Top 5 Moments that Changed the JAL Course of History
We all love that question don't we.
In the JAL there are plenty of those. Plenty of moments that have altered everything. Had they not happened, who knows what the league would look like today, but they did and this is where we are. Let's have a look at the top 5 snippets in time that changed the course of JAL history.
#5 - Jordan Halverson walks in winning run vs Express in JAL 12 AC Finals
Would the Missouri Express be the same team they are today if they wouldn't have won the championship in their franchise debut? In the American Conference Finals Jordan Halverson and the Lynx had them right where they wanted them. For the entire game, until the very last pitch the Lynx never trailed. In the bottom of the 5th the score was knotted 3-3 and the bases were loaded, but Halverson missed the zone and walked in the winning run. The rest is history for the Express who now have 2 titles, and the Lynx who have a 2-5 record since that fateful moment...
#4 - Jordan Halverson's JAL 9 WWCD Cup home run
Jordan Halverson's nightmare moment above would have been worse had it not been for what he did right here 3 seasons prior. Going into the WWCD Cup the Lynx were nobodies. They finished middle of the pack overall and were heavy underdogs vs the defending champion Cobras. Everyone's attention was grabbed though when Halverson hit a 2 run homer in the 4th inning of a scoreless contest. All game long Brock Johnson's curveball had been money until it failed him on this unforgettable pitch. The Lynx went on to win the title and sparked a dominate era for them in which they made it to the WWCD Cup 3 seasons in a row. On the other side for the Cobras, that moment is the closest any team has ever come at repeating as champs, but was slammed shut.
#3 - Michael Sullivan lets JAL 14 title slip away
In terms of historical long-term impact this moment is too young to put any higher on the list than #3 for now. However, this is without a doubt for most everyone, the biggest moment in JAL history. For the whole game the Cobras lead 1-0 and Michael Sullivan had thrown a no-hitter. He was on pace for MVP and the Cobras were on their way to regaining the cup for the 1st time since JAL 8. But in the top of the 5th, with the Express down to their final 3 outs it all came crumbing down. Sullivan went on to give up 2 runs and the lead in the closeout inning, all on unforced walks. Unable to recover the Cobras went quietly away in the bottom of the 5th in 4 pitches to lose 2-1.
#2 - Jacob Rahn's JAL 11 WWCD Cup bomb
The hardest hit ball in JAL history couldn't have come at a bigger moment for Jacob Rahn. In the 3rd inning of a scoreless WWCD Cup Rahn smoked a 3-run shot which was an estimated 30 ft. high and was still ascending upward when it left the playing field (90 ft.) before running into a wall of trees just past the HR line in probably no more than 1 seconds time.
The Fog went on the win the championship 3-0 which gave the franchise all it needed to go on to become the brash and outlandish bunch they are today.
#1 - Kyle Godinho signs as rookie with Express
Everything about the game changed when Kyle Godinho came in as rookie in JAL 12. His pitching completely restructured the way team's now build their teams and gameplan. Before him, pitchers just weren't treated the same way. An example of this is the fact that he is maybe not even the best at it anymore, and it's not because his skills have regressed. Godinho made it so you HAVE to have a quality pitcher in order to win, like quarterbacks in the NFL.