Did you know that there have only been 15 unassisted triple plays in MLB history? In baseball, the triple play is one of the rarest and most difficult plays to execute. It’s also one of the most exciting, as it requires incredible skill and effort from all involved players.
The first recorded instance of an unassisted triple play happened in 1908 when Neal Ball turned one against the Boston Red Sox. Since then, there have been a handful of other players who have accomplished this amazing feat.
Most recently, Eric Bruntlett Philadelphia Phillies executed an unassisted triple play in 2009 against the New York Mets.
What is it about these specific players that allowed them to pull off such a rarity? What does this mean for future prospects attempting to duplicate this accomplishment? Let’s take a closer look at some baseball history and find out!
An unassisted triple-play is an incredibly rare occurrence in baseball and is achieved when a player successfully completes all three defensive outs of a single inning on his own. In other words, the player is able to force out three players of the opposing team without any assistance from fellow defenders. The first two outs are recorded as usual – either through tagging or forcing the runner back to the bag – whereas the third out requires the fielder to catch a batted ball and then tag a base before the opposing baserunner reaches it.
The play was first witnessed in an MLB game by Neal Ball in 1909 while playing for the Philadelphia Athletics, with only 14 such plays occurring across professional baseball since then. Nonetheless, these occurrences are still referenced as some of the greatest moments in professional baseball history due to their incredibly rare nature.
Who was the first player in MLB history to record an unassisted triple play, and when did it happen?
The first player in MLB history to record an unassisted triple-play was Neal Ball of the Cleveland Naps on July 19, 1909. This is one of the rarest plays in baseball, with only 14 unassisted triple plays taking place since Neal Ball from all 30 current professional leagues in America and Canada.
While the play is a spectacular demonstration of athleticism, it’s quite rare for the fielder to have enough time to make all three required putouts without help from their teammates. Neither the American nor National League has recorded any unassisted triple plays this season, but many teams are still gunning for the accomplishment as they strive to achieve greatness during this historic season.
Since the inception of Major League Baseball in 1876, a total of only fifteen players have been successful in recording a spectacular feat only achievable during a live game—the unassisted triple play.
Since the first unassisted triple play in 1909 by Neal Ball, other famous names such as Bill Wambsganss, Ron Hansen, Randy Velarde, and others have joined this elite group in unlocking one of the rarest plays known to the baseball universe.
Which current MLB players have a chance to record an unassisted triple-play this season, and why do they have a chance?
If we take a close look at the MLB odds, there certainly are a few players who may get the chance to record such a rare thing as a triple play. With the MLB season well underway, fans are keeping a keen eye on who may have what it takes to record one of the rarest plays to ever happen in the game, unassisted triple-plays.
This play requires incredible agility, raw athleticism, and a strong mental understanding of seamless field navigation. Players who are quick on their feet are exceptional gravity-defying athletes and have experience at multiple positions in the infield. They have a greater chance of success.
So far this season, we have seen large amounts of versatility across teams and some sluggers who can move when they need to. This has created an even larger pool of excellent players that could potentially achieve such a feat. If we observe those that possess skills like this and pay close attention it could mean that one player could climb up into legendary status with a personal highlight that will be part of rewrites of baseball history.
Out of all the rare feats that can be achieved in baseball, an unassisted triple play might just be the rarest. They are so difficult to achieve because a lot has to go perfectly for one player – everything from catching the ball hit towards them, tagging out two base runners, and not making any throwing errors. In MLB history, there have only been 15 recorded unassisted triple-plays, with the first happening over 100 years ago.
While no players were able to record an unassisted triple play last season, there are a few active MLB players who have a chance to do it this season. Thanks for reading and learning more about one of baseball’s most unique plays!