R—O—L—A—I—D—S. The answer in the classic ad: “How do you spell relief?”
TRIPLE PLAY!!! The answer to the question, “What’s the perfect remedy for a relief pitcher sum moned into a diamond game with nobody out and two (or three) runners on base?”
Take for instance May 30, 1967, at Crosley Field in Cincinnati. In the top of the ninth the Reds were leading the Cardinals, 2-1. The Reds’ starting pitcher, Jim Maloney, gave up consecutive singles to Orlando Cepeda and Tim McCarver, putting runners at first and third with nobody out. Cincy skipper Dave Bristol then brought in Don Nottebart to face the next batter, Phil Gagliano, who grounded the first pitch to shortstop Leo Cardenas, who, after “checking” Cepeda at third, threw the ball to second baseman Tommy Helms, forcing out McCarver. Helms then whipped the ball to first-sacker Deron Johnson to retire the batter, completing a 6-4-3 ground double play (GDP). However, after initially delaying at third, Cepeda unexpectedly bolted for home trying to score the game-tying run. Johnson alertly fired the ball to catcher Johnny Ed wards who tagged Cepeda, simultaneously completing the triple play and getting the game-winning out.1
“All I wanted to do was get the batter to hit the ball on the ground and hope for a play at the plate,” said Nottebart. As a dejected Red Schoendienst, the Cardinals manager, explained, “Just before Gagliano hit the ball, our third base coach, [Joe] Schultz, had reminded Cepeda to go right home on a play like that. There’s only one place to go and that’s home. You can’t give them the double play. But Cepeda didn’t start running right away.” “It was my fault,” said Cepeda. “I learned something. I’ll never do that again.”2
In this article we present the pertinent details of other examples of Instant Relief—triple plays in which a relief pitcher got the first batter he faced to hit into a rally-terminating triple play in the National League, American League, or the defunct major leagues of the American Association (1882-91), Union Association (1884), Players League (1890), or Federal League (1914 15). The time period covered is from the founding of the National League in 1876 through 2022. “A team’s gotta be lucky to win a game like that,” said Shoendienst after the game. As it turns out, Nottebart is one of 40 relief hurlers to experience Instant Relief.
All of the information needed to compose this arti cle was obtained exclusively from the Smith-Boren-Krabbenhoft (SBK) Triple Play database.3 The SBK TP database was created in 1997-98. Jim Smith began compiling a list of triple plays in 1967. Initially, Jim used the official Day-By-Day (DBD) records which recorded the teams involved in TPs beginning in 1912 for the American League and 1920 for the National League, but not the fielders, batters, or runners. The official records began including the fielders (but not batters or runners) beginning in 1928 for the NL and 1930 for the AL. Smith pored through the box scores and game accounts of every major league game (as presented in The Sporting Life, The Sporting News, The New York Times, and several Philadelphia newspapers) to ascertain the batters, runners, and fielders of those TPs as well as TPs not included in the official records. By the end of 1969, Smith (with some help from Seymour Siwoff of the Elias Sports Bureau) had determined the complete details for 377 TPs from 1900 through 1969. During the 1970s, he continued his search for TPs, focusing on the nineteenth century. By 1975 Smith had identified about a hundred TPs 1876-99. And, by 1990, with valuable help from a number of fellow SABR members—in particular, Art Ahrens, Bob Davids, Joe Dittmar, Paul Doherty, Leonard Gettelson, John O’Malley, Pete Palmer, William Rich mond, John Schwartz, and John Tattersall—Jim had identified 131 TPs in the nineteenth century. Alto gether through the 1990 season, Smith’s list included 588 major league triple plays.
In 1988 Herm Krabbenhoft independently initiated a research effort to ascertain the details of each major league triple play from 1920 forward. With the dates of the triple plays given in the official DBD records, he recorded the details of each TP as described in The New York Times. In 1991, at the SABR 21 convention in New York, Herm learned of Smith’s independent triple play research project. Herm wrote to Jim on July 6, 1991, asking if he would be interested in writing a series of articles on triple plays for Baseball Quarterly Reviews (BQR), the unifying theme being “Triple Plays at XYZ Stadium (Park, Field, Grounds, etc.).” Smith responded (July 11), stating that he’d be glad to write about triple plays for BQR. During the next six years Smith authored/co-authored some 80 articles providing the details for the 620 triple plays he and Herm had documented.4
In 1993, Steve Boren began his own independent effort to document major league triple plays. Employing the same brute-force approach utilized by Smith, Steve identified 622 major league triple plays from the 1876 through 1997 seasons. In 1997 Krabbenhoft, Smith, and Boren became aware of each others’ efforts.5 They then combined their databases to produce the comprehensive SBK Triple Play Database. At the conclusion of the 1998 season, the SBK TP database had 636 documented/verified triple plays (including the four triple plays pulled in 1998). Effort has continued during the ensuing years to keep the SBK TP database up to date as new TPs were accomplished and to search for more TPs from the nineteenth century.6 For instance, in 2004 we (Steve) found the first and (so far) only TP in the 1884 Union Association. The SBK TP database now has complete details for a total of 738 documented/verified triple plays through the 2022 season.
The tables on pages 21-24 present details for the 40 “Instant Relief” triple plays included in the SBK Triple Play database.
RESULTS AND DISCUSSION
As shown in Table 1 (see Appendix below), the first re lief pitcher to achieve instant relief was Paul Radford of the Boston Reds. In an American Association game on May 26, 1891, against Kelly’s Killers of Cincinnati, played at Pendleton Park (also known as East End Grounds), going into the top of the ninth session, the host Cincinnati nine (who batted first, as was not un customary for the home team to do at the time) held a five-run advantage (18-13). Boston’s hurler, south paw Bill Daley, was in the box. Jim Canavan led off with an easy fly which keystoner Cub Stricker muffed. Yank Robinson got a base on balls. Dick Johnston fol lowed with a grounder to shortstop Radford, who threw wildly to first, the error allowing Johnston to be safe and Canavan to tally. Then Jack Carney smashed a three-bagger, plating Robinson and Johnston. The next batter, Art Whitney, then worked Daley for a pass, putting runners at first and third. At this juncture, Boston manager Arthur Irwin had had enough and made wholesale changes—he derricked Daley, sending him to left field, switched Hugh Duffy from left field to shortstop, and moved Radford to the pitcher’s box. Radford, a right-handed thrower, had been Boston’s regular shortstop for the entire season (133 games, .259 batting average). Facing the righty-swinging Frank Dwyer, Radford pitched only two balls. The first one was fouled. The next one was hit as a little fly back of second. Stricker caught the ball and immediately whipped it home to catcher Duke Farrell in time to nab Carney trying to score. The backstop then rifled the ball back to Stricker who put Whitney out attempting to go to second—completing the rally-squelching triple play. As it turned out, that was Radford’s only mound appearance of the season, a one-two-three performance—one batter, two pitches, three outs.
