Triple plays in baseball are already plenty rare, but there are usually two or three every season. They certainly aren’t the rarest things in baseball, like when a pitcher throws a perfect game or a batter hits four home runs in a single game.
Get a load of this triple play from Thursday night’s game between the Angels and Rangers. In the top of the fourth inning, the Angels were batting with the bases loaded and no outs. Batter David Fletcher smoked a ball down the third base line, but it was snagged by Jurickson Profar.
Then chaos ensued:
To clear things up, here what happened: the ball was caught on a bounce, creating a force out at every base. Profar immediately stepped on third, retiring the runner who started on second. The runner who started on third, Taylor Ward, seemed confused about whether the ball was actually caught or not. He rushed back to third, but then left the base just as quickly, perhaps thinking he was still being forced home? Profar slapped a lazy tag on him to get the second out.
Profar then threw the ball to Rougned Odur on second base for the third out, since the runner who was on first base, Kole Calhoun, also wasn’t sure whether the ball was caught or not. Despite completing the triple play by stepping on second, Odur still chased Calhoun down on the basepath and applied a tag.
Everyone was confused! Then Profar, who started the whole triple play, can be seen calling for the ball because the runner from second base was headed to third not realizing he’s already out.
So what made this particular play so special? According to STATS, it was the first triple play since 1912 where the batter himself was not one of the three outs. Most triple plays are a result of a line drive being caught and runners being stranded off the base, or an infield going around the horn (third, second, first) to retire two runners and the batter.
So there you go, a little bit of baseball history for you!