If you had asked me in March if there would be any top moments for the 2020 Major League Baseball season, I might have laughed at you. As pessimistic as that sounds, it’s true. Between the negotiations, COVID-19, and feeling as if the world was truly ending – it was quite hard to imagine anything positive. And yet here we are with my Top 10 Moments of Major League Baseball in 2020.
1.) Kim Ng Hire.
I’ll be the first to admit that I cried when I heard the news. In the history of sports, including baseball, it has always been a man’s world. And yet Kim Ng continues to prove that women belong in sports and Major League Baseball. I am so proud and so excited for the future. The hiring of Kim Ng gives me hope for the future. Proud of the Miami Marlins for this moment. Ladies, we belong in baseball and we belong in the sports industry. One small step at a time, but we’re breaking down the walls together.
2.) Lucas Giolito’s No-No.
It never fails. Whenever someone mentions a no-hitter, I turn my MLB.tv on and begin watching the game – as soon as I do, someone breaks up the no-no. But it didn’t happen on this fateful night. I sat and watched the no-hitter on my phone with glee. I will never forget Giolito’s reaction to earning his place in Chicago White Sox history. What a beautiful moment in the middle of an eerie fan-less pandemic riddled season. Even if you aren’t a White Sox fan, you know this moment gets you in your feels.
3.) Kershaw Gets His Trophy.
It finally happened. In the weirdest year ever, Clayton Kershaw earned his World Series and yes, it counts. Before anyone comes at me with that asterisk nonsense, this World Series counted and I’m here for it. Kershaw has been chasing that piece of metal for a long, long time and even the most anti-Dodger fan shed a tear for the man as he lifted the trophy into the night. After becoming a postseason meme, the man finally proved to the naysayers that he is more than just a meme. Good for you, Kershaw.
4.) Brett Phillips Game 4.
I love a good underdog story and Brett Phillips is no exception. That’s the beauty of baseball, even the most underrated and unknown player can have such a big impact in a high stakes game. I will never forget watching this moment. I honestly screamed loud enough to scare the barks out of my poor dog. I kicked my boyfriend somehow. Even as someone who doesn’t typically root for the Rays, I couldn’t help but feel happiness. Despite the Rays losing the World Series, this moment will forever go down as something we as fans and writers talk about for years to come.
5.) Mets Sweep Yankees.
I grew up as a Mets fan with a father who has never cared for the Yankees, so when my beloved Mets swept the Yanks in a doubleheader this season – I celebrated. I mean come on, a five-run sixth inning? Yeah, that’s the type of Mets behavior I would like to see next season. With the Steve Cohen era in full swing, it’s hard not to be excited for what is to come for the New York team.
6.) Randy Arozarena’s October.
When I heard the news last year that Arozarena had been traded to the Rays, I didn’t think much about it, I’ll be the first to admit it. I wasn’t necessarily on the Randy A train when he was with the St. Louis Cardinals, mostly because I was too worried about Harrison Bader and Lane Thomas getting attention. Yeah, listen I know. Not only did Arozarena have a legendary October, he has sealed his fate alongside postseason heroes.
7.) Daniel Bard’s Return.
Bard made his return to the majors in 2020 after not pitching in the big leagues for more than seven years. Yes, seven years. After performing impressively during Summer Camp and intra-squad games, Bard made the Rockies’ 30-man Opening Day roster and honestly, if someone doesn’t make a Disney+ sports movie about this, I’ll be upset.
8.) Shane Bieber’s Glory.
The Cleveland Indians had Bieber Fever – no, not that kind of fever. Shane Bieber might be a young pitcher but goodness, he is something special. He had the 15th lowest FIP, the all-time highest K/9 and K%, the seventh lowest hits per nine, the fourth lowest OPS allowed and the third lowest OPS+. On August 20, 2020, Bieber had an amazing run with six shutout innings. Keep your eyes on Bieber for years to come, he’s the real deal.
9.) Dylan Carlson’s First Home Run.
Dylan Carlson has been a pivotal name for the St. Louis Cardinals fanbase. From the moment he was called up in 2020, everyone eagerly awaited his success. But success doesn’t come easy, even for the newest pride of St. Louis. On August 23, 2020, Carlson hit his first home run and there is nothing more special than getting to see someone’s first career home run. For someone like Carlson who I had the opportunity to be around in January before COVID-19 took over our normal lives, it was a moment I will never forget.
10.) Marlins Make October.
As a joke, I said the Marlins could make it to the postseason. As a not-so-joke, I wrote about how they could make it to October for Pitcher List. With a sigh of relief, they made it into the postseason and I didn’t make it to Old Takes Exposed. While the postseason run didn’t last long, it’s exciting to see a young team like the Marlins get a taste of what’s to come. Don’t go sleeping on the fish, they might surprise you.
Chelsea Ladd is the founder of Dugout Dish and covers all levels of professional baseball. You can follow her adventures on Twitter @chelseabrooke and @dugoutdish.
(Photo Credit: Getty Images)