It's time for what Ernest Hemingway once described as the "moment of truth."Now that we're getting deep into October, when two pennants and a World Series trophy await, when courage is a virtue for players, your mission as a fan is to somehow select the Best Regular Season Moment out
It's time for what Ernest Hemingway once described as the "moment of truth."
Now that we're getting deep into October, when two pennants and a World Series trophy await, when courage is a virtue for players, your mission as a fan is to somehow select the Best Regular Season Moment out of five candidates that stirred our emotions in 2016.
Voting is underway through 2 p.m. ET on Nov. 11 to help decide this and many other categories in the Esurance MLB Awards, and your nominees for Best Regular Season Moment are the ones with all the feels courtesy of David Ortiz, Dee Gordon, Ichiro Suzuki, Vin Scully and Mark Teixeira.
They made you cry. They made you smile. They made you watch, again and again.
Last year's winner for "Best Moment" was Eric Hosmer, for his dash to the plate that gave Kansas City the title. This time, the honor is being split into two. While we await the candidates for Best Postseason Moment in the days to come, here is a closer look at Best Regular Season Moment choices, including the videos to watch again, if you can handle it.
David Ortiz, Oct. 2 vs. Blue Jays
"I want to thank all of you, the fans," Ortiz said as he looked out at the adoring Fenway Park crowd around him before his final regular season home game. It was not just the formality of a farewell, but the way he went out -- probably the greatest retirement season in history. It would not be the last time Big Papi would shed tears on the mound, but with so many Best Postseason Moment candidates likely to emerge, this might be an Ortiz fan's chance.
Dee Gordon, Sept. 26 vs. Mets
The baseball world was shocked to learn on Sept. 25 that Marlins pitcher José Fernández was killed in a boating accident at the age of 24. Amid the collective grieving in the South Florida community and around MLB, Gordon -- wearing a No. 16 jersey as part of the team-wide tribute to Fernandez, and after wearing Fernandez's batting helmet to take a pitch from the right side of the plate -- hit a leadoff "homer for Jose." It lifted spirits, if that was even possible, and brought even Gordon himself to tears as he rounded the bases and returned to the dugout and straight into the clubhouse.
Ichiro Suzuki: Aug. 7 at Rockies
It was not the first time that the future Hall of Famer from Japan held the baseball world's rapt attention over a milestone hitting chase. Think back to the 2004 season, when Ichiro recorded his 258th hit to break George Sisler's 84-year-old record for most in a single season. This time it was about longevity and consistency, and Ichiro's triple for Miami off the right-field wall at Colorado made him the 30th member of the 3,000-hit club. It's worth noting that one of the other contenders for this award, Gordon, was the first to greet Ichiro at third base.
Vin Scully: Sept. 23-25 vs. Rockies
It is impossible to imagine Opening Day in 2017 without Scully behind the microphone. No one wanted this day to ever come, but baseball and life move on, and so it will be a new and strange-sounding world next spring. In the meantime, what you can do is watch the nominee video and remind yourself what that final home series was like at Dodger Stadium, where the great one was honored in myriad ways after 67 years of broadcasting Dodgers baseball.
Mark Teixeira: Oct. 2 vs. Orioles
Prior to his final game in pinstripes, a retiring Teixeira was joined by his fans, family and teammates for a memorable ceremony. Then he was removed during the game for a standing ovation. His sendoff was much different than Ortiz's on the other side of the rivalry; Teixeira announced on Aug. 5 that this would be his final season. In a tearful news conference, he said, "I'm going to leave it all out there. I want to finish this season on a high note." In addition to this nominee, Teixeira's Last Hurrah -- a walk-off grand slam -- is a candidate for Best Play, Offense.
The Esurance MLB Awards annually honor MLB's greatest achievements as part of an industry-wide balloting process that includes five groups, each of which accounts for 20 percent of the overall vote: media, front-office personnel, retired MLB players, fans at MLB.com and Society for American Baseball Research (SABR) voters.
The MLB Awards are an all-inclusive program, encompassing the top players and performances from both the American and National Leagues from Opening Day through the end of the postseason.
Individual awards will go to the Best Major Leaguer in addition to the winners in the following categories: Best Hitter, Pitcher, Rookie, Defensive Player, Manager, Executive, Social Media Personality and postseason performer.
In addition to Best Regular Season Moment, winners also will be recognized for Best Play, Offense; Best Play, Defense; Best Postseason Moment; Best Performance; Best Social Media Post; Best Fan Catch; Best Call, TV/Radio; Best Player-Fan Interaction; and Best Trending Topic.
Voting began on Sept. 19 at 4 p.m. ET on MLB.com/awards, one hour after the inaugural Esurance MLB Fans of the Year winners were announced. Winners for all categories will be announced live on MLB Network and MLB.com on Nov. 18.
Mark Newman is enterprise editor of MLB.com. Read and join other baseball fans on his MLB.com community blog.