Though walk-off home runs and perfect games usually take the cake amid the pantheon of memorable baseball moments, there is a certain type of play that demonstrates a baseball player's loyalty to the game and willingness to win better than any other.
It's that group of plays where a fielder flies around the diamond, with recklessness and urgency abound, doing literally anything within their capacity as a professional athlete to get to the ball and record the play. The reason for this list arises because it's the anniversary of one of the best known examples of that sort of play.
But it's not only Jeter's that sticks out among the greatest and most reckless, self-sacrificing displays that we have witnessed as baseball fans. Let's relive some of the other great moments that leave us with our hands over our mouths, praying that the player is okay, most importantly, but also that he was able to hold on to the ball.
Aaron Rowand - May 11, 2006
Harry Kalas was the lead play-by-play announcer for the Phillies for nearly 50 years, with a career in that role spanning from 1971 to his death in 2009. But the greatest play in the field he ever had the privilege of calling may be this one in his 46th year of work, when Aaron Rowand very quickly became a fan favorite just a few months into his career as a Phillie.
Rodney McCray - May 27, 1991
But at least Aaron Roward didn't go through the wall. Minor League plays need a certain amount of flair in order to garner a significant amount of airtime on ESPN, MLB Network and other channels. Exhibit A? Rodney McCray's unbelievable willingness to make a heck of a grab, or his extreme unawareness of his positioning, or a mixture of the two. Unfortunately, he didn't come down with the catch. Fortunately, he wasn't hurt.
Turner Ward - May 3, 1998
Here's where it happened at the Major League level. The above Tweet didn't age too well, as Ward would not return to the Reds following last season, but the catch sure did. It was a grab that acted as one of Piazza's final memories in Dodger blue, as the Hall of Fame backstop was traded to the Marlins less than two weeks later for a short spell before finding a more permanent home at Shea Stadium.
Josh Donaldson - June 24, 2015
When a pitcher is seeking perfection, you'll often see fielders break out of their comfort zone or their usual skill set and achieve the incredible. Donaldson is no stranger to flashy defensive plays, though, so this one felt less like he was upping his game and more like he was proving his dedication to his team.
Josh Donaldson - September 5, 2013
...And this is why the other one felt like something we had seen before.
Alex Gordon - April 26, 2015
Who said that only infielders could be the ones to dive into the stands? Gordon looked more like an NFL safety based on how that poor White Sox fan hit the deck as the Royals outfielder plunged into the seats.
Ken Griffey Jr. - May 26, 1995
Griffey's highlight reel is certainly an extensive one; the above video is part of a series released by the Mariners called the "Griffey 50," if that's an indication as to just how many there are to choose from. But any play where a player shows off that athleticism and breaks a wrist in the process? That's the type of reckless abandon that only the most devoted players are capable of.
Ken Griffey Jr. - May 25, 1991
But it also wasn't the first time we had seen Griffey go to those lengths in order to secure the grab.
Austin Jackson - August 1, 2017
MLB's caption for this one is right on. This catch just doesn't make sense. But then again, neither did its predecessor.
Jay Buhner - August 29, 1997
Jay Buhner, of all people! The slugger had some chops in the fielding game as well, it seems, though we're not sure a player with a more slender frame would have tumbled over the wall like Buhner did here.
Tony Sanchez - September 19, 2013
We can't forget about plays in the dugout, either. Though oftentimes there will be players around to slow your fall, that wasn't the case for Pirates backup catcher Tony Sanchez in this awesome play.
Gregg Jefferies - October 4, 1988
Even when players are around to catch you -- guys on the opposing team count, too -- it doesn't necessarily mean you're safe from a crash landing.
Did I leave out any of your favorites? Send 'em our way on Twitter @RDCSports or @jordancohn2!