We're on to our fourth SB Nation Award, but I'm afraid that I don't yet have a winner to announce for the previous award. That's because the voting is currently tied, between Billy Burns' diving catch and Sam Fuld's airborne grab. Therefore, we're going to keep the poll open for another day for our Best A's Defensive Play of 2015. If you haven't voted yet, then go do so because this will be one of those moments in your life when your vote actually counts!
Today, we will look for the Best A's Celebration of 2015. All of our nominees were walk-off celebrations, so I'm including all six A's walk-offs for you to choose from.
June 10 vs. Rangers: Reddick breaks the seal
The A's were trailing 4-2 in the 8th, but they fought back to tie it. In the 9th, Sam Fuld singled, stole second, and moved to third on a hit by Billy Burns. With one out, Josh Reddick more or less only needed to make contact, and he did so with a groundball that Adam Rosales had to dive to reach. That gave Fuld enough to score for the win.
Best part: Try to remember what the first couple months were like. We had solid hopes for the team, but no matter what they did it just felt like they couldn't win a close game. They finally got the big hit, and in their 61st game they notched their first walk-off.
July 18 vs. Twins: Deja Vogt
Oakland led 1-0 entering the 9th, and Scott Kazmir tried to finish his shutout. Instead, he allowed a one-out single and gave way to Tyler Clippard. The closer opened with a HBP, then gave up the game-tying double, and topped it off with the go-ahead sac fly. But the A's tied it in the bottom of the frame, and Billy Burns led off the 10th with a double and a steal. Vogt finished things off with a single to left.
Best part: It was almost an exact reenactment of his famous walk-off hit in the 2013 playoffs, from the location of the hit to the way he pointed to the sky on his way to first base.
July 22 vs. Blue Jays: Ike's walk ... wait for it ... off!
Oakland had the one-run lead entering the 9th, but Clippard started off walk-double-walk to load the bases. He struck out Josh Donaldson, but then issued yet another walk to Jose Bautista to tie the game and blow the save. The tie held until the bottom of the 10th, when Reddick reached third base with two outs. Ike Davis hit a grounder and beat out the infield hit ... but not before the umpires went to replay to confirm that he was safe. Had he been out, it would have been the third out of the inning and the run would have been waved off, and honestly I'm still not 100% sure that he really was safe. But the call stood.
Best part: It's basically two celebrations. There's the first one, then a terrible waiting game, and then a second one after the outcome is confirmed. I remember watching it live, and the suspense was unbelievable.
Aug. 2 vs. Indians: Canha get a walk-off?
The game had been tied 1-1 for a while, and it went to the 10th. Fuld scratched out a two-out hit, and then Mark Canha sent a 3-1 pitch off the wall in left to score Fuld from first. If there aren't two outs, then Fuld isn't running on contact and he probably has to stop at third.
Best part: The stadium giveaway was the Mike Gallego Windmill windup toy, and the game ended with Gallego waving home the winning run.
Aug. 9 vs. Astros: Viva Valencia
It was Danny Valencia's fourth game with the A's -- he'd hit well in the first three games, and he'd already homered earlier in this contest. Oakland brought a 3-1 lead into the 9th, but tank commander Edward Mujica allowed single-single-homer to the first three batters he faced to blow the save and give Houston the lead. The A's fought back to tie it in the bottom of the frame (on a bases-loaded infield hit by Reddick), and Valencia knocked a hit to left to win it.
Best part: This was the game at which the A's honored Sgt. Scott Lunger, a Hayward police officer who had been killed in the line of duty. A Lunger jersey hung in the dugout during the game and the subsequent celebration.
Aug. 18 vs. Dodgers: The Butler did it
It was Kershaw against Doubront, one of the biggest possible mismatches in MLB. And yet, it was 1-1 entering the 8th. Oakland's bullpen served up a three-run homer, but in the bottom of the frame the A's fought back to tie it. Canha led off the bottom of the 10th with a double, and Billy Butler followed with another double to win it.
Best part: Just pure joy from the players. The $10 million DH finally got a big hit, and it's clear how thrilled everyone is that he finally gets a happy moment. He even partially loses his shirt.
Alright, now you have two calls to action. The first is to vote for Best A's Celebration in the poll at the bottom. The second is to make your nominations for MLB's Best Breakage of Unwritten Rules for 2015 in the comments. A reminder of the process:
1. To nominate an unwritten rules moment, make a new comment with "Nomination: (quick description)" in the subject line and then provide some kind of link to a video or GIF or image of it. Please double-check to make sure that it actually hasn't been nominated yet.
2. To vote for a nominee, "Rec" the comment introducing that moment. You can Rec however many of the nominees you want.
3. On Thursday, at 11:59 p.m. PT, the nomination process will end and a yet-undecided number of the top nominees with the most Recs will advance.
5. I'll have a post for you Friday morning, which will include a poll at the bottom so that we can vote from among the Unwritten Rules nominees and choose a winner.