Other Game-Ending Instant Relief TPs
In addition to the two above-described accomplishments by Nottebart and Radford, there have been four other ninth-inning first-batter-faced triple plays achieved by a relief pitcher. (See Table 1, #5 and #6; Table 2 #15; Table 3 #30, on pages 21-23, Appendix). Two of them were game-enders like Nottebart’s. The first one was achieved by Virgil Trucks on August 29, 1953, at Comiskey Park in Chicago. In a battle of the “Soxes,” the White were leading the Red in the top of the ninth by a 5-1 score. But the BoSox were threatening. The ChiSox starting hurler, right-hander Connie Johnson, had given up a single to Floyd Baker and then walked Al Zarilla (pinch hitting for Ellis Kinder). After he missed the plate on his first two pitches to Karl Olson, the Pale Hose manager, Paul Richards, called on his ace right-handed starting pitcher—Virgil “Fire” Trucks— to extinguish the kindling and prevent an inferno. After taking a called strike (making the count 2-1), Olson ripped Trucks’s next pitch down the first base line. First sacker Ferris Fain snared the ball inches off the ground, retiring Olson for the first out. Next, he casually stepped on the primary sack to double up Zarilla for the second out. Then, he nonchalantly tossed the ball to shortstop Chico Carrasquel who stepped on the middle station to triple up Baker, simultaneously precluding a conflagration and ending the game. Interestingly, according to the game account written by Edward Prell for the Chicago Tribune, “Fain could have made the triple play unassisted as Baker had already reached third.”7
The most recent game-ending first-batter triple play game achieved by a relief pitcher occurred on September 8, 1991, in Montreal. The visiting Reds were trailing the host Expos by a 4-2 score. Mel Rojas was still on the hill for Montreal in the ninth. The Reds began their last-ditch at bats with a single by Hal Morris. This prompted Montreal manager, Tom Runnells, to call on his bullpen; he brought in portsider Jeff Fassaro to square off with left-hand-batting Paul O’Neill. Cincy skipper Lou Piniella countered by sending up righty-swinging Eric Davis. Fassero proceeded to walk Davis on five pitches. So, it was up to the next batter, Chris Sabo, another right-handed hitter. Runnels went to his bullpen again, this time summoning righty-throwing Barry Jones. Piniella had to stick with Sabo since he had no left-handed-batting players left on the bench. Sabo made contact on a 1-0 pitch, sending a hard one-hopper right at the third base bag. Hot corner man Bret Barberie fielded the ball and stepped on third to force out Morris, then fired the ball to second baseman Delino DeShields who, after getting the force out on Davis by stepping on second, relayed the sphere to first-sacker Tom Foley to retire Sabo, thereby completing a game-ending around-the-horn triple play. Afterwards, Barberie mentioned that he had “thought about a triple play right before the pitch; but I never thought it would happen.” Reliever Jones said, “It happened so fast. I threw the pitch, I looked around, and the game was done.”8
Other Lefty-Righty Instant Relief TPs
The managerial chess exhibited by Runnells and Piniella has also occurred with many other first-batter-faced triple plays. Four others are of particular interest. In the game on July 30, 1924, between the Philadelphia Phillies and the visiting St. Louis Cardinals at the Baker Bowl, the Phillies had shelled the Cards’ starting hurler, Leo Dickerman, for three singles and a double (plus a safe-on-error) to jump out to a 4-0 lead in the bottom of the first. After the Cardinals picked up one run in the top of the second, the Phillies were threatening to increase their advantage in the bottom half of the inning. Eighth-batting Jim Wilson led off with a double and opposing moundsman Jimmy Ring reached first with a base on balls. With runners on first and second and nobody out, manager Branch Rickey decided that it just wasn’t Dickerman’s day. So, with left-handed batting George Harper (who had singled in his first at bat) coming to bat again, the future Mahatma went to his bullpen, bringing in a southpaw, Bill Sherdel. Phillies skipper Art Fletcher countered by calling on the right-handed batter Johnny Mokan to pinch hit. The substitution of Mokan for Harper had all of the makings of a sacrifice bunt, and the St. Louis first sacker had moved in on the grass in anticipation. But Mokan crossed up the opposition—or so he thought—stroking a drive on Sherdel’s very first offering, straight to first baseman Bottomley, who snared the ball. He then heaved the ball to shortstop Jimmy Cooney, trapping Wilson off second base. Keystoner Rogers Hornsby dashed over to first base, where he clutched Cooney’s relay, completing the triple killing. As it later developed, with the LB/RP — >LB/LP — >RB/LP maneuvering having backfired for Philadelphia, St. Louis went on to score enough runs to eventually win the game, 9-8.
The Phillies and the Cardinals were again involved on August 23, 1947, this time at Shibe Park. Through seven and a half innings, St. Louis had a two-run lead, 5-3. But the Phillies got their first two men on in the last of the eighth: Andy Seminick opened the frame with a single to center and Lee Handley followed with one to right, putting runners on first and second with no one down. The Philadelphia manager, Ben Chapman, called on lefty-batting Charlie Gilbert to pinch hit against the right-handed hurling Jim Hearn. The Cardinals skipper, Eddie Dyer, responded by calling on southpaw reliever Al Brazle. Chapman opted to stick with Gilbert (rather than bring in a right-handed pinch hitter, such as Jim Tabor). On Brazle’s first pitch, Gilbert took a called strike. On the second pitch, he attempted to bunt, but fouled the ball off for strike two. Determined to lay down a bunt at all costs, Gilbert tried again. He lifted a short foul fly that catcher Del Rice was able to catch acrobatically. After quickly regaining his balance, Rice shot the ball to shortstop Marty Mar ion, doubling Seminick, who was almost at third base. Marion then relayed the ball to first baseman Stan Musial, retiring Handley, who was then almost at second base, completing the triple slaughter. So, the right-left maneuvering (this time RB/RP— > LB/RP— > LB/LP) again did not work out for Philadelphia. But it certainly did for St. Louis—another Instant-Relief TP. Plus the Cards won the game, 5-3.
