Poll: What was your favorite moment of the first half?


Every year, there are certain moments in the season that remind us just why baseball is the greatest game on Earth, and this year is no different. Sure, lots of us take this silly game far too seriously, but that’s only because we love it so much. We’re lucky to be fans of the greatest franchise in sports history, as the Yankees give us more great memories than we can handle at times.

With the second half set to begin tomorrow, I figured now was the best time to see what everyone’s favorite moment of the first half was. Here’s a few of the highlights:

May 8th: Alex Rodriguez homers on the first pitch after coming off the DL (video)
After a winter of self-inflicted controversy and a spring of injury, Alex Rodriguez returned to the Yankees lineup in Baltimore and promptly stepped to the plate with runners on first and second and only one out. In a scene straight out of a novel, A-Rod took Jeremy Guthrie’s first pitch and deposited it into the left field stands, reminding everyone in baseball what he’s capable of. They were the only runs the team would need that day, as they skated to a 4-0 win.

May 15th: Brett Gardner‘s inside-the-park homer (video)
After visiting a children’s hospital earlier in the day and receiving a bracelet from a young girl who told him he would hit a home run if he kept it, Brett Gardner stepped to the plate in the 7th with the Yankees trailing the Twins 4-1. He’d entered the game in the 4th inning after Johnny Damon was thrown out for arguing balls and strikes, and blooped Jesse Crain’s 0-2 pitch into shallow left field. The ball squibbed past Denard Span and rolled all the way into the corner as Gardner raced around the bases for the Yankees first inside-the-park homer since Ricky Ledee did the honors back in 1999. The homer helped propel the Yankees to a 5-4 walk-off win.

June 1st: Joba Chamberlain‘s belly flop double play in Cleveland (video)
After allowing the first two runners to reach base via a walk and single, Joba Chamberlain faced Indians’ catcher Kelly Shoppach with no outs in the 5th inning of a 1-1 game. Joba’s first two pitches were outside, and Shoppach squared around to bunt the runners into scoring position. He made contact on the third pitch but bunted it straight up and toward third base. Joba hustled off the mound and laid out almost in slow motion to make the catch, then jumped to his feet and fired the ball to second base to double off the runner there. The Indians wouldn’t score in the inning, and the Yankees walked away with a 5-2 win in one of Joba’s best starts of the season.

June 12th: Yankees walk off with a win when Luis Castillo drops the ball (video)
Having lost their last three games, the Yankees came into the bottom of the ninth against the Mets down a run in a see-saw, back-and-forth affair. The Mets brought in their shiny new closer to lock it down, and K-Rod retired Brett Gardner before allowing a single to Derek Jeter. Jeter stole second when Johnny Damon struck out, and the Mets opted to walk the molten-hot Mark Teixeira and face A-Rod. After working himself into a hitter-friendly 3-1 count, A-Rod popped K-Rod’s 28th pitch of the night up toward shallow right for an easy out. Except the out was never made because Castillo dropped the ball. Teixeira crossed home because he hustled around the bases, and the Yanks walked away winners in the most improbable fashion.

June 28th: Mariano Rivera walks with the bases loaded for his first career RBI (video)
With his team up by one and rallying for more in the top of the ninth, Mariano Rivera came to the plate for just the third time in the regular season in his career. The bases were loaded with two outs, but K-Rod’s first two pitches were outside. The next two were over the plate and Mo spoiled a third before taking the sixth pitch high for a full count. K-Rod’s 31st pitch of the night was again high, and Mariano took first base on a walk, picking up his first career RBI in the process. It’s almost an afterthought that he stuck around to pick up his 500th career save in the bottom half of the inning.

Those are just some of the highlights of the first half. Vote on your favorite below, but if you think another moment was the best of the first half – maybe Nick Swisher‘s relief apperance, or AJ Burnett’s Immaculate Inning, or one of Melky Cabrera‘s various walk-off hits – use the “Add an Answer” button to write in your own favorite moment.

What was your favorite moment of the first half?
Total Votes: 1160 Started: July 16, 2009 1 = Added by a guest Back to Vote Screen
Categories : Polls


  1. Dela G says:

    Francisco Cervelli’s first career Homerun has essentially changed this entire season. This team has been very very different since that moment.

