Tigers vs. Red Sox Video: Watch Victor Martinez's Incredible Backhanded Flip

Doug MeadCorrespondent IJune 23, 2013

Courtesy MLB Advanced Media via MLB.com
Courtesy MLB Advanced Media via MLB.com

Prior to Sunday's game between the Detroit Tigers and Boston Red Sox, designated hitter Victor Martinez had only started three games at first base the entire season. It was certainly understandable that he would have been a bit rusty.

However, with Red Sox center fielder Jacoby Ellsbury—who leads the league in stolen bases—at the plate in the top of the sixth inning, Martinez pulled off what just might be the play of the year in Major League Baseball.

Martinez dove to his left to try to snare a shot off the bat of Ellsbury. Martinez succeeded in stopping the ball, but it rolled several feet away into foul territory.

Undaunted, Martinez scrambled after the ball and made a no-look backhanded flip to pitcher Drew Smyly covering the bag, nipping Ellsbury by about a half-step.

Ellsbury was even impressed, patting Martinez on the back after being called out.

It's safe to say the Twitter universe was both surprised and excited as well.

Prince Fielder might have a stranglehold on the first base job in Motown, but on this day, Martinez was the defensive king of Detroit—and of Major League Baseball.