Baker: What’s the most unusual piece of recent Fenway Park history?

From Matthew Reed Baker at Boston Magazine on March 27, 2019:

In terms of baseball oddities, there is one event that objectively stands out.

The day was Monday, August 6, 2001, and the Red Sox were playing a tight game against the Texas Rangers. In the fourth inning, with two men on base, Sox catcher Scott Hatteberg lined a shot to Rangers shortstop Alex Rodriguez, who coolly turned a triple play with second baseman Randy Velarde, thus rendering all three Sox players out in about three seconds. Pretty bad, huh? Well, Hatteberg atoned for it in his next at-bat, with the bases loaded in the sixth inning, when he hit a grand slam that would lead the team to a 10–7 victory. “That’s from the outhouse to the penthouse right there,” he said at the time.

Seventeen seasons later, the National Baseball Hall of Fame confirms that Hatteberg is still the only player ever to hit into a triple play (the worst possible at-bat in baseball) and then follow it with a grand slam (the best!). To put this into perspective, there have been 717 triple plays in Major League Baseball history from 1876 to the end of the 2018 season, according to the Society for American Baseball Research, while more than 300,000 home runs have been hit. Hatteberg’s bat resides in Cooperstown.

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Originally published: March 27, 2019. Last Updated: March 27, 2019.