NPR logo Cleveland Indians Notch Unassisted Triple Play


Cleveland Indians Notch Unassisted Triple Play

Editor's note to the editor's note: Someone helpfully pointed out the replacement video showed an assisted triple play, not an unassisted one. The clip above purports to be an unassisted triple play, and I defy anyone to sort it out well enough to argue otherwise. The original replacement is now after the jump.

Editor's note: YouTube pulled the video of the Indians' unassisted triple play, citing a copyright claim from Major League Baseball. Since you couldn't see it all that well anyway, I'm posting video of this (somewhat similar) amateur triple play. At least in this one you can see the lead runner.

For your lunchtime viewing pleasure, a moving meditation on right time/right place:

Baseball's unassisted triple play — when a lone fielder is responsible for three outs on a single pitch — is a rare and freakish feat.

Last night, Cleveland Indians second baseman Asdrubal Cabrera turned the 14th unassisted triple play in the history of the major leagues. Facing the Toronto Blue Jays, Cabrera dove for a liner by Lyle Overbay for out number one. Toronto had runners on first secondand secondthird, and both had taken off with the pitch. Cabrera stepped on second base to get the lead runner, Kevin Mench, who'd already reached third. He then tagged the following guy, Marco Scuataro, who'd just crossed second.

Check the video — it's three outs in a blink.

Bonus: ESPN breaks it down.

An assisted triple play.



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because there's no video we will have Win Rosenfeld act out the actual triple play on the lawn in Bryant Park. Ok, we won't. But I will note this. Asdrubal - that's an interesting name. It turns out Asbrudbal is a form of HASDRUBAL. Hasbrubal was was a Carthaginian general, Hannibal's bro and therefore an elephant shlepper. who knew?

Hasdrubal means "Ba'al helps" from Phoenician azru "help" combined with the name of the god BA'AL.

and you can't spell baseball without Ba'al.

Sent by mike pesca | 1:26 PM | 5-13-2008

Shoot, they took it down.

Sent by lc | 1:31 PM | 5-13-2008

I think it was runners on 1st and 2nd - you don't see many of these because most teams don't run a double steal with no outs very often, to avoid getting into this situation.

Sent by Leigh Cutler | 1:33 PM | 5-13-2008

The video can be found here:

Sent by lc | 1:35 PM | 5-13-2008

There are two videos of the play on the MLB site. check out the one that says it runs for 1:00 (it's actually shorter). The announcer calls "triple play" AS the ball is entering the fielder's glove. Impressive. I called the Blue Jays front office to see who that announcer was, at first they thought it might be Pat Tabler But then they backed off that...maybe it's the radio team they said... I will get in touch with MLB to find out. that announcer needs lauding.

Sent by mike pesca | 1:58 PM | 5-13-2008

So I'm on the line with right now...they seem not to know. In the meantime I will offer the comments section a special treat. I happen to know that NPR's David Folkenflik himself completed an unassisted triple play while in little league. Perhaps I can convince David to share his reminiscence.

Sent by mike pesca | 2:18 PM | 5-13-2008

The amateur video is a triple play, but not un-assisted, though, so there's a difference. The unassisted triple play is what is EXTREMELY rare.

Sent by DJ | 2:24 PM | 5-13-2008

Ok, the sleuthing has born fruit. They were actually Cleveland radio announcers, Matt Underwood was doing the play-by-play and that was Rick Manning who called the triple play before the ball even landed in Cabrera's webbing. So heads up on his part, way to keep your noggin in the game kid, you are our BPP, POULAN WEED EATER ANNOUNCER OF THE DAY!

small print(to be read hurriedly) - All BPP Poulan Weed Eater Announcers of the Day receive a Poulan Pro Edger Attachment, trimmer sold separately.

Sent by mike pesca | 2:42 PM | 5-13-2008

As I'm hoping for my own Poulan Pro Edger Attachment, trimmer sold separately, I'll vouch for Pesca's reporting. In my Laguna Beach tee-ball days, I believe for a team called Angels, I too executed an unassisted triple play. Was playing near second base, a ball was laced (in my memory, anyhow) toward me; I caught it, stepped on second base, where the runner had darted toward third, and tagged out the confused baserunner heading right at me. I think I was actually more confused than he was by the fact there were no more outs left to make. It's definitely the highlight that noted sports historian Vivian Folkenflik remembers best.

Sent by David Folkenflik | 8:17 PM | 5-13-2008

I believe that there may still be somewhere in family archives an early essay by David Folkenflik, moving in its use of detail and memorably entitled "My Own Unassisted Triple Play."

Sent by Vivian Folkenflik | 12:44 PM | 5-14-2008

The Cleveland Indians have thousands of fans all over the world. Here, I may consider myself as one of the big fans of this wonderful team. Whenever I've time I try to attend their games, though sometimes it becomes a little difficult to get Indians tickets and this is due to these great fans that the team has. Cleveland Indians tickets are a little pricy or hard to be found but the team, as a professional and essential team of MLB, worth any price to watch their games. And when we love a team we try as much as possible these financial obstacles.

Sent by Alison | 7:17 AM | 6-4-2008