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MLB Community analysts’ greatest moments as gamers

January 3rd, 2024 MLB Network, launched on Jan. 1, 2009, is celebrating its 15th anniversary in 2024. Through Jan. 19, MLB Network will count down the top 15 moments it has covered in its history, via weeknight segments on MLB Tonight (6 p.m. ET), as well as across its social platforms. And don’t forget to

MLB Community analysts’ greatest moments as gamers

January third, 2024

MLB Community, launched on Jan. 1, 2009, is celebrating its 15th anniversary in 2024. By way of Jan. 19, MLB Community will depend down the highest 15 moments it has coated in its historical past, through weeknight segments on MLB Tonight (6 p.m. ET), in addition to throughout its social platforms. And don’t overlook to catch MLB Community’s fifteenth Anniversary retrospective present — “MLB Community Legendary Moments” offered by Budweiser, with Greg Amsinger, Sean Casey and Harold Reynolds — scheduled for 7 p.m. ET on Monday, Jan. 22.

No. 13 on the countdown: MLB Community analysts, then and now.

All through its historical past, MLB Community has all the time sought to deliver followers inside the sport, partly by using a roster of ex-player analysts who can break down swings, pitch arsenals and far, way more with the attitude of getting been on the sector on the largest stage.

A few of these analysts have been in uniform inside the previous few years, whereas others are way more faraway from their enjoying days. Some spent a number of many years within the Majors and others just some years. However no matter after they have been in The Present and for a way lengthy, every can look again on some big moments and incredible video games.

In order MLB Community shines a light-weight on its analysts as a part of its fifteenth anniversary celebration, listed below are our picks for a high second from the profession of every former participant who now you can see breaking down the motion in your TV display screen.

Yonder Alonso
Alonso performed 10 seasons within the Majors however loved a profession 12 months in 2017, together with an enormous first half for the A’s. That earned him his lone All-Star choice, and Alonso responded by going 2-for-2, with singles off Zack Greinke and Kenley Jansen. He adopted the latter hit with a stolen base, regardless of swiping solely 22 luggage throughout his complete profession.

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Ruben Amaro Jr.
Whereas he was largely a bench participant throughout elements of eight MLB seasons, Amaro loved a spectacular first begin as a member of the Phillies on April 8, 1992, the group’s second recreation of the season. Main off in opposition to the Cubs at Veterans Stadium, he went 3-for-4 with two doubles, his first profession homer and three RBIs in an 11-3 blowout. Amaro would go on to larger acclaim as a front-office government, most notably as GM of the Phillies.

Alex Avila
Avila logged 929 massive league video games behind the plate over 13 seasons, and on Might 7, 2011, at Toronto, he checked off a serious accomplishment for any catcher. The 24-year-old helped information Justin Verlander to the second of his three profession no-hitters and smacked a two-run homer for good measure. (Avila additionally caught Armando Galarraga’s near-perfect recreation in 2010.)

Sean Casey
A 3-time All-Star with greater than 1,500 hits, Casey loved maybe his best recreation for the Reds on June 23, 2004, at Shea Stadium. He went 5-for-6 — one in every of his three five-hit video games — and popped a pair of two-run homers. The second, off Mets lefty John Franco, broke a 4-4 tie within the high of the twelfth inning to ship a Cincinnati victory.

Ron Darling
Earlier than he was a part of the Mets’ beloved three-man broadcast sales space, Darling was a Mets World Sequence hero in 1986. Whereas he didn’t have his greatest efficiency in Sport 7 in opposition to the Pink Sox — being lifted within the fourth after permitting three runs — New York would come again to win, and the membership wouldn’t have reached that time with out him. After taking a hard-luck loss in Sport 1 (seven innings, one unearned run), Darling received Sport 4, twirling seven scoreless innings in hostile territory at Fenway Park.

Ryan Dempster
In 16 Main League seasons, Dempster made two All-Star groups and took residence a World Sequence ring as a member of the 2013 Pink Sox. It was throughout his first All-Star marketing campaign, means again within the 12 months 2000, when a 23-year-old Dempster, then with the Marlins, turned in a complete-game one-hitter in opposition to the Mets on Might 7, which might stay his greatest begin by recreation rating (89) for the remainder of his profession.

Mark DeRosa
DeRosa was no stranger to an offensive outburst — he had 4 complete six-RBI video games in his 16-year enjoying profession. Among the many better of them was a 4-for-5 day he had in opposition to the A’s on Aug. 9, 2006, by which he tallied a double and two residence runs in an authoritative 14-0 victory — no small feat, given Oakland had began Barry Zito.

Cliff Floyd
Floyd, the Expos’ first-round choose within the 1991 Draft, was a pressure to be reckoned with on the plate in his enjoying profession, and he proved as a lot throughout his six-season stint with the Marlins from 1997-2002. On Sept. 30, 2000, in opposition to the Phillies, Floyd went 4-for-5 with two doubles and a house run and drove in six runs, accounting for greater than half of the Marlins’ offense in an 11-5 victory.

Al Leiter
Leiter, a two-time World Sequence champion, achieved so much over 19 seasons, however you possibly can in all probability guess the place that is going: proper to the no-hitter. On Might 11, 1996, Leiter threw the primary no-no in Marlins historical past, strolling two and placing out six on simply 103 pitches in a memorable 11-0 rout of the Rockies. Secure to say an announcement was made that day.

Mike Lowell
Lowell, a four-time All-Star and the 2007 World Sequence MVP, hit 223 residence runs over 13 Main League seasons. His one profession three-homer recreation got here for the Marlins in opposition to the Phillies on April 21, 2004, a tightly contested recreation the Marlins received 8-7 in 12 innings whereas the Phillies accomplished the sport underneath protest. Lowell went 4-for-6 on the evening with two big game-tying pictures, first within the seventh and later within the ninth.