While managerial chess is often played in the late innings, here’s an example of righty-lefty maneuvering in the very first inning. On June 23, 1954, in the inaugural season of the relocated and renamed Baltimore Orioles, the O’s were hosting the Boston Red Sox at Memorial Stadium. After having held the BoSox scoreless in their first at bats, the first four Orioles batters—right fielder Cal Abrams, first baseman Dick Kryhoski, center fielder Chuck Diering, and third baseman Vern Stephens—combined for a base on balls and three hits to produce one run and load the bases against the Red Sox starting pitcher, Frank Sullivan— Stephens on first, Diering second, and Kryhoski third. Scheduled to bat next for the O’s was left fielder Gil Coan, a left-handed batter. Boston’s manager, Lou Boudreau, called on southpaw Leo Kiely to relieve Sullivan. The Baltimore manager, Jimmy Dykes, countered with righty-batting pinch hitter Sam Mele. Mele grounded a Kiely pitch to the shortstop, Milt Bolling, who fielded the ball and flipped it to Billy Consolo at second base for the force out of Stephens. Consolo then fired to Harry Agganis at first to nail Mele, completing a straightforward 6-4-3 GDP. Kryhoski scurried home while the twin killing was being executed. Diering, who had advanced to third, audaciously tried to follow, but Agganis alertly shot the ball to catcher Sammy White in time to nail him, completing an unexpected Instant Relief triple play. Who knows what the game’s outcome would have been if Diering had held at third and the next hitter, Clint Courtney, had had a chance to swing the bat? After nine innings the game was deadlocked, 7-7, and the tie was not broken until Baltimore tallied the game-winner in the 17th! By then the maneuvering and the TP were pretty much forgotten.
The most recent game combining righty-lefty maneuvering and a first-batter triple play took place on August 16, 1988, at Busch Stadium in St. Louis, in a game between the Cardinals and the Houston Astros. The Red Birds led by a 3-0 score going into the top of the eighth inning with John Costello on the hill. Gerald Young singled and Bill Doran walked, putting runners at first and second. With the left-handed bat ting Terry Puhl coming up, Whitey Herzog summoned southpaw Ken Daley from the bullpen. Astros skipper Hal Lanier went to his bench, choosing the right handed batting Jim Pankovits to pinch hit for Puhl. It took three pitches to resolve the confrontational maneuvering—with a 1-1 count, Pankovits hit a grounder to third baseman Terry Pendleton, who fielded the smash and stepped on the hot corner to force out Young. He then fired to second baseman Jose Oquendo, who, after forcing out Doran, relayed the ball to first baseman Mike Laga to retire the batter for a nifty around-the-horn triple play—an Instant-Relief TP that fully justified the LB/RP— > LB/LP— > RB/LP maneuvering from the Cards’ perspective. Daley also set the ’Stros down 1-2-3 in the ninth to secure the 3-0 victory.
Instant Relief TPs Initiated by the Reliever
As indicated in Tables 3 (#29) and 4 (#32), two of the Instant-Relief TP pitchers had a direct hand in the execution of the triple play. The first came on August 8, 1990, at the Oakland-Alameda County Stadium with the Athletics hosting the Orioles. Going into the last of the seventh, Oakland trailed, 4-1. Mark Williamson, in relief of starter Ben McDonald, was on the mound for the O’s. The first two batters for the A’s, Terry Steinbach and Walt Weiss, coaxed walks from Williamson, putting runners on first and second and bringing the potential tying run to the plate, the right-handed batting Willie Randolph. Baltimore manager Frank Robinson, eschewing the standard righty-lefty strata gem, brought in southpaw Jeff Ballard to replace the righty Williamson. Oakland manager Tony LaRussa called for a hit-and-run and Randolph smashed Ballard’s first pitch for a low liner right into the pitcher’s glove. The hurler then wheeled around and threw to shortstop Cal Ripken, who was covering second, to catch Steinbach off the base. Ripken then threw the ball to first baseman Sam Horn to catch Weiss off first—a First-Batter-First-Pitch Instant-Relief Triple Play (1-6-3).
The other (most-recent) instant-relief triple play with the pitcher taking part in the three-ply wipeout came on July 13, 1995, at the Kingdome in Seattle. In the top of the ninth, the visiting Toronto Blue Jays, leading the Mariners by a 4-1 score, were trying to add some insurance runs. Shawn Green and Alex Gonzalez had smacked consecutive singles, putting runners at second and first, respectively. Seattle manager Lou Piniella decided that his starting pitcher, right-handed throwing Tim Belcher, had gone as far as he could; Piniella brought in Jeff Nelson, another righty, to face the left-handed batting Sandy Martinez. On Nelson’s very first pitch, Martinez bunted the ball in the air between the plate and the mound. Nelson let the ball drop, then threw to second. There, shortstop Luis Sojo first tagged out Green and then grazed the bag with his foot for the force-out of Gonzalez, before throwing to second baseman Joey Cora, covering first, to retire the batter, completing a nifty 1-6-4 trifecta for Instant Relief.
Another Instant Relief triple play in which the relief pitcher was intimately (but not officially) involved was the one pulled in Cincinnati at Riverfront Stadium on April 6, 1978—Opening Day! The Reds were hosting the Astros and had a 9-5 lead going to the bottom of the seventh. Houston brought in a new pitcher, Tom Dixon, but he got hammered—Pete Rose walked, Ken Griffey singled, Joe Morgan doubled, driving in the two runners. Then George Foster singled, sending Morgan to third, and Astros manager Bill Virdon yanked Dixon. Joe Sambito then faced Dan Driessen. They battled to a full count. Just before the payoff pitch, Sparky Anderson flashed the run sign to Foster. Sambito pitched the ball and Driessen struck out swinging. Astros catcher, Joe Ferguson—who got the credit for Driessen’s out—then threw down to shortstop Roger Metzger, covering second, causing Foster to stop and retreat toward first. Morgan then danced off third, daring Metzger to try. Metzger succeeded: heaving the ball to hot corner man, Enos Cabell, who tagged Morgan for the second out. While Morgan was being eradicated, Foster again reversed his direction and headed back to second, but Cabell rifled the ball back to Metzger in time to nail Foster and complete the strikeout-initiated Instant Relief triple play: K-2*-6-5*-6*.
Afterward, Morgan said, “I know Sparky too well. I know he never sends the man with none out, only one out. So, I figured there was one out, and, well, I panicked. I figured I’d missed an out and got caught off third. Then, when they tagged me and threw to second, I thought, ‘What are you doing, dummy? There’s already three outs.’ I didn’t realize it was a triple play.” “Don’t blame me,” was all Driessen had to say. Morgan added, “I thought when Danny struck out there were two outs. So when George got trapped be tween first and second, I panicked^started jockeying toward home figuring I try to score if I get the chance. It was the first time as a base runner I’ve ever been involved in a triple play. That’s why I say I had to be stupid. I’ve got to give credit to Metzger, though, for some real quick thinking.” Sparky Anderson also commented on the triple play: “I should get a hard kick in the tail for not thinking. That was really stupid of me giving Foster the sign to run in that situation.”9
Time-Consuming Instant Relief TPs
As mentioned above, in only two of the forty instant-relief TPs in our list did the instant-relief pitcher have a direct hand in the execution. The other 38 TPs involved only infielders—except for one, which also included an outfielder—on July 1, 2014, at Dodger Stadium in an interleague game between the host NL Los Angeles nine and the visiting AL Cleveland club. As it turned out, this triple killing was also doubly challenging. At the start of the bottom of the fourth, the Dodgers were trailing, 5-2. But LA plated one run and had men on first and third (Yasiel Puig and Dee Strange-Gordon, both singled). There was no one out when the left-handed batting Adrian Gonzalez stepped into the batter’s box. Cleveland manager Terry Francona felt it would be best to bring in a fresh arm; he summoned southpaw Kyle Crockett to replace righty Justin Masterson. The Los Angeles manager, Don Mattingly, stuck with left-handed batting Gonzalez. On Crockett’s fourth pitch (on a 1-2 count), Gonzalez belted the ball into left field.
