Talk:Triple play

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Opening comment[edit]

"On July 17, 1990, the Minnesota Twins became the first team in baseball history to turn two triple plays in the same game. They were rewarded for their efforts with a 1-0 loss."

In the previous sentence, are we talking about a win or a loss for the Minnesota Twins? I'm confused...


It seems to be a sarcastic comment. The Twins lost to the Red Sox that day. On a side note, in that same series, the Sox and Twins combined for 10 Double Plays in one game. -UsaSatsui, Red Sox fan.

In other words, it's basically an editorial comment, or a Point of View, and theoretically unworthy of the encyclopedia. A more neutral (i.e. boring) way to put it would be that "despite accomplishing two triple plays, the Twins lost". At the very least, however, the word "rewarded" should be in quotes (like I just did) so that it is clearer to the reader that the reference is sarcastic. Wahkeenah 21:43, 22 May 2005 (UTC)


Oops, you already changed it. Sorry. Wahkeenah 21:45, 22 May 2005 (UTC)

But also, the article goes into gory details of many other triple plays, but it fails to list even a minimal "Tinker to Evers to Chance" or "5-4-3" sort of description of this two-in-one-game event which was so extremely rare.

I noted this as well. As it stands, we're told that Brooks Robinson started two 5-4-3 TP within the space of 2-1/2 months. Whoever played third for the Twins that day in 1990 started two within half an hour, probably. The latter case deserves more detail. WHPratt (talk) 12:55, 23 June 2009 (UTC)
Gary Gaetti to Al Newman to Kent Hrbek, in the 4th and the 8th, so probably more like 1 1/2 hours: [1] Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots 13:07, 23 June 2009 (UTC)

Re the paragraph beginning: "While playing with the New York Yankees in 1982, Bobby Murcer, Graig Nettles, and Roy Smalley got caught in a bizarre 2-5-3-1 triple play . . . " I'm not sure that this one is particularly noteworthy, as numerous triple plays involve square dancing on the basepaths. But, was this the one wherein one of the players later said: "What we nneeded was a second base coach"? Including that quip might justify its inclusion. WHPratt (talk) 18:03, 25 January 2012 (UTC) Here it is: 5-29-1982 NYA @ MIN – Stew reports that he attended this game. In the top of the second Bobby Murcer and Graig Nettles singled. With the runners on the move, Roy Smalley struck out. Sal Butera's throw to Gary Gaetti at 3b was so far ahead of Murcer that he stopped and retreated toward 2b where Nettles had arrived. Nettles then ran back to 1b. Gaetti threw to Kent Hrbek, who tagged Nettles out. Murcer then broke for third. Hrbek threw to pitcher Terry Felton covering the bag and Murcer was out for a triple play. This is the play that caused Murcer to say, "We need a second base coach." The play is: K+CS3(25);CS2(31)/TP -- The Retro Sheet Official Publication of Retrosheet, Inc. Volume 5, No. 2 June 1998 WHPratt (talk) 02:51, 26 January 2012 (UTC)

An IP service?[edit]

...does that description of the IP service really belong there? It seems like an ad for that compamy that gets linked to. Even if it does belong here, shouldn't it be put in a new article and linked to? --UsaSatsui 19:31, 13 Jun 2005 (UTC)

I moved IP service part to its own page. I wonder which one is more frequently looked at TP in baseball or triple play in telecommunications? Trainthh 23:28, 17 Jun 2005 (UTC)

More description please[edit]

As a baseball novice, I'd like to see something about how a triple play can be accomplished, and what the most typical methods are. Is it usually a catch followed by two forced outs, or three forced outs, or what? Are there multiple methods, and if so, which is common, which rare? -dmmaus 01:24, 13 October 2005 (UTC)

I added some examples, does that help? And for the record, shouldn't unassisted triple play be merged into here? --UsaSatsui 07:51, 2 December 2005 (UTC)
I'd guess that most frequent is the line drive being fielded and two runners caught off base. Next most frequent would be those that involve baserunning blunders (e.g., one runner passes another, two runners at one base (and the wrong one thinks he's out)). The groundball with force at third, at second and batter out at first is rare, because any batter should have enough time to get to first while the defense pauses for two outs. Brooks Robinson was pretty slow (on offense), and indeed he hit into a few of those. SABR has an exhaustive list of all TPs at their site, with some analysis. WHPratt (talk) 14:33, 24 April 2009 (UTC)
To supplement my conjecture above . . .
At retrosheet,org, Chuck Rosciam has an analysis of 189 triple plays executed 1960-2004. (I presume that complete data isn't yet available for the other years.) His data are broken down by home/road, inning, batters, score, defensive position and more. The sample includes five of the unassisted triple plays.
He noted that the most frequent type (55 times) was 5-4-3 (that is, thirdbaseman to secondbaseman to firstbaseman. Please note that this event would include both
(1) The ground ball to third, force at third, force at second, batter out at first; and
(2) The line drive caught by the thirdbaseman and runners caught off at second and first.
He does note that 84 of the total began with grounders, 69 with line drives and 23 with fly balls.
Next most common were 6-4-3 (short to second to first, 16 times) and 4-6-3 (second to short to first, 11 times.) After that, you get a few cases involving all four infielders, outfield flies and such. And, five of these triple plays began with a strikeout.
The overwhelming majority occurred with runners at first and second (but not third). (I would guess that the presence of a runner at third (1) prevents the other runners getting a "good" (bad in these cases) jump off their bases, and (2) also deters the fielders from flinging the ball about recklessly. Furthermore, the infielders might be playing "in," reducing their range.) WHPratt (talk) 13:43, 29 May 2009 (UTC)

