just that they are always so stinking lucky.

It must be great to be a Cardinals fan.  Somehow– somehow!– your team wins on incredible, unbelievable, this-just-doesn’t-happen kind of fluke plays.  It happens over and over again.  Which is why it is probably fun to be a Cardinals fan.

But if you’re not a Cardinals fan (and I’m not), then these unbelievable wins are just devastatingly frustrating.  It’s annoying to see this team always win based on crazy good luck.

It looks like this October, a few days before Halloween, the Cardinals have made another deal with the devil.

Less Than a Month Til the Big Train Winter Holiday Auction!

RegisterNowWhere can you get great sports gifts for the holidays and help out a charity at the same time?  At the Bethesda Big Train Holiday Auction!

The auction will be held on November 17 at the DoubleTree Hotel (8120 Wisconsin Ave. in Bethesda, MD). You can learn more about the event and get tickets HERE.

The Big Train is a collegiate summer baseball team that is part of the Cal Ripken Collegiate Baseball League. They play at Shirley Povich Field in Bethesda, which is also the home of Georgetown University’s college baseball team. Many of their players make it to the big leagues. For example, a 2012 Big Train alumni, Hunter Renfroe, was drafted by the San Diego Padres in the first round of the MLB Draft (#11 overall). His MLB.com Prospect Watch summary states Renfroe “broke out in the Cal Ripken League in the summer of 2012.”  Keep an eye on this year’s star players like Josh Spano, Bubba Derby, David Del Grande, and Ty France.

Big Train always gets involved in charity.  They are a non-profit organization that raises money to improve the conditions of youth baseball and softball fields in Montgomery County, Maryland and the District of Columbia.  They hosted the Big Train Celebrity Softball Classic that you may remember I wrote about back in April.  They also hosted Gio Gonzalez’s charity baseball camp this year.

At the auction you can bid for seriously awesome things like a signed Bryce Harper jersey, a Bruce Springsteen signed record (wink,wink, mom!) and a “42” movie poster signed by the cast, a 1980 Miracle on Ice USA Olympic Hockey team autographed framed photo, and Sylvester Stallone signed boxing gloves. 

A Bryce Harper signed jersey is up for grabs.

A Bryce Harper signed jersey is up for grabs.

And guess what! Nationals reliever Drew Storen will be at the event too! So will ESPN analyst Tim Kurkjian, who is also a big Big Train fan and supporter.  If you you’d like to meet them, you should definitely buy your tickets right away and head over to the Bethesda Big Train Holiday Auction on Nov. 17.

Prices for a single adult are $50.00. A family pass is $150, and that’s good for four people. The money goes to charity and there will be food and entertainment too.  Baseball fans, come and see Nats mascot Screech, Teddy the Racing President, lots of your favorite Natstown bloggers (like me!), Big Train players, Tim Kurkjian and also Drewwwwwww Storen!

Here’s What’s Going On

Sorry I haven’t been writing on my blog last week. I have a lot going on with with school and my lung cancer fundraiser. But there is a lot to update you on.  So here’s a little heads-up on what’s happened in the past week and more.  I am saving the best piece of news for last, so be sure to read all the way through.

Matt’s Bats Ranks #32 of MLB Pro Blogs for September

Last month, Matt’s Bats debuted as an MLB Pro Blog and came in #45 in popularity.  Making the Top 50 is pretty good in the first month.  In September, I moved up 13 spots to #32!  I happened to beat the blog that Orioles pitcher Jason Hammel writes, which came in at #39.

DC Internet Baseball Writer’s Association Awards

The DC Chapter of the Internet Baseball Writer’s Association published its 2013 Player Achievement Awards.  I voted in the survey.  You can see my First Place votes and how that compared to the winning First Place votes.  To see all the winners, CLICK HERE.