Left fielder Michael Brantley ran in fast, a little toward the line (his glove side), and caught the ball at the letters and, with the assistance of his momentum, rifled a one-hop bullet to catcher Yan Gomes. Gordon had tried to score after tagging up after the catch and was a dead duck. Meanwhile, Puig also tagged up at first and made a dash to second. Gomes fired the ball down to keystoner Jason Kipnis who tagged Puig sliding headfirst into second. At first, umpire Paul Nauert called Puig safe. Francona immediately called for a challenge of the play at second, and after a 1-minute, 29 second replay review, the play on the field was re versed. Puig was called out, which should have officially completed the Instant-Relief TP … except at that point Mattingly left the Los Angeles dugout to challenge the play at home, contending that Gordon was actually safe. After a replay review—which consumed an additional 1 minute, 34 seconds—the play on the field was upheld, thereby—finally—officially completing the Instant-Relief TP.
Because of the two challenges, that triple play took longer than what might be typically be termed “Instant.” There has been, however, one—at least seemingly—longer Instant-Relief TP. On May 11, 2000, at Pro Player Stadium in Miami, the Florida Marlins were hosting Atlanta. Going into the bottom of the fifth, Florida was in front, 5-4. It looked like the Marlins would be able to increase their advantage when their first two batters got on base—Cliff Floyd walked and moved to second when Preston Wilson singled. That brought up number five hitter Mike Lowell, a right handed batter, to face starting pitcher Kevin Millwood, also a righty.
Bobby Cox decided to go to his bullpen, calling in reliever Greg McMichael, another righty. McMichael’s first pitch was called a ball. His next pitch was a strike, which Lowell looked at. McMichael’s third pitch was another called ball. Pitch number four was another strike, which Lowell again only looked at. At 2-2, Lowell took the bat “off-his-shoulders” on the next pitch—and fouled it. The same result followed pitches six and seven—foul balls—keeping the count at 2-2. Lowell did not swing at McMichael’s next pitch, which umpire Brian Gorman called a ball. With the count now full, Lowell swung at the ninth, 10th, and 11th pitches, but fouled each one off. Finally, on McMichael’s twelfth pitch, Lowell hit the ball in fair territory—a grounder to third baseman Chipper Jones, who fielded the ball and stepped on third to force out Floyd. Jones then threw the ball to second baseman Quilvio Veras, who stepped on second to force out Wilson. Veras then relayed the ball to Andres Galarraga at first to retire Lowell and complete the rapid around-the-horn triple play—an Instant-Relief TP, even though six minutes and fifty-five seconds were consumed from McMichael’s first pitch to Lowell until the ball reached Galarraga.10
One-Pitch Instant Relief TPs
In stark contrast to the 12-pitch effort of McMichael, single pitch first-batter TPs have been thrown by at least 13 firemen—Mike Prendergast (1918), Allen Russell (1922), Bill Sherdel (1924), Ken Ash (1930), Don Nottebart (1967), Daryl Patterson (1969), Jack Aker (1972), Mike Marshall (1973), Dyar Miller (1977), Jeff Ballard (1990), Jeff Nelson (1995), Juan Rincon (2006), and Keiichi Yabu (2008). All but one of these relievers accomplished the feat with a 0-balls-0-strikes count on the batter. The lone exception was the one-pitch first-batter TP induced by Mike Marshall on June 13, 1973, at Jarry Park in Montreal. In a game between the host Expos and the visiting Padres, the home team was ahead, 3-1, when the top of the seventh session commenced. San Diego proceeded to load the bases against starting pitcher Balor Moore—Dwain Anderson led off and singled, Gene Locklear followed with a base on balls, and Enzo Hernadez then singled. That brought up Jerry Morales, a right-handed hitter. Moore fell behind by missing the plate with his first two pitches. With the count 2-0, Expos manager Gene Mauch gave Moore the hook and brought in Mike Marshall, a righty. Padres manager Don Zimmer chose to stick with Morales rather than go to his bench for a left handed batting pinch hitter, such as Leron Lee or Dave Marshall. Zimmer said (later), “I know he [Marshall] has to throw a strike.” As reported by Tim Burke of the Montreal Gazette, “Throw a strike Marshall did and Morales hit a capricious hopper slightly to [second baseman] Ron Hunt’s right. ‘[Umpire] Harry Wendelstedt obscured my view somewhat,’ said Hunt. ‘First I see it hopping high, and the next time I see it, it’s along the ground.’ He chuckled a little and then added, ‘It got under my glove a little.’”11 The baserunners were off and running. Anderson scored while Hunt was getting the ball to shortstop Tim Foli, covering the keystone to force Hernandez for out number one. Foli then relayed the ball to first baseman Mike Jorgensen to retire Morales for out number two. Meanwhile, Locklear reached third easily and Zimmer, coaching at the hot corner, waved him to keep running to the plate. Locklear stumbled a little and was nailed at the pentagon on a peg from Jorgensen to catcher John Boccabella.
Even though fireman Marshall succeeded in hurling an Instant Relief TP pitch, a run did score while the triple massacre was being executed. That was the second instance of a base runner scoring on an Instant Relief TP; the first one, as described previously, was the one that Kiely achieved for the Red Sox against the Orioles in 1954. The only other time that a relief pitcher accomplished a first-batter triple play yet permitted a runner to score was in 2006, on May 27 at the Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome in Minneapolis. In the top of the eighth frame, with the Twins leading the Mariners, 8-4, Seattle proceeded to load the bases with no one out on a Richie Sexson double, Carl Everett walk, and an Adrian Beltre single. In the batter’s box stood Kenji Johjima, a right-handed batter. On the mound was Jesse Crain, a right-handed pitcher. Twins manager Ron Gardenhire sacked Crain, who had thrown just 16 pitches in facing only the three batters now on the sacks, replacing him with Juan Rincon, also a righty hurler. On Rincon’s first pitch, Johjima grounded slowly to second baseman Luis Castillo, who scooped up the ball and first chased down Beltre and tagged him before throwing to Justin Morneau at first base, retiring Johjima for the second out. On the 4-3 double play Sexson scored easily and Everett advanced to third. Morneau saw that Everett had taken too wide a turn at the hot corner; he fired the ball across the diamond to third sacker Tony Batista, who applied the triple-play defining tag.