    • Dela G says:

      sorry mike, i had to add the francisco cervelli answer to the poll :D

      • Mike Axisa says:

        That’s cool, that’s the whole point of letting people add their own answer.

        • RAB poster says:

          Okay I voted but I want to add one (Tex saving the game on the third day of walkoff weekend with a diving play) and it won’t let me.

          • RAB poster says:

            Can someone else do so in my place please? If I had thought of it before I’d have added it already.

          • Mike Axisa says:

            There was a problem with the poll, it was deactivated somehow. I just fixed it and it should be working.

            If you voted already though, it won’t let you add an aswer.

            • RAB poster says:

              Yeah, I figured I wouldn’t be allowed to add an answer. I didn’t think of it until too late.

              Which is why I ask someone else to please add it if they can’t decide on anything.

  2. TheLastClown says:

    Wait…did AJ have a three-pitch inning?

  3. Simon B. says:

    Joba’s bellyflop was maybe the best play I’ve ever seen by a pitcher. Can anybody really think of a better one? Rivera made a similar play like ten years ago, but I think Joba’s was better.

    I was disappointed that I didn’t see it on any of the “Best Plays of the first half” shows on MLBN/ESPN, because I thought it was better than most of the plays that got on there.

  4. RAB poster says:

    HAD to vote for the A-Rod HR.

    It was an impossible moment. It turned our whole season around.

    • RAB poster says:

      That was the HR Joe Dimmaggio would have hit in the same situation. The type that rallies the troops and makes them think that thing are different now that A-Rod’s back.

  5. JGS says:

    I voted for Mo’s walk because Mo makes everything awesome, but I think the best moment of the year so far was Derek Jeter’s face on his at bat prior to Mo’s after the first pitch was actually near the strike zone

  6. jsbrendog says:

    mine, had i noticed icould add one before i voted for the walkoffs, would be arod totaly being clutch this year, which is awesome.

    I think Kay was saying that most of Arod’s hr have come after something like the 5th inning when the run differential was 2 or less. plus he has had huge hr, that go ahead double in boston, and is seeming to finally just do it.

  7. Joe R says:

    The first pitch A-Rod HR was just so fitting and awesome. Nothin comes close to that because of all the backstory that came with it IMO.

    • RAB poster says:


      I just could not believe it when I saw it. One of those thing we’ll be telling people about years from now.

  8. Brian R. says:

    I think I’m the Guest that voted for the 3 walk-offs vs. the Twins. It brought me back to the late 90′s, early 2000′s. But I could be swayed towards almost every one of these.

  9. Mo’s walk because it was just so darned unlikely.

    • Joe R says:

      You’re right. Cause we all expected a grand slam, but Mo heard K-Rod praying for mercy on the mound and decided to give it to him.

  10. Drew says:

    When I saw the title of the post, “Poll: What was your favorite moment of the first half?” I didn’t even have to look at the poll choices. After months mired in controversy, Al comes back from hip surgery and pulls the first pitch he sees out of the park. He sparked a fire in this team and we’ve been on a roll ever since.

    The belly flop was an amazing play but not my favorite moment, same with Mo’s milestone night.

  11. jsbrendog says:

    what about the day they DFAed Angel Berroa?

  12. Reggie C. says:

    Arod’s first pitch BLAST.

    For a few moments as he rounded those bases Arod silenced every single hater out there. For everyone who thought Arod was no longer worthy to be counted among the game’s elite, that shot was Arod’s retort: NAILS BITCHES>.

  13. The Lodge says:

    The Twins Walkoffs was where my vote went. I was at a couple of those games though – so I maybe biased because of that. That Mauer-Gardner race to the plate on the Sunday game was one of the more exciting plays of the year (even though it didn’t work out for the Yanks – imagine if it had – FTW!).

    • RAB poster says:

      Walkoff weekend was pretty cool.

      I’m going to ask: could someone undecided please add Tex’s diving play to save the game in the 8th on the third day of walkoff weekend?

