How rare is a triple play in baseball?

In baseball, a triple play (referred to as TP in baseball statistics) is the act of making three outs during the same play. There have been only 733 three-pointers in Major League Baseball (MLB) since 1876, an average of just over five per season. To this day, Pignatano remains the only player in major league history to end his career by making a triple play. Think of a baseman at first and third, and the double play goes to second base and first base.

Jiggs Donahue, Billy Gilbert and Bill Friel of the Brewers were part of the first official triple play in MLB history. The date of the game, the entry (Inn), the league (LG), which team actually turned the triple play around (field team), if it was at home or away (HA), which team was at the plate (batting team), what bases did runners have (Hombres On) and how did the official scorer denote the play (scored). Usually, a hit ball is thrown to shortstop or third base, the runner going to third base is ejected or eliminated, the ball is thrown to second base for a forced play and, finally, to the first to eject the batter. On September 30, 1962, Joe Pignatano made a triple play against the Chicago Cubs during the last at-bat of his major league career.

Triple plays are relatively rare, since a triple play requires at least two runners who are already on base, with no outs, a batted ball hit in a way that allows it to be thrown cleanly so that three basemen can be left out, or an unusual incompetence in the base race and quick action by the players to act. For example, a team could organize a baseball game in which runners go to the next base of a field. Triple plays, even without assistance, are not extremely difficult for Major League Baseball players to achieve; their rarity is because they depend on the specific circumstances that arise in a game. A triple play (referred to as TP) is the rare act of making three outs during the same inning, such as a continuous play.

GITP stands for Grounded into a triple play, so it's a simple way to document that play on your scorecard. If the batter lines up with the shortstop, a triple play can occur quickly, as runners won't get to their bases quickly enough. So what is a triple play, how does it happen in general, what is a triple play without assistance, why is it uncommon, and more? Find out below? There are many ways to make a triple play; most of them are done with runners at first and second base. Another common sequence (insofar as these plays can be called common) is an in-line drive to the shortstop or second baseman who is caught without the runners realizing it or after having taken a big advantage (such as in the case of a hit and run), and runners are ejected if they fail to score.

Rosanne Fajardo
Rosanne Fajardo

Lifelong bacon evangelist. Professional pop culture expert. Extreme social media evangelist. Total food guru. Hardcore travel junkie. Extreme reader.

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