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Pedro Martinez
One may make a convincing argument that no pitcher in MLB historical past has been higher than Martinez was in successful back-to-back AL Cy Younger Awards in 1999-2000. And Peak Pedro was by no means higher than on Sept. 10, 1999, when he went into Yankee Stadium, confronted the eventual World Sequence champion Yankees and threw a one-hitter (permitting solely Chili Davis’ second-inning solo homer), whereas strolling none and placing out 17 in overwhelming trend.

Cameron Maybin
Few Main League careers are busier than Maybin’s was, as he performed 1,162 video games for 10 groups over 15 seasons. Close to the tail finish of his profession, he had a brief stint with the Angels, the place he had one in every of his greatest single-game performances on June 9, 2017, in opposition to the Astros, a recreation by which he went 3-for-4 with a double and 4 stolen bases, setting his personal profession excessive and tying the Angels’ franchise report. As of the tip of the 2023 season, he stays the final Angel (of 4 complete) to report 4 steals in a single recreation.

Kevin Millar
Millar spent simply three of his 12 Main League seasons in Boston, however he took particularly nicely to the Yankees-Pink Sox rivalry whereas he was there. That was particularly evident on July 23, 2004, the date of his solely profession three-homer recreation. Regardless of Millar’s efforts — which included a perfectly-timed game-tying residence run within the eighth off Tom Gordon — the Yankees would in the end win, 8-7.

Jake Peavy
The 2007 NL Cy Younger Award winner had an eventful and profitable profession. However by way of single-game performances, it would not get significantly better than the one he turned in on April 25, 2007, in opposition to the D-backs. A 25-year-old Peavy threw seven scoreless innings, giving up two hits, strolling three and placing out 16. That tied the Padres’ single-game strikeout report — a report he had set a 12 months earlier, and one that also stands via the 2023 season.

Carlos Peña
Often higher remembered for his time with the Rays — comprehensible, on condition that he averaged 33 homers per season in Tampa Bay — Peña initially caught on with the Tigers, the place, on Might 27, 2004, he went 6-for-6 with a double, two homers, 5 RBIs and 4 runs scored. It was an extremely spectacular outburst from the 26-year-old first baseman and got here as a part of a banner day for Detroit, which scored 17 runs on 27 hits in a rout of Kansas Metropolis.

Hunter Pence
Sandwiched between successful his two World Sequence rings with the Giants in 2012 and ’14, Pence put up probably the greatest single-game offensive performances of his profession on Sept. 14, 2013, going 3-for-5 with a house run and a career-best seven RBIs in a 19-3 rout of their rival Dodgers, nonetheless the highest-scoring recreation in opposition to the Dodgers in Los Angeles since 1961.

Dan Plesac
Plesac grew to become a profitable nearer early in his profession with the Brewers, reaching three straight All-Star Video games from 1987-89. Within the 1988 contest in Cincinnati, the left-hander got here via in a giant spot. The AL was clinging to a 2-1 lead within the eighth inning when Plesac was referred to as in with a runner on first, two outs and Darryl Strawberry coming to the plate. Strawberry would go on to guide the NL in homers and OPS that season, however Plesac struck him out to finish the inning, establishing Dennis Eckersley’s ninth-inning save.

Albert Pujols
How do you select only one? There was Pujols’ three-homer recreation within the 2011 World Sequence, his 700th profession homer in his closing season, and so many extra. However no one will ever overlook his titanic three-run blast off the Astros’ Brad Lidge in Sport 5 of the 2005 NLCS at Minute Maid Park, which turned a two-run deficit right into a one-run Cardinals lead with two outs within the high of the ninth inning. It stays an iconic postseason second.

Harold Reynolds
A 3-time Gold Glove Award winner at second base who stole 250 profession bases, Reynolds was not recognized for residence runs. He hit simply 21 of them in 5,398 journeys to the plate. That included one grand slam — and it got here in a tied recreation within the ninth inning on Sept. 5, 1990, at Baltimore. Now that’s good timing.

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Invoice Ripken
Talking of well-timed homers: Ripken completed his 12-year tenure within the Majors with simply 20 massive flies. However two of these got here in particular circumstances. On each Sept. 15, 1990, at Toronto, and Might 28, 1996, at Seattle, Invoice and older brother Cal Jr. homered not solely in the identical recreation but additionally the identical inning for the Orioles. (Cal swatted three homers and drove in eight within the latter recreation.)

Xavier Scruggs
By August 2016, Scruggs was near turning 29, with greater than 150 Minor League residence runs to his credit score — however none within the Majors. After 61 homerless plate appearances for the 2014-15 Cardinals, he obtained one other shot with the Marlins late within the ‘16 season. In his second recreation for Miami, on Aug. 20 at Pittsburgh, he ripped a two-run homer. It was his lone massive league massive fly.

Jim Thome
One of many nice sluggers within the recreation’s historical past, Thome grew to become solely the eighth member of the 600 Dwelling Run Membership on Aug. 15, 2011, whereas with the Twins. The milestone homer at Detroit’s Comerica Park, which got here just a little shy of Thome’s forty first birthday, put the Corridor of Famer in unique firm.

Chris Younger
That is the previous outfielder, not the previous pitcher and present Rangers GM who didn’t permit successful to this Chris Younger in 16 profession at-bats. In any case, outfielder Chris Younger crammed up the stat sheet in his rookie season with the 2007 D-backs, and on Sept. 11 at San Francisco, his fourth-inning solo homer clinched a 30-20 marketing campaign. Younger stays one in every of solely three rookies — together with Nomar Garciaparra (1997) and Mike Trout (2012) — to perform that feat.

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