I believe it's true that there has never been a triple play in a no-hitter. Of course both are uncommon events, but additionally, no-hitters tend to be low-offense games on both sides, so the situations with two runners on and none out would be almost nonexistant. One team is almost completely out of the picture so far as baserunners are concerned. As it's probably a pitcher-friendly ballpark and conditions, opportunities for the other team are also minimized. WHPratt (talk) 14:42, 24 April 2009 (UTC)

seperate section(s) for recent triple plays[edit]

I added the description for the most recent TP of a few days ago, and broke the 4 in the 2006 season out into their own section. I think this is a good way to organize the descriptions. Since they are such rare events, updating the article every time one happens doesn't seem like an onerous burdenThe Monster 20:23, 7 September 2006 (UTC)

Is it really appropriate to list a triple play from a video game in this article? I would think not. Job L 09:06, 11 November 2006 (UTC)

Someone recently reverted to the older version of the page that includes the example from the EA Sports video game. I have just removed it—it's just as inappropriate to list video game triple plays here as it would be to list, say, a video game simulation that had the Tampa Bay Devil Rays winning the World Series on the actual World Series page. Would whoever keeps posting this example first respond to this objection before adding it, please? Job L 02:48, 15 November 2006 (UTC)

Although individual triple plays are rare enough to warrant their own discussion, the article seems to exhibit a rather short-term memory by mentioning only triple plays from 2006 and 2007. What do people think about expanding the 2006-07 triple plays section to reach back further into history (even if only in, say, list form, broken down into decades)? Job L 01:24, 22 April 2007 (UTC)

Shouldn't we move the section Unassisted TP to the actual article on UTP? Also why is there only descriptions of the 2 recent occurrences?

The following discussion is an archived debate of the proposal. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on the talk page. No further edits should be made to this section.

The result of the debate was moveMets501 (talk) 17:00, 4 November 2006 (UTC)

Requested move[edit]

Triple play (baseball)Triple play — return primary usage to base name JHunterJ 16:34, 29 October 2006 (UTC)

Survey[edit]

Add  * '''Support'''  or  * '''Oppose'''  on a new line followed by a brief explanation, then sign your opinion using ~~~~.

  • Support - There isn't even a disambig page for this term. It could have listed this in the "uncontroversial moves" section of WP:RM. --Yath 00:48, 30 October 2006 (UTC)
    Well, Trainhh moved Triple play to Triple play (baseball) back on 17 June 2005, so it might not be entirely uncontroversial. See also Triple play (disambiguation). But clearly I support the move back to the base name too. -- JHunterJ 03:22, 30 October 2006 (UTC)
  • Support ~ trialsanderrors 05:31, 31 October 2006 (UTC)
  • Support. Recury 17:41, 1 November 2006 (UTC)
The above discussion is preserved as an archive of the debate. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on this talk page. No further edits should be made to this section.

Quote: "The most recent triple play was recorded April 12, 2009 by infielder Jack Wilson of the Pittsburgh Pirates against the Cincinnati Reds."

Better change "recorded" to "started," as the current phrasing implies or suggests "unassisted." Watch this on updates to this item! WHPratt (talk) 14:25, 24 April 2009 (UTC)

Bruntlett play, Aug 23, 2009[edit]

Added a reference to an ESPN article when I saw there was none. That section could stand to be rewritten a bit --D3matt (talk) 02:51, 24 August 2009 (UTC)

Subjectivity on 'arugability'...[edit]

A part of the article synopsis reads as such:

The unassisted triple play, a triple play in which only one fielder handles the ball, is the least common type of triple play, and is arguably the rarest occurrence in baseball: it has happened only 15 times in the Modern Era.

Here we run into a bit of a conundrum on 'arguably'--are we talking raw number of times the event has occurred, the portion of occurrences it has occurred versus the number of times it could have happened, or the prior versus the similar measurement of other occurrences in baseball?