 AWARD MY FIRST PLACE VOTE
(5 POINTS)
WINNING FIRST PLACE VOTE
Goose Goslin Most Valuable Player Player most valuable to the success of the Washington Nationals Jordan Zimmermann  Jayson Werth
Walter Johnson Starting Pitcher of the Year Excellent performance as a starting pitcher Jordan Zimmermann  Jordan Zimmermann
Frederick “Firpo” Marberry Relief Pitcher of the Year Excellent performance as a relief pitcher Tyler Clippard  Tyler Clippard
Sam Rice Hitter of the Year Excellence in all-around hitting, situational hitting and baserunning Ian Desmond  Jayson Werth
Frank Howard Slugger of the Year Excellence in power hitting Jayson Werth  Jayson Werth
Joe Judge Defensive Player of the Year Excellence in fielding   Ian Desmond  Denard Span
Mickey Vernon Comeback Player of the Year Player who overcame biggest obstacle in the preceding season to contribute on the field Drew Storen  Wilson Ramos
Josh Gibson Humanitarian Player of the Year Player who meritoriously gave of himself to the community Ian Desmond  Ryan Zimmerman
Minor League Player of the Year Minor league player most destined for big league success Zach Walters  Lucas Giolito

Baseball Season over for the Tigers

Tigresdoscerotrece

My little league team, the Tigers, finished the season strong with a win over the Pirates, 9-4. Our record was 4-2-1.  I played right field and catcher in our last game of the fall season, and I almost threw out who was trying to steal third from the catcher spot.

MET AND BEAT MY CHARITY FUNDRAISING GOAL.

As you probably know, I’m raising money for lung cancer in memory of my grandfather. I am so grateful that so many people have supported me by donating money to this cause. You can donate here or sign up to participate in the Breathe Deep DC 5K walk on the National Mall on Sunday, November 3.

Also, please read my post about why I am raising money for lung cancer.

My goal was to raise $5,000.  I thought that was a big goal and a massive challenge.  I loved my grandfather so much that I want this terrible disease to be cured. I thought that $5,000 was so much money, but that is what is needed to defeat something so terrible.  Even though lung cancer is the #1 cancer killer in the U.S., it does not get a lot of money for research.

So how am I doing?  Well, let’s check the thermometer:

BDDCthermometer

Like Harry Caray would say, “Holy Cow!”

My goal was to raise $5K for the 5K.  I actually hit that on Friday night, October 18 (which was a special day to reach this goal).  And then….

One anonymous donor who doesn’t want me to use his name matched my $5,000 goal by donating $5,000 and brought me up to $10,834! As of now, I have raised more money for the event than anybody else!

That is a ridiculous amount of money.  Thank you so much to everyone who has given.  Even though I never thought I would raise $5,000, and I actually passed my goal by $5,834, you can still donate sign up to walk with us HERE.

I’d like to recognize the people who donated in this post (as of Sunday night):

@DCstadium
@FakeFP
@MattsBats and Family
@NatsArchive
@RedPorchReport
@TClippardsSpecs
Alicia
Allan
Anonymous
Arlene Eisner
Arnold & Estelle Spring
AshburnNatsFan
Aunt Roberta Schoenbrun
Becky Gordon
Bob and Sharon Buck
Chuck, Jessica, Sam, Ben and Josh Myers
David, Melanie, Ben, Charlie & Lenny
David, Zach, Erika and Josh Bauml
Dorothy & Happy Eiglarsh
Elaine Berkowitz
Felicia and Andrew Berkowitz
Gail Eisner
Greg
Hanna & Opa
Holly Lerner
Howard Spring
In2Nats
Jaime, Melissa, Molly and Jordan Rosen
JaneBIVL
Jonathan Feng
julia payne
Lane Saffian
Laura Roose
Michael and Ana Lucia Eisner
Mitch & Evie Mitchel
Mitchell Lieberwoman
Mr. Irving and Lynda Grenman
Mr. Kevin Leaptrot
Ms. Adele Tarran
Nora and Howard Lynn
Randi and Max
Ruth Fischer and family
Ruth Seif
Sammy and Jack
Scott and Becky Freedman
Suzy and Jack Welch
The Brickman Family
the Jangers
The Sager Family
The Schultz Family
Troy Gaston
Vandygirl1998
Your Woodstock Hosts

That’s all for today, Monday, October 21.  No MLB baseball until the start of the World Series on Wednesday, when the Boston Red Sox take on the St. Louis Cardinals.  Also, check back later this week where I will be sharing some details for a really cool baseball-related charity event.

