The Top 12 of ‘12

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It’s December, the time of year for oversized family meals, eggnog, lots of gift-giving, and colder weather (eventually… we think). The end of the year also brings about all of the “Best Of” lists. With so many signature moments to choose from this year, we thought we’d let you vote on the Top 12 of ’12, the best of the best in an unforgettable year.

Watch the videos below, then go to the bottom of the page to cast your vote. Our poll is an open one, meaning you can vote for as many different moments as many times as you would like through Thursday at noon. However, we’re keeping the results secret, and will begin unveiling our list with Number 12 on Thursday afternoon. Which moment deserves to be Number One? You decide.

Opening Day Walk-off (4/12 vs. CIN)

After Gio Gonzalez introduced himself to the Nationals faithful with a gem in the home opener, Ryan Zimmerman scampered home on a wild pitch in the 10th inning to give the Nationals a walk-off win.

Desmond’s “Dunk” (5/2 vs. ARI)

Trailing by a run with two outs in the ninth, all while sitting on a season-high, five-game losing streak, Ian Desmond delivered the biggest blast of his season, a two-run, game-winning bomb to the visiting bullpen in left-center field.

Ramos Flies To Victory on NATITUDE Weekend (5/4 vs. PHI)

In Washington’s first meeting with the five-time defending division champion Phillies, the teams battled into the 11th before Wilson Ramos, the last bat on the bench, delivered a bases-loaded single up the middle to send the crowd into a frenzy as he sailed up the first base line.

Harper Steals Home (5/6 vs. PHI)

Phillies hurler Cole Hamels thought he’d welcome Bryce Harper to the big leagues by plunking him with the first pitch of his first at-bat. Harper responded by racing first-to-third on a two-out single, then breaking for the plate on Hamels’ lazy pick-off throw to first, swiping home for his first Major League steal.

Teenage Dream (6/5 vs. NYM)

After Desmond tied the game three times late, Harper delivered the first walk-off of his career (and the first by a teenager in Major League Baseball since 1988) in the bottom of the 12th inning.

Old School Walk-off (7/5 vs. SF)

On Turn Back the Clock Night, with both teams sporting their 1924-era jerseys, the Nationals completed a three-game sweep of San Francisco by coming back late against Matt Cain and – just like the Senators did against the Giants in ’24 – walking off to victory.

Beast of a Comeback (7/29 @ MIL)

Sometimes, one set of late heroics isn’t enough. That was no problem for Michael Morse, who delivered a game-tying, two-run home run in the ninth, followed by a game-winning, two-run double in the 11th to lead the Nats past the Brewers, 11-9, in one of the craziest games of the year.

“The Catch” (8/7 @ HOU)

There were plenty of great catches in Major League Baseball this year, but few were more important than the improbable, disappearing act grab that Roger “The Shark” Bernadina pulled out of his hat, snatching victory from the jaws of defeat.

Gi-000000000 (8/31 vs. STL)

As dominant as Gio Gonzalez can be, he had yet to notch a complete game shutout on his impressive resume. That all changed on August 31 against the defending champs, as he blanked the Cardinals for nine frames to earn his 17th win of the year.

Dirty Dozen (9/4-5 vs. CHC)

The Nationals set a club record, blasting six home runs to beat the Cubs on September 4. How did they follow up that epic performance? By blasting six more the very next night, including three in one inning (the “Nat Trick”). All told, eight different players got in on the act, with Adam LaRoche accounting for three of the bombs.

Morse’s Phantom Grand Slam (9/29 @ STL)

What do you do when your grand slam – initially ruled a single – is upheld on video replay? If you’re Michael Morse, you head back around the bases, all the way to the batter’s box, then toss in a phantom swing for good measure before heading into your trot.

Werth Game 4 Walk-off (10/11 vs. STL)

When you’re embroiled in a classic postseason battle, with neither team giving an inch, the game often comes down to one pitch. For Jayson Werth, Game 4 of the NLDS came down to the 13th pitch of the longest at-bat of his career, which he hammered into a red sea of deafening euphoria for the win.


IT’s SO difficult to choose just one. They were all memorable moments. I wish I could see them all over again. The Nats’ are awesome and winter is too long. Can’t wait until 2013 opening day.

You don’t have to pick just one – vote as many times for as many different plays as you’d like!

Werth’s walkoff without a doubt. I played the MP3 of Charlie’s home run call at the foot of my dad’s grave that Saturday. He lived his whole life without seeing playoff baseball in DC. He would have loved every single pitch or 2012, our first season without him.

Waiting for spring and Michael Morse coming back to D. .

There’s some missing – what about Werth’s homer after the multi-hour rain delay in front of a couple dozen stalwart fans? Doesn’t matter though, the Catch, The Steal and the Playoff Walkoff gotta be the top three.

That was a good one too… just too many to fit into our Top 12.

I’m with Purplebari – those three were the most INCREDIBLE experiences — but mostly I agree with Kathy: it was an amazing season. How many days, now, until Opening Day 2013?

my vote if it was included was Strasburgs home run against the birds

Another good one that made the initial list, but we had to cut for the Top 12.

Very tough. But I was there for the Werth Quake and will never forget that.

I voted for Morse’s phantom home run because he was just so cute; however, I’m sure if he were here Tyler Clippard would vote for Bernardina’s catch because it saved him big time!

Stealing home against the Phillies set the tone for the whole year.

All plays nominated are unforgettable but none beats stealing home.


There all awesome. I’ve seen them all that’s how I know there all inconcieveable. Nothing beats the following: Morse’s phantom, Harper’s steal at home, and the best of all Bernadina’s game saving catch in the corner to save Clippard’s save and win the Stros’ game. I hope you make the WORLD SERIES this year. It would mean so much to me. Have a great year Davey and your team too.

(P.S I am a big nats fan) ( My real name is Bryce, but people call me “Tony”)

I have a stack of NATIONALS cards

I mean, I have a lot of stacks ofNATIONALS cards

The 6-homer nights were pretty awesome; but I feel like the time that it was tied going into the tenth and then we scored something like 4 or 5 runs should have been included. That was just a great reminder of how the Nats never give up, not even for one game.

oh man oh man, they’re all great, but for me its a tie between that ridiculous grand-slam and the walk-off home run in the “WERTH it” game.

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