By Joe Sparacio
Not much can top witnessing a majestic home run, but I'd argue that taking a homer away might actually be more thrilling
As a Mets fan, I will never forget the catch Endy Chavez made in Game 7 of the 2006 National League Championship Series to not only keep the score tied at the time, but to even convert it into a double play. Yes, the Mets eventually lost, but that's the only thing keeping this play from being one of the best of all time.
Over the past two weeks, we've been subject to some fantastic home run robberies, and even an incredible wall-crashing catch by the speedy Billy Hamilton. Since there's never a wrong time to watch amazing plays, let's count down the top 10 home run robberies of the 2017 season.
10. Josh Reddick (HOU) robs Jason Kipnis (CLE), April 25
Reddick has been a pleasant surprise for the Astros this year. His offensive numbers speak for themselves (he actually leads the league in sacrifice flies), but he proved he has defensive chops, as displayed at Progressive Field in this 4-2 Astros win over the Indians.
9. Jason Heyward (CHC) robs Ryan Braun (MIL), July 28
The National League Central race has been far closer than most predicted all season, making this snare more dramatic. And Heyward, who has been one of the best fielders over the last decade, proved that his defense is still stellar. The Cubs still fell to the Brewers in this one, 2-1, in Milwaukee.
8. Adam Jones (BAL) robs Joey Gallo (TEX), July 29
This won't be the only appearance on the list for four-time Gold Glover Jones. Do not hit it his way. The O's beat the Rangers, 4-0, in Arlington.
7. Kevin Kiermaier (TB) robs Kipnis (CLE), May 17
Kipnis victimized again! Last year's Gold Glover, and one of the best defenders overall in the game today, timed his jump perfectly to end the game and secure a 7-4 victory for the Rays on the road.
6. Scott Schebler (CIN) robs Stephen Vogt (MIL), June 28
Schebler had a long run to get to this ball in the first place, and when he leapt it was as though he froze in the air to haul the ball in. Oh, and he saved his team from being down 3-0 in the second inning at home (the Reds eventually won, 4-3). Not bad for a guy who is not usually known for his glove.
5. Corey Dickerson (TB) robs Eric Hosmer (KC), May 11
This one could have AL Wild Card Game implications! The sheer distance that Dickerson goes beyond the wall with his glove to bring that homer back in is why this catch makes our Top 5 -- the ball looks like it almost touched the ground! (The Rays lost to the Royals, 6-0, though.)
4. Jackie Bradley Jr. (BOS) robs Ryon Healy (OAK), May 19
You can see the expression on Craig Kimbrel's face when Healy makes contact with the pitch -- the Red Sox closer looks certain that the ball is gone (it would have been a walk-off). But never fear, JBJ had it covered. The defensive wizard went full extension, then causally began his trot back to the dugout. You deserve that tip of the cap, sir. Unfortunately, for Boston, the A's did walk off in the 10th inning thanks to a home run from Mark Canha.
3. Adam Jones (USA) robs Manny Machado (DOM), March 18
OK, this technically occurred before the season in the World Baseball Classic. But the stakes at the time were incredibly high, with the winner of the game against the Dominican Republic advancing to the semifinals. The catch was amazing and it arguably propelled Team USA to win it all. Oh, and it;s Jones robbing his own teammate! This catch is top-three worthy. Tyler Clippard's face says it all.
2. Adam Engel (CWS) robs Brian McCann (HOU), Aug. 8
Engel goes a long, long way and extends himself far over the wall with a perfect jump. What's more is that he not only robs McCann but he foils the plans of an eager fan who is also going for the ball. Double the effort = double the incredibleness. To me, this is the No. 2 catch of the year. The White Sox won the game, 8-5.
1. Austin Jackson (CLE) robs Hanley Ramirez (BOS), Aug. 1
This happened during one of the best games of the year so far, a back-and-forth battle between the Indians and Red Sox at Fenway Park, which Boston eventually won, 12-10, on a walk-off home run in the bottom of the ninth. Earlier in the contest, Ramirez crushed a ball to right field. After taking a split second to measure up his leap, Jackson throws himself over the bullpen wall, snagging the ball in the process and landing with his feet up in the air and ball in hand.
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Joe Sparacio is an associate producer for Sports on Earth. Follow him on Twitter @joetsparacio.