What Is a Triple Play In Baseball? Why It’s So Rare

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What Is a Triple Play In Baseball?

A triple play is when three outs are made during the same play. For example, if there is a runner on first base and the batter hits the ball, the fielder can throw to second base for an out, third for an out, and then back to first for another out. This would be considered a triple play. 

How Triple Plays Occur During a Game

The most common way for a triple play is for the defense to turn a double play, and then the third out is made on a caught stealing. This usually happens when there’s a runner on first base and second base, and the batter hits a line drive to one of the infielders.

The infielder then throws to the second baseman (who steps on second base to force out the runner from first), and the second baseman then throws to the catcher (who tags out the runner from second who is trying to steal third).

Another way a triple play can happen is if the defense turns a double play, and then the third out is made on a caught fly ball which usually happens when there’s a runner on first and second base, and the batter hits a fly ball to one of the outfielders.

What Is an Unassisted Triple Play?

A very rare way for a triple play is if the defense turns an unassisted triple play. It happens when there’s only one baserunner, and that baserunner is thrown out at the first, second, or third base. It is extremely rare, and it’s only happened a handful of times in significant league history.

Why Are Triple Plays So Rare?

1. There must be runners on first and second base.

2. The batter must hit a line drive right at an infielder (usually the third baseman), who then catches it and steps on third base to force out the runner from second.

3. He throws to the second baseman to force out the runner from first. It’s all about timing and execution, and it’s not easy to do.

Conclusion: Triple Play In Baseball

A triple play in baseball is an exceptionally rare fielding feat where three batters are put out during the same play. These can happen a few different ways, but the most common is when a fielder catches a line drive hit at them, tags a runner off first base before returning to the bag, and then throws to second base to tag another runner out.

While exceedingly difficult, turning it is a surefire way to get your team out of a jam and change the momentum of a game. For fans, it’s always a thrilling moment when one happens. And for the players involved, it’s a memory that will last a lifetime.