In the spirit of his recently announced comeback attempt – at the ripe old age of 44, mind you – I thought we could take a look at one of the most fun and memorable plays in baseball history from Manny Ramirez: the high-fiving double play.
Let’s set the stage: With two on and one out in the bottom of the fourth inning, a line drive is hit just over Manny Ramirez’s head into deep left-center field. Chasing after it, Ramirez sticks his glove up and makes a fantastic over the shoulder catch. With his momentum carrying him forward, however, he keeps on running towards the outfield wall in Baltimore.
Spotting a Red Sox fan along the left-field wall, Ramirez uses that momentum to climb half way up and high-five the fan. Now, if the play had ended there, we’d still all remember it fondly, but it doesn’t. In fact, Ramirez jumps back down (after the high-five) and fires the ball back into the infield, and doubles off the runner at first (with an assist from the cutoff man). Unbelievable.
The 44-year-old 12x All-Star, 9x Silver Slugger, and 2x Hank Aaron Award winner has done a lot of great things in his career, some bad things, and some absolutely hilarious things. This play might be a beautiful combination of all three (even if it would make a manager want to pull his hair out). But that rare combination of fun and talent may have never burned as brightly as it did with Manny Ramirez.
And that’s why we always let Manny be Manny.