Best of '12: Baseball Nation's favorite GIFs, part IV

J. Meric

Come on, Tropicana Field. Just ... come on.

We'll have to see if this is a fluke. This could just be one of those things, and next year it could be Target Field or Fenway Park that hosts a year-long theatre of the damned. But for 2012, it was Tropicana Field.

Oh, man, Tropicana Field.

These GIFs are not the kind that will make you think. There isn't a ton of nuance here. They might be a runner-up in a Springfield Film Festival, but they aren't going to challenge what you think you know about baseball and the way the world works.

4. Hey, a baseball!


I don't know. The more I watch this, the less inclined I am to assume the mother didn't do anything out of place. I figured she went for the ball as a natural instinct, and after the cameras cut away, she acted like any other mother would have. But there's more time between contact with the kid's leg and the triumph of retrieving the baseball than I remember. There had to be a scream, right? A yelp of pain? Hundreds of thousands of years of evolution should have produced a mom who immediately attended to that kind of noise.

Maybe evolution did produce such a thing, but the potential for a free baseball trumps that powerful urge. A free baseball! The kid has another leg. He'll get over it. But a free baseball doesn't come around every day.

3. Short-lived triumph

Think, dammit, think. You have a choice. You know your shorts are going to fall down. Belts are expensive and, besides, you got that last one caught on the subway turnstile, so who needs them?

But if you use both hands to keep the shorts up, you can't show everyone the baseball. How are they going to know you came away with one of life's sublime victories, that you've done something they likely never will?

But your shorts could fall down on TV.

But you can hold up the baseball for everyone to see.

But your shorts could fall down in front of thousands of people.

But a free baseball doesn't come around every day.

Yeah, these people need to know. That's the important thing, here. Going for the arm aloft in triumph, consequences be damned. No regrets.

2. I will give you all of my money for this foul ball


What kind of man is willing to risk his life for a foul ball? The kind of man who keeps his phone in his back pocket and his wallet in his front pocket, that's who. But a free baseball doesn't come around every day.

1. Doink


One of the pivotal scenes in JFK is when Jim Garrison explains what the magic bullet would have had to do in order to kill the President, wound another passenger, and stop where it did.

Theoretical physics can prove an ele­phant can hang from a cliff with its tail tied to a daisy, but use your eyes—your common sense

Yeah. Stupid science. But here you go, visual evidence that magic bullets exist. We don't have a GIF of a Greek sculptor finishing Winged Victory, but this will do nicely. Back and to the left. Back and to the left. Back and to the left. Maybe the perfect GIF, mostly because it does the thinking for you. Baseball in the groin has a baseball in the groin. You'd think more people would have been shielding themselves from the rock-hard projectile plummeting toward the Earth.

But a free baseball doesn't come around every day.

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