    • A.D. says:

      Walkoff weekend was excellent, and included the Gardner inside the park job.

      • I Remember Celerino Sanchez says:

        I almost voted for Gardner’s inside-the-park homer, but I thought I was being unduly influenced by the fact that I was there.

        So I went with Mo’s 500th. It was such a nice moment.

  14. Jamal G. says:

    I had to write-in the ARod home run off of Brad Lidge. Not only because I love the guy, but the resounding foot-in-mouth feeling that resulted afterward for the relentless detractors made me jizz in my pants.

  15. jon says:

    Arods first pitch hr should go down as one of the best moments in all of baseball in 2009

  16. Observer283 says:

    I think the A-Rod homer on the first pitch was one of my favorite regular season moments of all time. So much pressure, so much tension, so much attention on the at-bat. The team had lost five in a row. Wondering where the season was going to go.

    Then Guthrie thorws a 97(!) MPH fastball on the inside corner. And A-Rod turns on it. Seriously, has there ever been a more emphatic “WE’RE BACK, BABY!!!” moment that early in the season? Then CC goes out and throws a complete game shutout. When that game ended, the season began.

  17. RAB poster says:

    Luis Castillo dropping the ball is one of my favorite regular season wins of all time.

  18. You know what?

    How frickin’ awesome is it that we have this many moments to choose from?


  19. CountryClub says:

    The most exciting play of the 1st half (for all of baseball) was the Gardner / Mauer play.

    The result of the play sucked for the Yanks, but they won the game anyway. So that’s my vote.

  20. Manimal says:

    By default I had to vote for Melky, I was at that game.

  21. Chris says:

    My vote is for Mo striking out Manny to win Game 7 of the world series and clinch the Yankees 27th championship.

    Wait, that hasn’t happened yet????

    It will, so that’s still my vote.

  22. Salty Buggah says:

    Damn, I cant choose. So many great moments.

    I think I’ll go with A-rod’s season opener.

  23. JeffG says:

    I wound up chosing Gardner inside the park. That play just built and built. Screaming on that one.

    A-Rod first pitch back HR would have been the choice right after.

  24. Joebrah says:

    God, every time I thought I had one, I scrolled down and saw another.

    One thing that I don’t think I’ll ever forget, though, is Jeter’s face when they brought, I think it was Cervelli, to the on-deck circle to try and trick the Mets into thinking they were going to Pinch-Hit Mo in the 9th.

    That whole situation, seeing the best closer of all-time versus the supposed best closer now. Just not something you see very often, closer vs. closer.

    And of course, the end result was just allsome.

  25. BklynJT says:

    Seriously, only Met haters would vote for the Mo walk and Castillo drop ball. Those aren’t accomplishments that Yankee fan should be proud of. It’s gotta be the 3 consecutive walk offs, first at bat hr by Arod, or 2 out tying hr by Arod against Lidge.

    • RAB poster says:

      I am a Met hater, so I am not offended at all by what you wrote. ;-)

    • Salty Buggah says:

      I didn’t vote for it but…This is talking about moments, not accomplishments. You gotta admit, that Castillo dropped fall was one of the best moments in baseball HISTORY.

    • Nady Nation says:

      I’m sorry, I must’ve missed the poll that told us to vote for the moment that made us most “proud” as Yankee fans. That dropped pop up was historic, as was the walk to Mariano, and both came against the cross-town rivals. Whether you think they’re big games or not, most Yankee and Met fans in the city have fun with the bragging rights aspect of the Subway Series. Just because they weren’t necessarily great accomplishments for the Yankees doesn’t mean they weren’t memorable moments this season that Yankee fans were able to enjoy.

      • Salty Buggah says:

        Exactly, though you could argue Mo’s walk was an accompishment as he took like 5-6 pitches despite almost never batting and most pitchers would hack away at every pitch.

        • Nady Nation says:

          True, but he probably had explicit instructions to avoid swinging after he went against coaching orders in Atlanta. I put about 95% of the blame on K-Rod for that walk, but I’ll give Mo 5% credit, just b/c it’s Mo. Normally, I’d say it’s 100% on the pitcher.