In this article we have provided the interesting aspects and details for fifteen of the forty Instant Relief TPs listed in the SBK Triple Play Database. The nuts-and-bolts details for the other 25 Instant Relief TPs are given in the Notes accompanying Tables 1-4. With regard to the frequency of instant relief triple plays, they’re moderately rare—just 5.4% of the 738 TPs in the SBK TP database. For comparison, there have been 23 perfect games, making up 7.2% of the 318 no-hit games recognized officially by Major League Baseball (excluding the Negro Leagues).12 Of the 339 cycles noted in the MLB record books (likewise excluding the Negro Leagues), only 9 (2.7%) also featured a grand slam homer.13
To wrap up this article we would like to mention that several eventual Hall of Famers participated in Instant Relief triple plays. Those who were batters are George Sisler, Lloyd Waner, Roy Campanella, and Roberto Clemente. Each of them (except Campanella) was the first out as the result of a flyout; Campanella was the second out of a groundout S-2-3-2 double play, the third out being an overly-aggressive base-runner. HOFers who were retired as baserunners in an Instant Relief TP are Sam Rice, Bucky Harris, Hack Wilson, Jackie Robinson, Orlando Cepeda, Luis Aparicio, and Joe Morgan. Of these, three were the TP-defining third out—Harris, Robinson, and Cepeda. There have not yet been any Instant Relief TP pitchers elected to Baseball’s shrine in Cooperstown (although one relieved pitcher did earn a bronze plaque in the gallery—Dazzy Vance, who twice gave way to Instant Relief TP hurlers in 1933, first to Jim Mooney and second to Bill Walker).
JAMES A. “SNUFFY” SMITH JR., who passed away in 2010, is deservedly included as a co-author of the article “Instant Relief” in this issue. He was a pioneer in researching triple plays in the major leagues. Before his passing, Smith had authored or co-authored some 80 articles on triple plays, and he had documented the complete details for 40 IRTPs included here. This article is a logical extension and expansion of an earlier article—“Instant Relief: One Pitch, Three Outs, Game Over”— co-authored by Smith and published in Baseball America (August 18, 1997, page 59). Jim presented at the SABR national conventions in Pittsburgh in 1995 and Kansas City in 1996. He won the McFarland-SABR Baseball Research Award in 1996 for the “Baseball Quarterly Review Triple Play Project.” Smith was a frequent contributor to SABR’s Baseball Records Committee Newsletter. His last contribution, “Team Totals for Triple Plays: For and Against,” appeared in the February and April issues in 2010.
STEPHEN D BOREN, MD graduated from the University of Illinois College of Medicine and completed his emergency medicine residency at Milwaukee County Hospital. He has been a member of SABR since January 1, 1979. He has published a number of articles in SABR publications and Baseball Digest. While originally from Chicago, he and his wife, Louise, and his watchdog golden retriever, Charlie, now live in Aiken, South Carolina.
HERM KRABBENHOFT, a SABR member since 1981, is hoping to see his first in-person major-league triple play this season.
(Click images to enlarge)
We should like to thank Cliff Blau for his eagle-eyed fact-checking as well as the following people for their insights and guidance in composing and reviewing this manuscript—Jeff Robbins, Gary Stone, Patrick Todgham. We also gratefully thank Steve Hirdt and Keith Costas for providing the elapsed time information for TP #33.
We respectfully dedicate this article to the memory of the late James A. “Snuffy” Smith Jr., our friend and colleague. Jim generously shared his superb triple play research in collaborating with Herm and Steve to create the SBK Triple Play Database. Jim’s quest to track triple plays originated in 1952 when he was stationed in Heilbronn, Germany—while listening to Armed Forces Radio, he heard the game in which Cleveland second baseman Bobby Avila could have turned an unassisted triple play (but, after snaring a liner to retire the batter and stepping on the keystone to get the runner off second, he chose to toss the ball to the first baseman to triple up the runner off first, instead of chasing down the runner who was halfway to second). We, and all baseball fans, are indebted to Jim for his devoted and meticulous efforts to research triple plays. Thanks so much, Jim. It was an honor for us to collaborate with you.
1. James A. “Snuffy” Smith Jr., deceased, 2010. See the Dedication.
2. Lou Smith, “Triple Play, Near-Perfect Pitching—Reds Win, 2-1,” Cincinnati Enquirer, May 31, 1967 (33); see also: (a) Earl Lawson, Cincinnati Post, May 31, 1967 (31); (b) Neal Russo, “Triple Play, 7 Perfect Innings,” St Louis Post-Dispatch, May 31, 1967 (1G).
3. We have relied exclusively on the SBK TP database, rather than other online TP databases, such as the SABR TP Database, because we feel that the SBK TP database is more comprehensive—738 documented/verified TPs in the SBK TP database compared to 733 in the SABR TP database (i.e., excluding the TP included for the rained-out game on August 7, 1878)—and because we have hard-copy documentation from multiple newspaper accounts to support the details for each of the 738 TPs in the SBK TP database.
4. James Smith, “Memorial Stadium Triple Plays,” Baseball Quarterly Reviews, Volume 6 (Number 3, Fall 1991), 142-51. See also: Herman Krabbenhoft and James A. Smith, Jr., “American League Triple Plays— The Facts and Records,” Baseball Quarterly Reviews, Volume 9 (Number 2) 93-101 (Summer 1995); James A. Smith, Jr. and Herman Krabbenhoft, “Federal League Triple Plays,” Baseball Quarterly Reviews, Volume 9 (Number 3) 171-75 (Fall 1995); Herman Krabbenhoft and James A. Smith, Jr., “19th Century NL Triple Plays—The Facts and Records,” Baseball Quarterly Reviews, Volume 9 (Number 4) 237-42 (Winter 1995); James A. Smith, Jr. and Herman Krabbenhoft, “Players League Triple Plays,” Baseball Quarterly Reviews, Volume 10 (Number 1, Spring 1996), 60-64; Herman Krabbenhoft and James A. Smith, Jr., “20th Century NL Triple Plays—The Facts and Records,” Baseball Quarterly Reviews, Volume 10 (Number 2), 74-82; (f) Herman Krabbenhoft and James A. Smith, Jr., “American Association Triple Plays—The Facts and Records,” Baseball Quarterly Reviews, Volume 10 (Number 3, Winter 1996), 143-47; (g) James A. Smith, Jr. and Herm Krabbenhoft, “Triple Play,” Baseball America, April 14-27, 1997, 63.
5. James A. Smith, Jr. and Herm Krabbenhoft, “A Doubly Appealing Triple Play,” Baseball America, November 10-23, 1997, 39.
7. Edward Prell, “Triple Play Helps Sox Beat Boston, 5-1…Fain Snares Liner for 2, Chico gets 3d…Trucks’ 2d Pitch Ends Game,” Chicago Tribune, August 30, 1953 (Part 2, page 1).