Help Me End Lung Cancer

2006-01-07 089This is a special Matt’s Bats blog post about why I am participating in the Breathe Deep DC event for lung cancer, but if you read all the way through it, you will see that it actually has a lot to do with baseball.

My grandfather, Larry Eisner, was diagnosed with lung cancer in 2005, about a year after I was born. He was a very nice person, but he sadly passed away in 2008.

My G-pa was a kind of doctor called a neurologist.  In his life, he helped many people when they were sick. My grandfather, like a lot of people who get lung cancer, did not smoke or do other things that are risky for your health. One of the facts that people may not know is that about 60% of all new lung cancer diagnoses are among people who have never smoked or who have quit smoking a long time ago. Compared to other types of cancer, lung cancer does not get a lot of money for research, even though it is one of the most deadly types of cancer. You can learn a lot more facts here.

My family and I miss him so much. We do not want other people to have this very bad disease. So in 2010, we started doing a walk in Washington, D.C. to help raise money for a charity called Lungevity that gives money for lung cancer research, education and treatment. The walk is called Breathe Deep DC. I am participating in it again on Sunday, November 3 to help raise money for scientists to find a cure to lung cancer.

We walk around the monuments on the National Mall with other lung cancer patients, people who are survivors, family members, and other people whose lives have been touched by lung cancer. It is fun because they have activities, they play music and show videos, and have speakers who share their stories and you get to meet people who all have been affected by lung cancer. Every year they show a slideshow of people who died from lung cancer, and my G-pa’s picture is on it.

This year, instead of raising money from just friends and family members for the walk in November, I want to see if people who read my blog and Twitter will help me raise money by donating or coming to the Breathe Deep DC walk on November 3 on the National Mall. You can click on http://events.lungevity.org/goto/mattsbats to learn more!

Baseball-Ball-iconSince this is a blog about baseball, I want to tell you how my fundraising involves baseball in another way. It is about one of my dad’s friends named Troy Gaston who got diagnosed with brain cancer in 2001. Troy is a lawyer in Greenwood, Arkansas, which is near Fort Smith and close to the Oklahoma border. Troy’s health is fine and his cancer is under control now. He is married with 2 kids, and is a big baseball fan. His favorite team is the Cardinals. I have never met Troy, but he has been a friend of my dad’s since 1998. (In fact, my dad said that on September 9,1998, he was at Troy’s house in St. Louis watching the Cardinals vs. Cubs game when Mark McGwire hit his 62nd home run that broke Roger Maris’ record). This year, Troy came to DC and my dad went with him to a Nationals game.  (By the way, his son Jack is a big Ian Desmond fan and I want to try to get his Nationals hat autographed by Desi to give to him).

After my dad and Troy went to a Nationals game, Troy sent me a 1958 Stan Musial baseball card. It was a very nice gift, but the note he wrote with it explained why he chose to send me such a generous present. He wrote:1958-Topps-Stan-Musial

Musial was particularly known for going out of his way to be kind to other players. He would often cross the field to console African American players during the game after they were abused by white players. He never turned down a fan for an autograph. Musial’s character and grace reminds me of someone in your family. Your grandfather and I both had cancer at the same time. Since mine was a cancer of the brain, he had a special knowledge about my condition. There were several times that he went out of his way to contact me, comfort me and give me advice about my illness. Never once did he mention his own condition or think of himself. I am sure your mom and dad are teaching you to demonstrate similar character.

Here is a copy of the whole letter:

Gaston Letter

2005-08-21 006

This is in Central Park when I was about 1. We ate strawberries and played.

