In a year as challenging as this one, it’s worth looking for bright spots. To the list!
We have listed 35 things baseball fans can be grateful for in a year of calamity when sporting calendar got screwed. In 2020 due to NCOVID-19 sporting events got postponed, so did with MLB as well. So to cheer the mood we have listed 35 things baseball fans can be thankful for 2020.
List of 35 things baseball fans can be happy about
1. Mike Trout: What’s not to like? Baseball fans can be very happy about it.
— MLB (@MLB) November 24, 2020
2. Inside-the-park home runs: Christian Yelich had the best one of the season, with a lot of help from Eloy Jimenez.
3. The Yastrzemski family: Decades after Carl put a bow on a Hall of Fame career, how cool is it that his grandson Mike is carving out his own career? (In his 30s, no less).
4. MLB’s Film Room: This new tool on the league’s website is great. Adjust filters to isolate almost any at-bat in recent years, or find a few gems like footage of Ted Williams’s walk-off homer in the 1941 All-Star Game.
5. 3-0 swings: Fernando Tatis Jr. made headlines for a lot of reasons in 2020, but never more than when he homered on a 3-0 pitch with the Padres already up big. To heck with the unwritten rules.
6. Kim Ng: She continues to break barriers, finally now as a general manager.
7. Erik Kratz’s knuckleball: Good luck hitting this!
8. Expanded playoffs: For every traditionalist rolling their eyes, a Marlins or Padres fan is grateful they got to watch postseason games for the first time in 14-plus years.
9. Slam Diego: Has there ever been a better baseball-themed play on words?
10. Brett Phillips’s Airplane: The Rays’ World Series hero almost ran out of gas after zooming into the outfield following his walk-off hit. Seriously, he almost passed out.
11. Adalberto Mondesi’s speed: Even if steals aren’t cool anymore, nobody swiped more bags (24) in 2020 than the Royals’ speedster. Long live the steal.
12. Ageless Nelson Cruz: Imagine being 40 and still hitting the snot out of major league pitches.
13. Polar Bears: Both the animal and Mets first basemen Pete Alonso are worth loving and caring about.
14. Hunter Pence’s graceful exit: After being cut midseason by the Giants, the outfielder retired and proceeded to celebrate by renting a boat to float through McCovey Cove while cheering on his former teammates.
Hunter Pence is just chilling on a boat in McCovey Cove signing autographs for fans in kayaks during the Giants game. pic.twitter.com/W6oEdaoRCo
— Jared Carrabis (@Jared_Carrabis) September 27, 2020
15. The Padres’ left side of the infield: A space shared by Manny Machado and Fernando Tatis Jr. is one worth cherishing for any defensive-minded baseball fans.
16. Mammoth home runs: Braves phenom Ronald Acuña Jr. hit the longest home run of the year, per Statcast, measuring 495 feet.
17. Bryce Harper’s post-ejection haircut:
Oh my god, the hair. Bryce Harper was attacked by the Jayson Werth symbiote pic.twitter.com/QFXyIHg4Ei
— Michael Clair (@michaelsclair) July 10, 2020
Bryce Harper cut his hair after being ejected last night. pic.twitter.com/f8RJ4wQDov
— Matt Gelb (@MattGelb) September 6, 2020
18. Xander Bogaerts’s contract extension: Because in the wake of the Mookie Betts trade, Red Sox fans need something to feel OK about.
19. Mike Trout’s infant son: The countdown to Beckham Trout’s MLB debut is on. If he can make it to the bigs by 19, his dad will only be … 48.
20. Clayton Kershaw’s back: The monkey is off of it. He finally has a ring. Take that, monkey.
21. Well-timed lightning bolts: How can baseball fans not be happy about this?! The year 2020 A.D. in one photo
ESPN cameras caught some nearby lightning as they were interviewing Rob Manfred pic.twitter.com/Lf75XgoEu3
— SB Nation (@SBNation) July 24, 2020
22. Buried ledes: Congrats to Mike Clevinger for his new contract. Apologies to Mike Clevinger for his injury.
The #Padres have signed RHP Mike Clevinger to a two-year contract through the 2022 season.
— San Diego Padres (@Padres) November 16, 2020
23. Stuffed A’s fans: All of us here at SI wish T. Bear a speedy recovery.
We’re happy to report that T. Bear, despite feeling a little stuffy, has passed concussion protocol and will be ready for tonight’s game. His new seat neighbor grabbed a helmet out of his trunk as a precaution.
— Oakland A’s (@Athletics) August 21, 2020
24. Yu Darvish’s Twitter account: There is never a better time to use the Twitter translate tool than when Darvish is gaming.
25. Fernando Tatis Jr.’s Dance Moves: The Padres phenom had a lot to celebrate this year, and he did it in style.
— San Diego Padres (@Padres) August 8, 2020
- MLB Draft: Top five free agent right now in the league
- MLB 2020: the best team in New York?
- Power Rankings of MLB: The Dodgers are No. 1 atop
26. Cody Bellinger memes: Belli Bombed took on a whole new meaning this postseason as Bellinger’s cool California vibe led to plenty of memes, with the 2019 MVP taking on the persona of baseball’s Spicoli. The memes were such a hit that Belli had to clarify on Jimmy Kimmel that he isn’t high when he plays baseball; saying he’s always looked “faded,” even as a Little Leaguer. Sick.
27. Paternal backup catchers: How could you not love Erik Kratz’s fatherly relationship with Deivi Garcia?
28. Mookie Betts’s … Everything: Sorry Red Sox fans, but Mookie winning the World Series in his first season with the Dodgers was the perfect way to stick it to Boston.
29. Devin Williams’s changeup: Nothing is better than a pitch that’s so nasty it earns its own name.
30. Pitching Ninja: If you ever need a reminder of how hard it is to be a big-league hitter, pull up Rob Friedman’s, aka the Pitching Ninja, Twitter account.
31. Hall of Famers, past and present: It’s been a sad period for baseball fans everywhere as we’ve lost Hall of Famers this year. A reminder to always appreciate greatness–it can be fleeting.
32. The Ultimate Droughtbuster: Theo Epstein, baseball’s official Breaker of Curses, steps away from the Cubs as a Hall of Fame executive. Now, what will his ‘third chapter’ entail?
33. Gary, Keith and Ron: Few broadcast crews capture their teams, as well as this trio, does with the Mets. For every “It’s Outta Here” from Gary, there’s Keith’s quintessential sigh.
34. Minor League Baseball: It’s uncertain what lies ahead for MiLB, but this much we know: It’s the lifeblood of baseball and brings the game to millions who wouldn’t otherwise see it.
35. Baseball: In the year 2020, baseball fans can be very happy and grateful for the beautiful game that we got to watch this great game at all in this awful year is something to be grateful for. Here’s to a better, brighter 2021.