Top 100 Sports Plays of 2018 (Part 1 of 4)
Every year, the Best Plays list gets longer and longer. It started with 10, then expanded to 50, and for the last year, it's been the top 100 plays of the year.
And because this is probably my favorite list to compile (that, and it has the most research involved), I have kept the list at 100. There were so many iconic plays to cover, I even split it up into FOUR different lists, just so that it's more manageable to look at.
And with that in mind, let's get to it. No honorable mentions, just 100 of the best plays from 2018.
100. 8/16- Umpire catches bat flip from Castellanos homer
Detroit Tigers vs. Minnesota Twins
Nicholas Castellanos hits a home run here, but that isn't the story.
"No bat flipping on my field," says home plate umpire Manny Gonzalez.
99. 9/29- Fan plunks Giancarlo Stanton from the Monster as he rounds second
Boston Red Sox vs. New York Yankees
This is an impressive throw. The Green Monster is 38 feet high, and to hit a guy on one hop as he rounds the bases is probably a good 150 feet. It's also quintessentially Boston, to throw at an opposing player. Props to Stanton for tipping his hat to the guy, though.
98. 6/9- Lorenzo Cain saves Orlando Arcia’s error by making the catch
Milwaukee Brewers vs. Philadelphia Phillies
Good for Lorenzo Cain, helping out his teammate before Orlando Arcia completely makes a fool of himself by dropping the ball.
97. 4/1- Bruins keep the puck in with an extra attacker, score with 3.8 left to tie it
Boston Bruins vs. Philadelphia Flyers
How the Bruins are able to keep this puck in, I have no idea. However, they do, and manage to get it to Patrice Bergeron, who ties the game just before the horn, sending it to overtime.
96. 11/1- Braden Holtby blocks an open net and sprawls for a second save
Washington Capitals vs. Montreal Canadiens
The guy isn't a Vezina Trophy winner and Stanley Cup champion for nothing. One of the best plays in hockey is the cross pass and tap into the wide open net. Braden Holtby stones Brendan Gallagher, and the save spurs a goal for Lars Eller in OT down the other end.
95. 12/5- Zion Williamson goes off the backboard to R.J. Barrett
Duke Blue Devils vs. Hartford Hawks
Hartford is my alma mater. They deserve this. Watch as Zion Williamson passes one off the glass, and as R.J. Barrett slams it home in this vicious alley-oop.
94. 10/25- Kenny Stills and Devante Parker combine for bizarre catch
Miami Dolphins vs. Houston Texans
So, this one is caught by Kenny Stills, who is then hit by a Houston defender. The ball comes loose and is batted forward by another Houston defender, and lands in the awaiting arms of Stills' teammate, Devante Parker. This one is good for 46 yards. Unreal.
93. 9/14- J.R. Martin's behind-the-back deke, then Hail Mary touchdown
North Gwinnett (GA) vs. Walton (GA)
Watch closely: North Gwinnett HS (Suwanee, GA) quarterback evades a defender by tucking the ball behind his back, and then finding Garrison Manor for the game-winning Hail Mary touchdown pass.
92. 11/8- The weirdest flea flicker ever is good for two points
SDHSAA Class 9A Football Championship- Howard Tigers vs. Canistota/Freeman Pride
The play starts as a run, ends up as a pass, and is good for two points in what has to be the strangest point-after-touchdown attempt ever. Canistota/Freeman would win the game in a 46-14 rout.
91. 9/1- Devin Duvernay’s leaping touchdown grab
Texas Longhorns vs. Maryland Terrapins
Full extension, outstretched fingers, touchdown. This one is just sweetness.
90. 5/28- Jackie Bradley, Jr. makes over-the-shoulder grab in deep center
Boston Red Sox vs. Toronto Blue Jays
Making a basket catch over your shoulder is no easy feat. But Jackie Bradley Jr. is no ordinary outfielder. This clip is a little tough to see at first glance, but Bradley makes a nice grab going backwards toward the deepest parts of Fenway Park.
89. 4/1- Travis Konecny undresses the defense with a toe drag goal
Philadelphia Flyers vs. Boston Bruins
Travis Konecny makes this look easy, as he corrals a puck in mid air, then is able to deke four Bruins on his way to a pretty looking goal.