This is a very important letter for me because it reminds me about my grandfather, who died when I was only about 3 ½. I still remember him, but I was very little so most of what I know about him comes from what other people tell me about him.

I am sad that he never saw my success in school and writing my blog and that I became a pro blogger for MLB when I was 9. It is nice to know that I had a grandfather who was generous to other people and helped other people through tough times. I like hearing about how he made an impact on other peoples’ lives. It is great to read a letter from someone who isn’t a family member saying how my G-pa did little things that meant a lot to him. It is also great to hear someone make a connection back to baseball and compare my grandfather to a baseball hero like Stan Musial.

I have truly missed my grandfather and I’ll do whatever it takes to cure the disease that made him die. Now that I am older and I have a way to reach out to a lot of people, I am raising money for research and to bring awareness to lung cancer. I am going to teach people that even people who don’t smoke can get lung cancer. I am going to show people that there needs to be a cure so that good people like my G-pa don’t die from a bad disease. My G-pa was the kindest man I knew, and I miss him a lot.

It would mean very much to me if you visit the webpage set up for me for the Breathe Deep DC event (http://events.lungevity.org/goto/mattsbats). Please donate a little bit of money if you can or sign up to participate in the walk on November 3 on the National Mall. It is also important if you put a link on Facebook or RT this post on Twitter (You can just copy and paste http://wp.me/p3QhbY-kl). You can also follow Breathe Deep DC on Twitter @BreathDeepDC.

My fundraising goal is $5,000, which is a huge amount of money but it is always good to aim high. Even if you don’t donate money or come to the event, you should read these CRAZY facts about lung cancer, so at least you get a little bit of education about it.

Thanks so much for everyone who chooses to donate or to come to the Breathe Deep DC event and become a member of “Team Matt’s Bats” or even just retweet this post on Twitter!

mattsbatslogo-hires

A Matt’s Bats Chat With Ballhawk Zack Hample

Today’s Matt’s Bats Chat is with the world’s most famous “ballhawk.”
What’s a ballhawk?
A ballhawk is someone whose hobby is snagging baseballs from Major League games.
He is so successful at ballhawking that he has caught more than 7,000 baseballs in his career and this summer alone he caught at least one game ball at every major league ballpark.  He’s even invented his own tricks for how to get balls during batting practice and games.
He has written three books, including one called How to Snag Major League Baseballs, Watching Baseball Smarter, and one called simply The Baseball.  He also writes the top rated fan blog on MLBlogs called The Baseball Collector.  He has also been interviewed on national TV many times.
As I mentioned, he writes a blog where this summer he wrote about his adventures teaming up with BiGS Sunflower Seeds for a challenge called BiGS Baseball Adventure to raise money to Pitch In For Baseball for each ball he got at an MLB game.
So, readers, let me introduce you to the one and only Zack Hample. Take it away, Zack!
zack_thirty_stadiums
Matt’s Bats: Zack, you are world famous for your collection of baseballs.  When and how did you get your first one?
Zack Hample: It was tossed to me by a Mets player during batting practice at Shea Stadium on June 20, 1990. Unfortunately I don’t remember who.
MB: How many balls do you have in your collection? What’s the most special?
ZH: My total is up to 7,157. The most special ball is the final home run that the Mets ever hit at Shea Stadium. I caught that one on the fly on September 28, 2008.
Zack at Nationals Park with his 28th (!!!) Ball of the Day