8. Jeff Blair, “Triple play gives Expos series sweep,” The (Montreal) Gazette, September 9, 1991 (C3); see also: (a) Rob Parker, “Triple play snuffs out Reds’ rally in 9th,” Cincinnati Enquirer, September 9, 1991 (C1); (b) Jerry Crasnick, “Reds’ new way to lose: hitting into triple play,” Cincinnati Post, September 9, 1991 (1C).
9. Bob Hertzel, “Rain, Runs, Ridiculous: Reds Win Opener,” Cincinnati Enquirer, April 7, 1978 (Section B 1). See also: Earl Lawson, Cincinnati Post, April 7, 1978; Hal McCoy, “Sparky fined for triple kill…Charges himself $25,” Dayton (Ohio) Daily News, April 7, 1978 (36); Kenny Hand, “Astro debut fizzles 11-9 in Cincy rain,” Houston Post, April 7, 1978 (1C).
10. This time information was obtained courtesy of Keith Costas of MLB Network. Timing the TP itself via looking at the YouTube video, the time of the TP from the last pitch to the ball reaching the first baseman’s glove was about 4.7 seconds. The authors gratefully thank Steve Hirdt for his superb help and cooperation in acquiring this information.
11. Tim Burke, “The Jarry Juggernaut rolls right along,” The (Montreal) Gazette, June 14, 1973 (33); see also: Chrys Goyens. “Triple play helps…Expos gaining on Cubs,” Ottawa Citizen, June 14, 1973 (27).
Details for the 40 Instant Relief Triple Plays (1876-2022)
Explanatory Notes for Tables 1-4
(A) The “I” column gives the inning.
(B) The “FT” column gives the Fielding Team; the “BT” column gives the Batting Team; an asterisk (*) indicates which team was the home team.
(C) In the “Batter” column, “PHa” indicates that the batter was a pinch hitter who was announced into the game before the relief pitcher was announced into the game; “PHb” indicates that the batter was a pinch hitter who was announced into the game after the relief pitcher was announced into the game.
(D) For the “Bases” column, a number (1, 2, or 3) indicates that the corresponding base was occupied; an “x” indicates that the base was not occupied.
(E) For the “Count” column, entries bracketed with asterisks indicate that the triple play ensued on the pitcher’s first pitch; a cell with the “?-?” entry indicates that the count or pitch number has not yet been ascertained.
(F) For the “TP Sequence” column, “F” indicates that the triple play started with a flyout; “G” indicates that the triple play began with a groundout; “K” indicates that the triple play commenced with a strikeout; the numbers indicate the fielders who took part in the triple play; asterisks indicate which fielders made the putouts.
(G) The notes given beneath the Table provide the reference for the pertinent articles written or co-written by Smith as well as the identities of the base runners and fielders involved in the triple play.
1. Tom Davis, Dixie Tourangeau, Jim Smith, and Herm Krabbenhoft, “American Association Triple Plays in Cincinnati,” Baseball Quarterly Reviews, Volume 10 (Number 2) 107-13 (Summer 1996): With Art Whitney on first and Jack Carney on third—OUT-1, Dwyer [Cub Stricker (4)]; OUT-2, Carney [Stricker (4) to Duke Farrell (2)]; OUT-3, Whitney [Farrell (2) to Stricker (4)].
2. James Smith and Herman Krabbenhoft, “Shibe Park Triple Plays,” Baseball Quarterly Reviews, Volume 7 (Number 3) 159-69 (Fall 1992): With Amos Strunk on second and Stuffy Mclnnis on third—OUT-1, Barry [Chick Gandil (3)]; OUT-2, Mclnnis [Gandil (3) to Eddie Foster (5)]; OUT-3, Strunk [Foster (5) to George McBride (6)].
3. Thomas R. Davis and James Smith, “Triple Plays at Crosley-Redland Field,” Baseball Quarterly Reviews, Volume 7 (Number 3) 149-58 (Fall 1992): With Heinie Groh on first and Rube Bressler on second—OUT-1, Lee Magee [Dave Bancroft (6)]; OUT-2, Bressler [Bancroft (6)]; OUT-3, Groh [Bancroft (6) to Fred Luderus (3)].
4. Keith Carlson, James A. Smith, Jr., and Herman Krabbenhoft, Sportsman’s Park Triple Plays,” Baseball Quarterly Reviews, Volume 8 (Number 3) 152-67 (Fall 1994): With Jack Tobin on first and Wally Gerber on second—OUT-1, Sisler [Chick Galloway (6)]; OUT-2, Gerber [Galloway (6) to Ralph Young (4)]; OUT-3, Tobin [Young (4) to Joe Hauser (3)].
5. James A. Smith, Jr., and Herman Krabbenhoft, “Fenway Park Triple Plays,” Baseball Quarterly Reviews, Volume 8 (Number 2) 34-50 (Summer 1994): With Bucky Harris on first and Sam Rice on second— OUT-1, Rice [Muddy Ruel (2) to Pinky Pittinger (5)]; OUT-2, Milan [Pittinger (5) to George Burns (3)]; OUT-3, Harris [Burns (3) to Pittinger (5)].
6. Richard B. Tourangeau and James Smith, “Braves Field Triple Plays,” Baseball Quarterly Reviews, Volume 7 (Number 3) 103-9 (Summer 1992): With Billy Southworth on first and Ray Powell on second—OUT-1, Mclnnis [Pie Traynor (5)]; OUT-2, Powell [Traynor (5) to Spencer Adams (4)]; OUT-3, Southworth [Adams (4) to Charlie Grimm (3)].
7. James A. Smith, Jr. and Herman Krabbenhoft, “Baker Bowl Triple Plays,” Baseball Quarterly Reviews, Volume 8 (Number 4) 222-31 (Winter 1994): With George Harper on first and Jimmie Ring on second—OUT-1, Mokan (batting for George Harper) [Jim Bottomley (3)]; OUT-2, Ring [Bottomley (3) to Jimmy Cooney (6)]; OUT-3, Harper [Cooney (6) to Rogers Hornsby (4)].
8. Keith Carlson, James A. Smith, Jr., and Herman Krabbenhoft, “Sportsman’s Park Triple Plays,” Baseball Quarterly Reviews, Volume 8 (Number 3) 152-67 (Fall 1994): With Johnny Hodapp on first, Bernie Neis on second, and Glenn Myatt on third—OUT-1, Myatt [Otto Miller (5) to Leo Dixon (2)]; OUT-2, Levsen [Dixon (2) to George Sister (3)]; OUT-3, Neis [Sisler (3) to Dixon (2)].
