Steven Souza Jr. wins GIBBY award for Play of the Year

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The Washington Nationals had plenty of special moments over the course of the 2014 season. From ‘Walk-Off City’ to clinching their second NL East title in three years, it was a year to remember for the Nationals.

But perhaps the most memorable moment of 2014 came on the very last day of the regular season – when Jordan Zimmermann threw the first no-hitter in team history. That day, Zimmermann pitched the game of his life – tearing through the Miami Marlins lineup time and time again to end a career-year on the highest note possible.

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But, as good as Zimmermann was, perhaps the most impressive and memorable aspect of the no-hitter was Steven Souza Jr.’s incredible catch to end it. After all, had it not been for the catch, we wouldn’t be talking about a no-hitter right now. On Saturday night, Souza’s catch earned the recognition it deserves, winning MLB.com’s Greatness in Baseball Yearly (GIBBY) Award for Play of the Year.

The now-famous catch happened with two outs in the top of the ninth inning, when Christian Yelich hit a sharp line drive to deep left field. Souza, who had taken Ryan Zimmerman‘s place in left for defense in the ninth, chased the ball near the warning track and made a ridiculous behind-the-beck, diving catch to preserve Zimmermann’s place in history.

Here’s more information on this year’s GIBBY Awards from MLB.com:

"This year’s GIBBY Awards feature nominees in 23 categories. Individual honors will go to the MLB Most Valuable Player, in addition to the year’s best Starting Pitcher, Hitter, Closer, Setup Man, Rookie, Breakout Hitter, Breakout Pitcher, Bounceback Player, Defensive Player, Manager, Executive and Postseason Performer.GIBBY trophies also will be awarded for the year’s top Play, Outfield Throw, Storyline, Hitting Performance, Pitching Performance, Oddity, Walk-Off, Cut4 Topic, Regular-Season Moment and Postseason Moment, with video available via MLB.com’s Must C highlight reels."

Souza didn’t spend much time with the big league club in 2014, but his incredible catch will not be forgotten by Nationals fans for a long, long time.

If you haven’t seen the catch, check it out below:

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