It's hard to call any hit "important" in a 66-win season, but I feel like that also takes away from the few true big moments the Colorado Rockies did produce with their bats in 2014. Many of them came in the first month and a half of the season, when the team was firmly in contention and even looked for a while like it could sustain the success. Of course, that all went to hell in a hand basket, but it was fun while it lasted. Plus, LoDo Magic made its way back to Coors Field a few times late in the season, making fans at least feel like they were witnessing something great.
Without further ado, here are the nominees for the Rockies' Most Important Hit of the year, in chronological order:
1) May 3: Culberson's improbable home run
The Rockies went the first month of the season without getting a walk-off hit, but that all changed in a series-clinching win over the Mets in early May. A whole host of Rockies lit the world on fire in April, but it was Charlie Culberson, who entered the game having reached base three times in 27 plate appearances to begin 2014, who left Coors Field a hero that night. The win improved the Rockies to 19-13 and came in the middle of a stretch in which they won nine out of 11 games.
2) May 18: Morneau delivers walk-off
The Rockies won their first six home series to start the season but were in danger of their streak ending at the hands of the Padres on a Sunday in Denver. Justin Morneau decided to take matters into his own hands, depositing a 3-2 fastball from Dale Thayer over the center field wall to give the Rockies an 8-6 win and extend the home series winning streak to seven.
3) May 19: Arenado follows suit
That home series winning streak came to an end in the next set (though it took four months to play out that way), but that wasn't the fault of Nolan Arenado, who delivered the Rockies' second consecutive walk-off hit against the hated Giants. Was it a homer? Was it a double? What do you think? Regardless, it helped cement Arenado as a true breakout performer who likely has a star-studded future.
4) June 14: Barnes' go-ahead inside-the-park homer
The Rockies were trying to fight their way back to contention after an awful stretch in late May and early June. They salvaged an emotional split at home against the Braves before heading to AT&T Park, a place that has been a complete nightmare for the Rockies throughout their existence. It looked like Colorado was headed for another typical ball-busting loss by the bay until Brandon Barnes did the unthinkable: hit a two-out, inside-the-park home run against Giants closer Sergio Romo to give the Rockies a lead en route to a win and eventual sweep of the division's first-place team.
5) Aug. 17: Cuddy finishes off cycle
It's really hard to upstage a franchise icon on the day of his jersey retirement ceremony, but that's exactly what happened on Aug. 17, when Michael Cuddyer crashed Todd Helton's party by hitting for the cycle in the nightcap of the Rockies' doubleheader sweep of the Reds. Cuddyer got the two hardest parts out of the way early in the game, when Colorado was down big. Cuddy wasn't done, delivering a single that led to the game-tying runs and the big one -- a two-run double to extend the Rockies' late lead -- to complete the team's first cycle since Carlos Gonzalez accomplished the feat in 2010.
Next up: Team of the Year. After you cast your vote for this category below, let us know your nominees for MLB's best team in 2014 in the comments.