9. Thomas R. Davis and James Smith, “Triple Plays at Crosley-Redland Field,” Baseball Quarterly Reviews, Volume 7 (Number 3) 149-58 (Fall 1992): With Danny Taylor on first and Hack Wilson on third—OUT-1, Wilson [Hod Ford (4) to Tony Cuccinello (5) to Clyde Sukeforth (2)]; OUT-2, Grimm [Sukeforth (2) to Joe Stripp (3)]; OUT-3, Taylor [Stripp (3) to Cuccinello (5)].
10. Keith Carlson, James A. Smith, Jr., and Herman Krabbenhoft, “Sportsman’s Park Triple Plays,” Baseball Quarterly Reviews, Volume 8 (Number 3) 152-67 (Fall 1994): With Heinie Meine on first and Earl Grace on third—OUT-1, Waner [Frankie Frisch (4)]; OUT-2, Grace [Frisch (4) to Pepper Martin (5)]; OUT-3, Meine [Martin (5) to Ripper Collins (3)].
11. James Smith, “Ebbets Field Triple Plays,” Baseball Quarterly Reviews, Volume 6 (Number 4) 230-34 (Winter 1991): With Johnny Frederick on first and Jake Flowers on second—OUT-1, Hutcheson [Frankie Frisch (4)]; OUT-2, Frederick [Frisch (4) to Ripper Collins (3)]; OUT-3, Flowers [Collins (3) to Leo Durocher (6)].
12. James A. Smith, Jr. and Herman Krabbenhoft, “Triple Plays at the Polo Grounds,” Baseball Quarterly Reviews, Volume 8 (Number 1) 34-50 (Spring 1994): With Charlie Mead on first and Buddy Kerr on second—OUT-1, Rucker [Frankie Gustine (4)]; OUT-2, Kerr [Gustine (4) to Frankie Zak (6)]; OUT3, Mead [Zak (6) to Babe Dahlgren (3)].
13. James Smith and Herman Krabbenhoft, “Shibe Park Triple Plays,” Baseball Quarterly Reviews, Volume 7 (Number 3) 159-69 (Fall 1992): With Lee Handley on first and Andy Seminick on second—OUT-1, Gilbert (batting for Al Lakeman) [Del Rice (2)]; OUT-2, Seminick [Rice (2) to Marty Marion (6)]; OUT-3, Handley [Marion (6) to Stan Musial (3)].
14. James Smith and Herman Krabbenhoft, “Shibe Park Triple Plays,” Baseball Quarterly Reviews, Volume 7 (Number 3) 159-69 (Fall 1992): With Gus Zernial on first, Allie Clark on second, and Elmer Valo on third—OUT-1, Majeski [Billy Goodman (4)]; OUT-2, Clark [Goodman (4)]; OUT-3, Zernial [Goodman (4) to Walt Dropo (3)].
15. James Smith, “Comiskey Park Triple Plays,” Baseball Quarterly Reviews, Volume 6 (Number 4) 219-29 (Winter 1991): With Al Zarilla on first and Floyd Baker on second—OUT-1, Olson [Ferris Fain (3)]; OUT-2, Zarilla [Fain (3)]; OUT-3, Baker [Fain (3) to Chico Carrasquel (6)].
16. James Smith, “Memorial Stadium Triple Plays,” Baseball Quarterly Reviews, Volume 6 (Number 3) 142-51 (Fall 1991): With Vern Stephens on first, Chuck Diering on second, and Whitey Kurowski on third—OUT-1, Stephens [Milt Bolling (6) to Billy Console (4)]; OUT-3, Mele (batting for Gil Coan) [Consolo (4) to Harry Agganis (3)]; OUT-3, Diering [Agganis (3) to Sammy White (2)].
17. James Smith, “Ebbets Field Triple Plays,” Baseball Quarterly Reviews, Volume 6 (Number 4) 230-234 (Winter 1991): With Carl Furillo on first, Jackie Robinson on second, and Sandy Amoros on third—OUT-1, Amoros [Randy Jackson (5) to Harry Chiti (2)]; OUT-2, Campanella [Chiti (2) to Dee Fondy (3)]; OUT-3, Robinson [Fondy (3) to Chiti (2)].
18. James Smith and Herman Krabbenhoft, “Forbes Field Triple Plays,” Baseball Quarterly Reviews, Volume 7 (Number 1) 22-30 (Spring 1992): With Manny Mota on first and Dick Schofield on second—OUT-1, Clemente [Merritt Ranew (3)]; OUT-2, Mota [Ranew (3)]; OUT-3, Schofield [Ranew (3) to Andre Rodgers (6)].
19. Thomas R. Davis and James Smith, “Triple Plays at Crosley-Redland Field,” Baseball Quarterly Reviews, Volume 7 (Number 3) 149-58 (Fall 1992): With Tim McCarver on first and Orlando Cepeda on third—OUT-1, McCarver [Leo Cardenas (6) to Tommy Helms (4)]; OUT-2, Gagliano [Helms (4) to Deron Johnson (3)]; OUT-3, Cepeda [Johnson (3) to Johnny Edwards (2)].
20. James A. Smith, Jr., and Herman Krabbenhoft, “Fenway Park Triple Plays,” Baseball Quarterly Reviews, Volume 8 (Number 2) 34-50 (Summer 1994): With Russ Snyder on first and Luis Aparicio on second—OUT-1, Blair [Joe Foy (5)]; OUT-2, Aparicio [Foy (5) to Mike Andrews (4)]; OUT-3, Snyder [An drews (4) to George Scott (3)].
21. James A. Smith, Jr. and Herman Krabbenhoft, “Major League Triple Plays in Minnesota,” Baseball Quarterly Reviews, Volume 9 (Number 2) 68-71 (Summer 1995): With Joe Azcue on first and Richie Scheinblum on second— OUT-1, Scheinblum [Rich Rollins (5)]; OUT-2, Azcue [Rollins (5) to Rod Carew (4)]; Horton [Carew (4) to Bob Allison (3)].
22. James A. Smith, Jr. and Herman Krabbenhoft, “Triple Plays at Washington’s Robert F Kennedy Stadium,” Baseball Quarterly Reviews, Volume 9 (Number 2) 6-67: With Barry Moore on first and Paul Casanova on second—OUT-1, Casanova [Don Wert (5)]; OUT-2, Moore [Wert (5) to Ike Brown (4)]; OUT-3, Brinkman [Brown (4) to Bill Freehan (3)].
23. James Smith and Herman Krabbenhoft, “Municipal Stadium Triple Plays,” Baseball Quarterly Reviews, Volume 7 (Number 4) 227-28 (Winter 1992): With Cookie Rojas on first and Paul Schaal on second—OUT-1, Schaal [Chico Ruiz (5)]; OUT-2, Rojas [Ruiz (5) to Sandy Alomar (4)]; OUT-3, Otis [Alomar (4) to Billy Cowan (3)].