      • RAB poster says:

        Nady Nation…I feel bad for your guy…

      • BklynJT says:

        Your right, those were definitely great moments. I utterly enjoyed ragging on my Met friends about the ineptitude of their players, but to me, that didn’t compare to the sheer excitement when A-Rod had that first at bat HR or the 3 walk off wins. I could litterly feel my heart beating out of my chest with the AROD hr and comeback wins. I was and still am floating on cloud nine for those moments. The drop ball and BB-ROD moment were nice moments, but mainly cause it shoved a foot in the mouths of all those obnoxious met friends I have. By the way, are you Met’s hater?

        • Nady Nation says:

          I’m a Mets-fan hater more so than I am a hater of the team, only b/c I have several obnoxious Met fan friends. But honestly, regardless of whether it was the Mets or not, I voted for the Castillo play b/c it was one of the only times in my life I can ever remember legitimately thinking my team lost (and should have lost), only to end up winning on a freak play for the ages seconds later. Just thought that was really cool.

          • BklynJT says:

            I’m the same way. I don’t really hate the Mets, never did, and not until recently have I had the privilege to meet many of the obnoxious Met fans out there that seem to have a little brother complex and take utter joy out of every possible Yankee misfortune. It got exponentially worse after the unspeakable events of 2004. Ever since, I would not pass up the opportunity to gloat at Met fans, but still I gotta say that ARod hr and walk off wins had me jumping out of my seat. It was like an unbelievable Aaron F-ing Boone moment.

    • NYY626 says:

      I’m not a Met hater ( they are kinda insignificant to me), but I still think Mo’s walk + 500th was the best inning of yankee baseball this season. The reactions of everyone on the team were just so priceless.

  26. Conor says:

    Melky’s shot was in the 14th inning, not the 13th. I was at that game. Unbelievable

  27. jsbrendog says:

    someone cant read too well, adding 3 walk offs a second time….

  28. Blogger says:

    I was at the third straight walk off with Johnny Damon. What a great game. Incredible plays by Tex and Mauer.

    RAB poster, I would have added Tex’s dving play but I voted before I thought of it and saw your posts. Sorry.

  29. A-Rod’s walk off vs. the Twins ’cause I was there or Mo’s walk against BB-Rod.

  30. RCK says:

    This is such a great post! It’s helping to tide me over in this terrible Yankees drought.

  31. ArodMVP217 Retire 51 says:

    If they can just be a tad more fortunate against Bos and Laa, we are looking at a 101+ team

  32. Charlie says:

    why are there two mo’s 500th saves? its not that hard to read, can we delete the second one?

  33. brian paul says:

    I loved the Gardner inside the park job more than any of the other plays listed because of its back story.

    With the new stadium and its rules and prices, half a billion $ in off season pick-ups, the corporate sheen of the Yankees… I guess there aren’t too many sentimental “good guy” stories to accompany this franchise as of late. This play, the little girl, the bracelett, Gardner, it all felt really good.

    Wow! Looking back at these plays/milestones, it is apparent what an amazingly memorable season the Yanks are having in their new home. We really are fans of the best franchise ever. Great post Mike!

  34. Moshe Mandel says:

    The A-rod homer vs Lidge was with one out.

  35. Yazman (aka David) says:

    Alex’s 1st-pitch-back home run turned the season around.

    It had drama, surprise, triumph and — most importantly — season-turning impact.

    Historically, Mo’s 500th may be more special. But if the Yankees go anywhere this year, this season’s “moment” will be A-Rod’s.

  36. [...] and if you haven’t already, make sure you vote in our Favorite Moment of the First Half Poll. Mariano Rivera’s bases loaded walk is currently in the lead. Posted on Thursday, July [...]

  37. [...] What was your favorite moment of the first half? / A little Yankee baseball [...]

  38. dkidd says:

    this has been a crazy crazy season. is there anything more stressful and dramatic and surprising and fulfilling then following the yankees day to day? parenthood? military service? space travel?

    can’t wait for tomorrow

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  40. [...] already took a poll for the first half and second half, so surely you know how this works. Here’s some notable postseason [...]

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