Soler's smash is Legendary Moment of 2021

November 16th, 2021

helped the Braves win their first World Series title since 1995, capturing World Series MVP honors and heading into free agency on a high note. Now the hard-hitting outfielder has earned another trophy. Monday on MLB Network, Soler was named the winner of the 2021 MLB Legendary Moment Award presented by Budweiser.

While Soler launched three key home runs during the Fall Classic against the Astros, the Legendary Moment Award is specifically honoring his go-ahead moonshot in the Braves’ championship-clinching Game 6 victory at Houston.

After all, who could forget the sound when Soler’s bat struck the pitch from the Astros' Luis Garcia? The sonic boom arrived in the third inning, with the score knotted at 0-0, two runners aboard and two outs. In a full count, Soler got a hanger and did not miss, blasting the ball out of Minute Maid Park for a 3-0 lead. This no-doubter flew a projected 446 feet and sparked a 7-0 win.

“I knew I hit it well, but to be honest, immediately after I hit it, I turned around just to look at our dugout and start celebrating,” Soler said afterward. “So I didn't really see it go all the way out.”

Soler’s crush job beat out seven other plays for the Legendary Moment Award, which featured a field of the top four regular-season moments and the top four postseason moments of 2021, as voted on by fans and a panel of MLB experts. Soler was the top vote-getter from both the fans and the experts and triumphed over a strong slate of challengers.

The runner-up was Tim Anderson of the White Sox, who drilled a walk-off homer into the corn stalks beyond the outfield wall at the Field of Dreams game against the Yankees on Aug. 12. Randy Arozarena of the Rays came in third for his daring steal of home in Game 1 of the ALDS against Boston, while Shohei Ohtani was fourth for his efforts in both starting on the mound and batting leadoff in the All-Star Game.

How good was Soler’s World Series? So good that he actually had a second nominee on the list, thanks to his game-winning pinch-hit homer in Game 4 against the Astros.

Rounding out the field were the Dodgers’ Chris Taylor (three homers in NLCS Game 5) and Mookie Betts (game-saving diving catch on April 17 against the Padres), as well as the Yankees’ Aaron Judge (walk-off hit to clinch a postseason berth on Oct. 3 against the Rays).

But in the end, it was Soler who crushed the decisive dinger of 2021, and Soler who captured the 2021 Legendary Moment Award.