Forget the final out of a no-hitter or smashing floodlights via walk-off homer. The Eugene Emeralds and Spokane Indians just delivered the best finish in baseball history.
The Emeralds and Indians met in the Northwest League (Single A) Championship, with the Ems winning the first two games of the best-of-five series. (By the way, Eugene reached the postseason despite a 31-45 regular season record, because, like crying, there's no meritocracy in baseball.) With the bases loaded and two outs in the bottom of the ninth in Game 3, the Emeralds clinched the title thanks to...a balk.
And if that's not crazy enough, check out the reaction from the Emeralds and their fans, who celebrated this technicality like the liberation of France.
“That has been the story for us all year,” Eugene's Caleb Knight told the Register Guard. “There have been rough games, tough games, but we fought through adversity. When you respect the game, that pays off in the end.”
Hear that, kids? Respect the game and you too might find providence from another's mistake.
Of course, if that's been the tenor of the Ems' year, no wonder everyone went bat-shit. You'd be pumped too if the monotony of a baseball season finally came to an end.