Zack at Nationals Park with his 28th (!!!) Ball of the Day

MB: So, I know your first book was all about how to get baseballs when you go to a game, but can you share with Matt’s Bats reader what are your 3 best tips to getting a ball at a game?
ZH: 1. Show up early for BP.  2. Bring a glove, and 3. Make sure you have some room to run.
MB: One of the craziest things I’ve seen you do is the “glove trick” to get a ball.  How did you come up with that?
ZH: I invented the glove trick after the 1992 season, I think. Basically, I needed a way to reach all the balls that rolled onto the warning track below me at Yankee Stadium, but then I realized how useful it was in other stadiums. Turner Field is the best place for it.
MB: The glove trick is pretty crazy in my opinion.  But what do you think is the craziest thing you’ve done to get a ball? What’s the craziest thing you’ve seen happen at a game?
ZH: After a game in Kansas City in 2009, I kind of hid in the stadium until all the security guards had left. Then I climbed down into the gap behind the center field wall and grabbed nearly a dozen balls that had been sitting there for days. Thankfully I didn’t get in trouble, but looking back on it, it was pretty dumb.
The craziest stuff I’ve seen probably happened in the bleachers at the old Yankee Stadium. There was one guy with a big afro that would light his hair on fire every once in a while and then shake his head to extinguish the flame.
MB: What are the best experiences you’ve had ballhawking?
ZH: The best individual moments are when I catch important home runs. The best overall thing is that I’ve gotten to meet so many people and have lots of interesting experiences along the way. Visiting the Rawlings Baseball Factory in Costa Rica happened as a result of ballhawking and making connections and writing about it and getting lucky.
zack_black_eyeMB: I saw the picture of your black eye.  Is that the worst injury you’ve gotten from ballhawking?  Have you seen people get hit by balls or bats in the stands?
ZH:  My worst injury was the sprained ankle I suffered on June 3, 2011 at Citi Field. I had to use crutches and wear a boot for three weeks. The black eye could’ve been worse, but thankfully that ball got me in a spot that didn’t wreck my vision. I also cracked a rib on August 30, 2008 at Angel Stadium.
I’ve seen a bunch of fans get drilled over the years, and I’m surprised it doesn’t happen more often.
MB: Getting a ball is so rare for most people.  How do you feel about people being pressured throw back opposing teams home run ball at places like Wrigley Field?
ZH: It’s a cool tradition, but it’s not a law. If you catch a visiting team’s home run at Wrigley or anywhere else and you want to keep it, then do it. Peer pressure is dumb. Be strong.
MB: Another question that comes up a lot has to deal with grown-ups who catch a ball at a game.  Do you think adults should keep it as a souvenir or give it to a kid?
ZH: I don’t think there’s one rule that everyone should follow. If a grown-up catches a ball and wants to keep it, fine. If the grown-up wants to give it away, fine. To each his (or her) own. I can tell you, though, that when I was a little kid, I wouldn’t have wanted a ball that someone else caught. I wanted to get one on my own, and I respect all the kids out there today who feel the same way.
MB: I wanted to ask you about the BiGS Sunflower Seeds Baseball Adventure that you wrote about on your blog this summer.
ZH: I was fortunate to be sponsored this season by BIGS Sunflower Seeds. They sent me to all 30 stadiums, challenged me to snag a game-used ball at all of them, and donated $500 to the charity Pitch In For Baseball for each venue where I succeeded. I ended up going 30-for-30 and raising the maximum amount of $15,000.
MB: So now that you’ve been to each stadium, what’s your favorite ballpark?  Any you don’t like?
ZH: My favorite is Camden Yards [Orioles], followed by Rangers Ballpark [Rangers] and Kauffman Stadium [Royals]. My least favorites are Yankee Stadium and Citi Field — quite a shame considering I live in New York City.
MB: Finally, now that the post-season has started, what are your predictions– who’s going to win the World Series?
ZH: I think the Red Sox will beat the Dodgers in the World Series.
People can follow Zack on Twitter (@zack_hample) and check out his website and blog.
Check out this video with his many TV appearances.
He has written three books, including Watching Baseball Smarter and The Baseball.  I just finished reading Watching Baseball Smarter and I think it is really great.  A lot of the things he talked about I already knew, but he also taught me some new things and pointed out things I never paid attention to before (like the fact that there are no left handed catchers in MLB.  The reason is obvious when you think about it, but sometimes it takes someone pointing out these things).  I think you should read the book sometime over the winter so you will be a smarter fan when the season starts.
Also, if you know of anyone who would be interested in being interviewed for MattsBats.com, please send me a note using the Contact link on the right side.

