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Triple Play: Baseball’s Most Elite Defensive Play Explained

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So, have you ever seen a triple play in baseball? It’s like, super cool, right? But it hardly ever happens. It’s this crazy play where the team with the ball gets three outs without the other team getting a hit. It’s like a triple whammy for the defense. Let’s talk about how often these amazing moments go down in Major League Baseball (MLB) history.

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The Elusive Triple Play

They are called “TP” in the stats, and they only happen when some lucky team gets three outs from just one play. And, get this, it has only happened about 736 times since 1876! That’s like, what, five a season? It’s because you need a bunch of stuff to go right, like two guys on base and a hit to an infielder.

Unassisted Brilliance

An even rarer feat is the unassisted triple play, where a single fielder orchestrates all three outs. Consider a player catching the ball, tagging two guys and throwing to first all by themselves. That’s an unassisted triple play! And this has only gone down 15 times in MLB history. It’s like pulling off a magic trick on the field (which is exceptional athleticism and quick thinking).

Recent Triple Play History

The 2024 season kicked off triple play action with the Philadelphia Phillies turning one against the Detroit Tigers on June 24th. This marked the first successful triple play of the season and the Phillies’ first since 2017. Interestingly, the last 1-3-5 triple play (involving throws to first, third, and then back to first for outs) in MLB also occurred in Detroit by the Tigers themselves, way back in 1929.

TeamNumber of Triple Plays
Baltimore Orioles (including St. Louis Browns & Milwaukee Brewers)**36
Detroit Tigers33
Minnesota Twins (including Washington Senators)30

The Magic of the Triple Play

But here’s the thing, stats are just numbers. What makes triple plays so epic is that when you’re watching the game, and out of nowhere, it’s like BAM! Three outs on one play. It’s like the baseball gods decided to show off some serious defensive skills. It’s not just about the rare stuff, folks; it’s about how these plays can totally change the entire vibe of the game and make everyone go crazy.

So, when you’re chilling at a game or watching on TV, keep your eyes peeled for that magical moment. It’s like catching a shooting star in baseball form. And when it happens, you’re part of something special. Just remember, it’s not just about the hits and the runs; sometimes the real fun is in the fancy plays that don’t happen every day.

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