88. 10/24- Sidney Crosby goes through the defender’s legs to score
Pittsburgh Penguins vs. Edmonton Oilers
Hold... hold... hold... make you look silly... score.
A day in the life of Sidney Crosby.
87. 9/8- Tee Higgins reaches over defenders and spins away for touchdown
Clemson Tigers vs. Texas A&M Aggies
The catch is Moss-like. The spin and touchdown run is beautiful. This is a great play by a very talented young receiver.
86. 7/22- Cheno Guzman does a 360 and then casually rolls it in for a goal
San Antonio FC vs. Real Monarchs
This play comes to us from the United Soccer League, and features San Antonio FC player Cheno Guzman doing a nifty spin move to get past the defender, and then casually dribbling the ball into the net. Is this the equivalent of a classy celebration in American football?
85. 8/7 & 8/8- Adam Engel robs home runs in the same place on consecutive nights
Chicago White Sox vs. New York Yankees
I guess the best option would be to just not hit it at White Sox CF Adam Engel, who robs Greg Bird, followed by Kyle Higashioka on consecutive nights. Pretty impressive feats of both luck and skill.
84. 11/6- Miles Bridges slams home a great dunk
Charlotte Hornets vs. Atlanta Hawks
Where's the gravity, Miles? You know I love you, but come ON! This is filthy.
83. 4/15- Khris Middleton hits three with .5 seconds left to send game to OT
Eastern Conference Quarterfinals, Game 1
Milwaukee Bucks vs. Boston Celtics
As a Celtics fan, I thought this one was over. .5 seconds and an inbound from just over the mid-court line? Khris Middleton didn't want to go home early, as he buried the long three to tie it, shock the TD Garden crowd and send the game to overtime.
82. 9/1- Quentin Pounds reels in touchdown with one hand
Washington Huskies vs. Auburn Tigers
In college football, all you need is one foot in the end zone with possession. Quentin Pounds is able to just get both together in time for this crazy touchdown catch against Auburn.
81. 12/7- Northern Michigan goalie Atte Tolvanen scores goal
Northern Michigan Wildcats vs. Michigan Tech Huskies
GOALIE GOAL!!!! Goalie goals are like fat guy touchdowns or big guy three pointers. But sometimes, when the net is empty, and the stage is right, sometimes the goalie gets to be the first one through the high-five line. Northern Michigan goalie Atte Tolvanen finds the other net in this one.
80. 4/30- Terry Rozier goes through his legs and then alley-oops to Marcus Morris
Eastern Conference Semifinals, Game 1
Boston Celtics vs. Philadelphia 76ers
This is Scary Terry channelling his inner Kyrie Irving. What HANDLES on this kid.
79. 3/31- William Karlsson goes between-the-legs for a spectacular goal
Vegas Golden Knights vs. San Jose Sharks
This takes some balls, going between your own legs and going top shelf. But William Karlsson has no fear, and buries it past Sharks goalie Martin Jones for the shorthanded goal.
78. 5/30- Gary Sanchez throws runner out at third after wild pitch bounces back to him off the backstop
New York Yankees vs. Houston Astros
I had thought the backstop at Yankee Stadium was either plastic or padding. I guess I was mistaken, and that it's brick (or something). Think of all the things that have to go right for this play to work: the ball has to come right back to catcher Gary Sanchez, and has to be in the correct position for him to wind up and gun it down to third base, where the runner is waiting to be tagged by Miguel Andujar. Crazy lucky, this one.
77. 1/1- Myles Boykin makes one handed catch, jukes defenders on way to winning touchdown
Music City Bowl
Notre Dame Fighting Irish vs. LSU Tigers
I'm upset with Notre Dame football right now, but at least this was a good way to start the year (this is our very first play on the list). Myles Boykin makes a great one-handed grab on the way to score the winning touchdown against LSU.
76. 12/2- Flames’ Mike Smith makes a great skate save
Calgary Flames vs. Chicago Blackhawks
How much of this is luck, and how much of this is skill? Regardless, it's a fantastic skate save by Mike Smith to keep a sure goal out of the net.
And just so I can keep you guessing, that's the end of part one! You can find the other parts via the links at the top.
NEXT: Part 2 (75-50) >>>
And be sure to check out the rest of According to Andrew's Best of 2018 spread by clicking HERE.