Top 30 Moments of 2013 (Top 10!)

What a Weekend!All this week I have been counting down the top 30 moments of the Nationals’ 2013 season.   The first part was #30-21.  Yesterday I gave you #20-11.  So that means today is the Top 10!

If you like my posts, keep following @MattsBats on Twitter and reading MattsBats.com online during the offseason.  I have some exciting things that I am planning to write about during the offseason to get you for Opening Day.

10. Stephen Strasburg’s First Career Complete Game Shutout (8/11/13)

9. Jordan Zimmermann’s Three Complete Games (4/15/13, 4/26/13, and 9/20/13)

8. Wilson Ramos’ 5-RBI 4th of July (7/4/13)

7. Zimmerman’s 3-Tater Game (5/29/13)

6. Jayson Werth’s 1,000th Career Hit is a Home Run (8/10/13)

5. Bryce Returns from the DL with a BANG! (7/1/13)

4. Bryce Harper’s Walk-Off Tater (7/25/13)

3. Ian Desmond’s Game-Winning 1st Career Grand Slam (6/19/13)

2. Harper Hits Back-to-Back Home Runs on Opening Day (4/1/13)

And my pick for the Number 1 Moment of the Nationals’ 2013 Season Is…

… Not Just One Moment But …  29 Moments!

1. Denard Span’s MLB-Leading 29 Game Hitting Streak (8/22/13 – 9/18/13)

I picked Denard Span’s hitting streak as the most memorable moment of the Nationals 2013 season because it was the 2nd longest hitting streak in franchise history and the longest in all of Major League Baseball in 2013. The fact that he was 27 games away from Joe DiMaggio’s record shows just how amazing DiMaggio’s record is.  But still, Span’s hitting streak kept the Nats’ post-season hopes alive in late August and September.  Denard Span helped give us meaningful baseball late in the season, and he made each Nats game exciting.  He played awesome Gold Glove defense all season and ended the season with a Silver Slugger quality hitting streak.

Here is a video that MLB and the Nats put together of their favorite moments.  I think I had all of them on my list too.

What do you think?  Do you agree with my picks?  Do you remember any other great moments that you think should’ve been on this list?  Leave a comment below!

Top 30 Moments of 2013 (#20-11)

96301-curlywTo help you remember the exciting moments of the Nationals 2013 season, this week I am counting down the Top 30 Moments of the 2013 Nationals season.  Yesterday I did #30-21 and today we’re still counting backwards from #20-11.  That means tomorrow is the Top 10 of 2013!  So if you didn’t see your favorite moment in today’s post or yesterday’s post, it may be coming up tomorrow.

Also, keep following @MattsBats on Twitter and reading MattsBats.com online during the offseason.  I have some exciting things that I am planning to write about during the offseason to get you for Opening Day, which is only 181 days away.

20. LaRoche Uses Werth’s Bat, Hits A Homer (8/3/13)

19. Ramos’ 24 Game Catching Streak is Longest in MLB in 2013 (9/15/13)

18. MLB Debuts of Anthony Rendon (4/21/13), Ian Krol (6/5/13), Jeff Kobernus (5/25/13), Taylor Jordan (6/29/13), Tanner Roark (8/7/13) and Zach Walters (9/6/13)

17. Zim’s Walk-Off Shot (7/26/13)

16. Ramos Has His 2nd 5-RBI Day (9/15/13)

15. LaRoche Belts One In The 15th  (8/17/13) 

14. Nats’ First Walk-Off on Lombo’s Sac Fly (6/4/13)

13. Jayson Werth’s Incredibly Hot July and August

12. Span Walks Off Against Braves to Keep Playoff Hopes Alive (9/17/13)

11. Harper in the Home Run Derby and All-Star Game (7/15/13)