Coming to mind, I can think of one distinct event that has occurred more infrequently than the Unassisted Triple Play--an Intentional Base on Balls with Bases Loaded (BLIBB), which has occurred (as recorded) six times, whereas the Unassisted Triple Play has occurred 15 times. That's not to say that it isn't rare, but it seems to be hardly arguable at first glance. There exists a subjective quality to this measure that could be seen either way, given the rarity of either situation.

Ideally, I would think it best for the above referenced segment to read (in relevant section) "...and is one of the rarest occurrences in baseball;",though, ultimately it comes down to how the rarity would be measured in this instance. Boiling it down to raw statistics would take quite a while, but given the overall sample sizes available, a raw number I feel would be sufficient to take the 'arguable' out of the statement.Aeternitas827 (talk) 10:26, 22 May 2010 (UTC)

I'd support your change in the wording. The only "argument" here is over definitions and criteria. There can be no plausible argument that, say, 14 is more than 15, though proponents can maintain that either figure is meaningless, or is inflated by questionable cases.WHPratt (talk) 15:01, 21 September 2010 (UTC)
Probably better to call it "one of the rarest", although there's a significant difference between triple plays and intentional base on balls, in that the latter is chosen. ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 16:33, 21 September 2010 (UTC)

Re: "Unfielded triple play"[edit]

"However, this scenario is extremely unlikely, as it would require a complete disregard by the participating players to the rules of baseball. Most likely, this scenario would only occur in a youth baseball game."

No rules are broken here. We begin with a crafty play by the defense in letting the ball fall after the batter is already out, perhaps hoping to confuse the runners. (Or maybe it's just a gaffe that turns out well.) We have mental errors by both runners, one in passing the other, and the other in not avoiding the batted ball. It was risky for the defense to count upon the ball hitting the runner rather than fielding it, but that's legal.WHPratt (talk) 19:12, 29 September 2011 (UTC)

I wouldn't necessarily call it crafty or risky for the defense--the shortstop, in George Will's scenario--not to catch the ball, because the runner who began at second base didn't really give the shortstop an opportunity to catch the ball. SEppley (talk) 22:54, 11 July 2012 (UTC)

So, assuming the official scorer credits the shortstop with all three outs, how is it scored? 6-6-6? SEppley (talk) 22:56, 11 July 2012 (UTC)

Ha. No, it would be something like TP-6, i.e. triple play, shortstop (unassisted). ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 23:03, 11 July 2012 (UTC)

Misunderstanding of "force outs"[edit]

The article's first paragraph refers to runners "being forced or tagged out when they fail to tag up." This use of the term "force out" is inconsistent with the official definition: A FORCE PLAY is a play in which a runner legally loses his right to occupy a base by reason of the batter becoming a runner. In other words, a force out is an out made on a runner who must *advance* to ensure there won't be two runners on the same base. See Wikipedia's Force play article and take note of its section "Scoring on force outs" which says: It is not a force out when a runner is put out while trying to tag up after a caught fly ball. Because this out is similar to a true force out, in that the runner can be put out by a fielder possessing the ball at the base that the runner needs to reach, there is a widespread misconception that this out is a force out. But it is not, which means the run would count if it scored before the third out is made on a runner trying to tag up. I think the offending sentence in the article's first paragraph should be rewritten. SEppley (talk) 21:20, 17 May 2013 (UTC)

True. A lot of people confuse the unsuccessful tag-up with a true forceout because in both cases only the base need be touched. Another point I've noted is that many people think that "force out" and "fielder's choice" are synonymous. True, every force out is a fielder's choice (because the fielder chose to go for the runner rather than the batter), but not every fielder's choice is a force out (because the fielder may choose to throw out a non-forced runner at third or home, and there are some other plays that qualify). We have to be careful in using these terms! WHPratt (talk) 13:04, 23 May 2013 (UTC)

Is the quadruple play officially scored as a quadruple play or as a triple play?[edit]

Would the "quadruple play" scenario described in the article be officially scored as a quadruple play? Four players are put out by continuous action, which is what the definition of quadruple play would presumably require if there were an official definition of quadruple play. On the other hand, one of the four outs is officially nullified and that runner is officially left on base, which suggests the nullification might carry into the calculation of whether four players were put out in continuous action. SEppley (talk) 14:34, 19 May 2013 (UTC)

The scorer would have written something like "Fly 8-4-3 TP" (assuming he emboldens the outs), but would then have to change it to "Fly 8-4-3-5 TP". As there can be only three putouts, the firstbaseman now gets only an assist and the thirdbaseman gets the third putout. It's still "only" a triple play. (Actually, the way I was taught it, you'd write "8" as the entry for the batter, "8-4" for one runner, and "4-3-5" for the other, and then connect the three boxes with arrows and a "TP" notation. That keeps the putouts and assists clear.) An interesting question: had there been no appeal, would the batter who made three outs get credited with a sacrifice fly? WHPratt (talk) 14:56, 19 May 2013 (UTC)