Bryce Harper's 1st Curtain Call and the 10 Most Memorable MLB Images of 2012

Dan HiergesellFeatured ColumnistMay 29, 2012

Bryce Harper's 1st Curtain Call and the 10 Most Memorable MLB Images of 2012

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    We are nearly two months into the 2012 MLB season and fans couldn't be happier.

    The Boston Red Sox are struggling, Bryce Harper and Mike Trout are fulfilling all expectations, Philip Humber tossed a perfect game and Justin Verlander continues to flirt with no-hitters.

    As we approach the hot days of June, we can only hope for more of the same.

    Outstanding web gems only suitable for Baseball Tonight, towering grand slams compliments of a man named Giancarlo Stanton and heartfelt apologies from the most public of public figures.

    From a future Hall of Famer being celebrated to a four-home run performance, here are the best images of the 2012 season thus far.

Honorable Mention: Girl from 'The Ring' Throws out First Pitch

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    When I first saw this, I was borderline terrified.

    Not only because this looked exactly like the chick from The Ring that crawled out of the TV screen, but more so because Japanese baseball entertained the idea of having this "thing" throw out the first pitch at one of their games.

    Now I realize this isn't the MLB, but this picture needs to be seen.

    I just hope nobody picks up their phone after reading this slide.

10. Texas Rangers Fan's Sprinkler Dance

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    I honestly wish I was cool enough to pull something like this off in front of 40,000 people.

    Without hesitation this guy leaped over the outfield guardrail, grabbed a home run ball before anybody else did and proceeded to reenact the sprinkler dance, which most of us remember doing in fourth grade.

    Personally, I think he nailed it.

    I just wish he would have been a tiny bit fatter because that's always more hysterical.

9. Ozzie Guillen Choking Up During His Fidel Castro Apology

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    Ozzie Guillen's public apology regarding his comments about Fidel Castro being an admirable man was quite sad.

    I know Guillen has done some silly stuff as an MLB manager in the past—popping off at the mouth and what not—but nobody wants to see him struggle to regain nearly all of the respect he lost around the league.

    The picture says it all; Guillen was truly remorseful.

    In the words of anyone and everyone who lived in the '70s, can't we all just get along?

8. Chipper Jones' Cincinnati Reds Honorary Bases

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    When's the last time an opposing franchise celebrated another team's franchise player for an entire weekend series?

    It's never been done.  For that, these Chipper Jones honorary bases presented by the Cincinnati Reds are borderline historic.

    Jones most definitely deserves everything that MLB teams are doing for him this year—whether that celebration can literally get scuffed by Joey Votto's cleats or not.

    Call me crazy, but are players technically stepping on Jones when they round first? 

    Interesting, huh?

7. Justin Sellers' Derek Jeter-Esque Catch

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    You really can't appreciate the effort put forth by Justin Sellers on this play, let alone see the upper half of his body in this picture, but the fan's faces say it all.

    This was one hell of a catch.  One that may very well capture catch of the year honors.

    The fact that Sellers risked his own body after flying into the stands to make a foul-ball catch makes you wonder if he took a page out of Derek Jeter's playbook.

    While the young shortstop didn't withstand any serious cuts to his face, it still remains one of the best images of the year thus far.

6. Cincinnati Reds Fan Catches Two Home Run Balls

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    Honestly, the odds of one guy catching back-to-back home run balls are less probable than Juan Pierre hitting 40 home runs in one season.

    It's simply miraculous.

    Not only was this guy at the right place at the right time in consecutive moments, but he had enough swag to give the balls away.

    When the universe presents you with improbable odds, you have to give something back.

    It's common courtesy.

5. Miami Marlins' Home Run Celebration

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    You can't help but smile whenever this thing goes off.

    It's like the greatest scoring celebration in all of sports.  Way more "in four face" than any NHL goal siren.

    I still really don't know for sure what's going on when the swordfish makes its way around a tropical carnival statue, but why bother asking questions?

    This thing is awesome. 

    And with Giancarlo Stanton manning the ship, someone better have WD-40 on hand.

4. Justin Verlander's Near No-Hitter

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    In the midst of Albert Pujols' historically awful start to the season, Justin Verlander has seemingly become hands down the best player in baseball.

    The fact of the matter is that the Detroit Tigers ace has the potential to throw a no-hitter every time he takes the mound, evident by his performance last week when he lost that bid in the ninth inning.

    Verlander continues to produce ungodly numbers, making him one of the best Hall of Fame candidates out of current players when it's all said and done.

3. Bryce Harper's First Curtain Call

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    With your first home run comes your first curtain call.

    Bryce Harper has taken over the baseball world. 

    And even if the 19-year-old's overall numbers don't jump off the page, it's his natural ability to put fans in the seats and eyes on the TV that makes him special.

    Following his first home run of his career, Harper was met with a standing home ovation, followed by an increase in power across the board.

    Don't hold me to it, but there's no reason why the rookie phenom can't build on this season and hit 30 home runs next year.

2. Philip Humber's Perfect Game

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    Whenever a pitcher throws a perfect game in his second start of the season, you'd think he'd be in for a huge year.

    However, Philip Humber has proved that assumption completely wrong.

    Since his perfect outing back on April 21, Humber has not won a game, struggling to limit base runners when it matters most (go figure).

    Regardless, a perfect game is a perfect game, no matter what comes after it.

    And for that, Humber's post-perfection celebration with the fans of Seattle grabs the No. 2 spot.

1. Josh Hamilton's Four-Home Run Performance

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    Does Carlos Delgado ring a bell?

    It should. 

    That's the last player who hit four home runs in one game before Josh Hamilton broke that dry spell back on May 8.

    Hamilton has always had the power to do something like this, but the chips haven't exactly fell his way over the years.

    Regardless, Hamilton has joined a very exclusive club. 

    And the captured image that followed his monumental achievement caps off the first two months of baseball.

     

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