24. James A. Smith, Jr. and Herman Krabbenhoft, “National League Triple Plays at Pittsburgh’s Three Rivers Stadium,” Baseball Quarterly Reviews, Volume 10 (Number 1) 22-25 (Spring 1996): With Al Oliver on first and Jackie Hernandez on second—OUT-1, Hernandez [Ron Santo (5)]; OUT-2, Oliver [Santo (5) to Glenn Beckert (4)]; OUT-3, Sanguillen [Beckert (4) to Jim Hickman (3)].
25. James A. Smith, Jr. and Herman Krabbenhoft, “NL Triple Plays in Montreal,” Baseball Quarterly Reviews, Volume 10 (Number 1) 9-12 (Spring 1996): With Enzo Hernandez on first, Gene Locklear on second, and Dwain Anderson on third—OUT-1, Hernandez [Ron Hunt (4) to Tim Foli (6)]; OUT-2, Morales [Foli (6) to Mike Jorgensen (3)]; Locklear [Jorgensen (3) to John Boccabella (2)].
26. James A. Smith and Herman Krabbenhoft, “Triple Plays at Anaheim Stadium— Home of the California Angels,” Baseball Quarterly Reviews, Volume 9 (Number 2) 85-87 (Summer 1995): With Bill Stein on first and Dave Collins on sec ond—OUT-1, Collins [Ron Jackson (5)]; OUT-2, Stein [Jackson (5) to Jerry Remy (4)]; OUT-3, Stanton [Remy (4) to Tony Solaita (3)].
27. James A. Smith, Jr. and Herman Krabbenhoft, “National League Triple Plays at Cincinnati’s Riverfront Stadium,” Baseball Quarterly Reviews, Volume 10 (Number 2) 70-72 (Summer 1996): With George Foster on first and Joe Morgan on third—OUT-1, Driessen [Joe Ferguson (2)]; OUT-2, Morgan [Ferguson (2) to Roger Metzger (6) to Enos Cabell (5)]; Foster [Cabell (5) to Metzger (6)].
28. James A. Smith, Jr. and Herman Krabbenhoft, “National League Triple Plays at Busch Stadium in St. Louis,” Baseball Quarterly Reviews, Volume 10 (Number 2) 65-69 (Summer 1996): With Bill Doran on first and Gerald Young on second—OUT-1, Young [Terry Pendleton (5)]; OUT-2, Doran [Pendleton (5) to Jose Oquendo (4)]; OUT-3, Pankovits [Oquendo (4) to Mike Laga (3)].
29. James A. Smith, Jr. and Herman Krabbenhoft, “Triple Plays in Oakland’s Coliseum,” Baseball Quarterly Reviews, Volume 9 (Number 2) 72-75 (Summer 1995): With Walt Weiss on first and Terry Steinbach on second—OUT-1, Randolph [Ballard (1)]; OUT-2, Steinbach [Ballard (1) to Cal Ripken, Jr. (6)]; OUT-3 [Ripken (6) to Sam Horn (3)].
30. James A. Smith, Jr. and Herman Krabbenhoft, “NL Triple Plays in Montreal,” Baseball Quarterly Reviews, Volume 10 (Number 1) 9-12 (Spring 1996): With Eric Davis on first and Hal Morris on second—OUT-1, Morris [Bret Barberie (5)]; OUT-3, Davis [Barberie (5) to Delino DeShields (4)]; OUT-3, Sabo [DeShields (4) to Andres Galarraga (3)].
31. Ronald Kabacinski and James Smith, “Triple Plays at Navin Field, Briggs Stadium, and Tiger Stadium,” Baseball Quarterly Reviews, Volume 7 (Number 1) 12-21 (Spring 1992) and (Number 4) 253 (Winter 1992): With Harold Reynolds on first and Dave Valle on third—OUT-1, Vizquel [Skeeter Barnes (5)]; OUT-2, Valle [Barnes (5)]; OUT-3, Reynolds [Barnes (5) to Cecil Fielder (3)].
32. “1995 American League Triple Plays,” The 1996BQR Yearbook, 74: With Alex Gonzalez on first and Shawn Green on second—OUT-1, Green [Nelson (1) to Luis Sojo (6)]; OUT-2, Gonzalez [Sojo (6)]; OUT-3, Martinez [Sojo (6) to Joey Cora (4)].
33. SBK Triple Play Database: With Preston Wilson on first and Cliff Floyd on second—OUT-1, Floyd [Chipper Jones (5)]; OUT-2, Wilson [Jones (5) to Quilvio Veras (4)]; OUT-3, Lowell [Veras (4) to Andres Galarraga (3)].
34. SBK Triple Play Database: With Adrian Beltre on first, Carl Everett on second, and Richie Sexson on third—OUT-1, Beltre [Luis Castillo (4)]; OUT-2, Johjima [Castillo (4) to Justin Morneau (3)]; OUT-3, Everett [Morneau (3) to Tony Batista (5)].
35. SBK Triple Play Database: With Jason Kubel on first and Michael Cuddyer on second—OUT-1, Cuddyer [Casey Blake (5)]; OUT-2, Kubel [Blake (5) to Asdrubal Cabrera (4)]; OUT-3, Redmond [Cabrera (4) to Victor Martinez (3)].
36. SBK Triple Play Database: With Adrian Gonzalez on first and Brian Giles on second—OUT-1, Giles [Jose Castillo (5)]; OUT-2, Gonzalez [Castillo (5) to Ray Durham (4)]; OUT-3, Kouzmanoff [Durham (4) to John Bowker (3)].
37. SBK Triple Play Database: With Yasiel Puig on first and Dee Strange-Gordon on third base—OUT-1, Gonzalez [Michael Brantley (7)]; OUT-2, StrangeGordon [Brantley (7) to Yan Gomes (2)]; OUT-3 Puig [Gomes (2) to Jason Kipnis (4)].
38. SBK Triple Play Database: With Buster Posey on first, Angel Pagan on second, and Denard Span on third—OUT-1, Crawford [Ryan Zimmerman (3)]; OUT-2, Posey [Zimmerman (3)]; OUT-3, Span [Zimmerman (3) to Anthony Rendon (5)].
39. SBK Triple Play Database: With Kendrys Morales on first and Justin Smoak on second—OUT-1, Smoak [Jeimer Candelario (5)]; OUT-2, Morales [Candelario (5) to Ian Kinsler (4)]; OUT-3, Pillar [Kinsler (4) to Efren Navarro (3)].
40. SBK Triple Play Database: With Tucker Barnhart on first, Freddy Galvis on second, and Nick Senzel on third—OUT-1, Akiyama [Kris Bryant (5)]; OUT-2, Senzel [Bryant (5)]; OUT-3, Barnhart [Bryant (5) to Anthony Rizzo (3)].
https://sabr.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/03/research-collection4_350x300.jpg300350Davy Andrews/wp-content/uploads/2020/02/sabr_logo.pngDavy Andrews2023-05-29 00:11:502023-05-29 00:11:50Instant Relief: First-Batter Triple Plays