Baseball is cool for a lot of reasons, but one of them is that no matter how bad your favorite team is, they'll likely do something every single game that will make you stand up and cheer wildly. The 2014 Rockies finished 30 games below .500, but they also left us in awe after great plays on several hundred occasions.
That same thing could be said of every team, but it seems like the Rockies were especially proficient at putting their leather on display. Having two legitimate Gold Glove winners and another solid nominee are proof of that. In addition to those guys, Colorado also boasts, when healthy, two of the most exciting players in all of baseball to watch on defense.
All of those players provided great glovework at various points during the 2014 season, but three plays in particular stand out due in part to their result, degree of difficulty and, in one case, ensuing celebration.
Here are the nominees for Rockies Defensive Play of the Year, in chronological order:
1) May 18: Rockies turn three
This wasn't exactly a highlight-reel play in nature, but the end result is what lands it on this list. All three of the Rockies' Gold Glove nominees were involved in the play, which was ruled a triple play when Padres outfielder Seth Smith was called for interference at second base. Nolan Arenado threw an awkward, not all that strong throw to DJ LeMahieu, who had to work around Smith to fire to Justin Morneau to complete the play. Carlos Quentin was initially called safe at first, but Smith's interference resulted in that runner being ruled out and the Rockies notching their first triple play since Troy Tulowitzki's unassisted one in 2007.
2) July 2: Tulo, DJ team up for two
The Rockies were already deep into their annual tailspin during an early-July trip to Washington, but that didn't stop one of the best middle infields in baseball from turning one of the prettiest double plays of the season. The play was included in the Top 10 Web Gems of 2014, which was shown at the end of the Gold Glove Award show on ESPN 2, so there isn't much hyperbole involved when I say that this play deserves to be considered for the league-wide play of the year, not just the Rockies-specific one.
3) Sept. 23: Barnes takes away a homer
Rockies fans really didn't have much to cheer about by the time their team made it to the second-to-last series of 2014, but on a typical foggy night in San Diego, the guys in purple brought their gloves to the park. Brandon Barnes made a great diving catch early in the game and LeMahieu later followed with one of his 500 or so terrific defensive plays of the season, but it was Barnes robbing Padres catcher Rene Rivera of a home run -- and his riling up of fans after the fact -- that made this play a memorable one:
Next up: Most Important Hit. After you vote for the best display of leather below, let us know your nominations for the biggest hit of the season in the comments section.