13 May 2008

Triple Take

In case you haven't heard, there was an unassisted triple play in the Cleveland-Toronto game last night. These have always been really, really exciting to me; I remember watching highlights of one when I was a seven-ish-year-old baseball nut living in Bradenton, FL (where the Pirates spring train, incidentally). I have the nagging sense that someone on the Reds turned it, and that it happened in a dome, but I haven't done the research to confirm either fact.

To give you some sense of how rare these things are, note that this was only the 14th such play in major league history. If I manage to track down some good video, I'll pass it along.

OK, I've been doing runs on TOLSTOY (more on this most recent project of mine soon) all morning and am ready to put myself into exile until the associated paper is finished. Catch you on the flip side.

Thanks to my friend Matt, by the way, for calling me last night with the news. I happened to be in a bar watching the Brewer game with his parents and fiancé at the time, but I never caught the highlight. Soon.

Update: Matt just sent me a little info that I thought I'd pass along:"You were right, the Unassisted TP has only happened one way, every time. It was usually catch, bag, and tag... but a few were catch, tag, and bag. Interesting stuff. Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Unassisted_triple_play"

Incidentally, I think we need a commonly accepted word that allows you to credit someone with doing some research but that also connotes a bit of flimsiness to that research because, in fact, it just involved finding the right Wikipedia article. How about wi-search? My only problem with this choice is that I'm worried about possible confusion with Nintendo-Wii-related words (e.g., Wiimote). Any thoughts?

Another update: I just did a little wi-search of my own and figured out why I remember that unassisted TP of yore so vividly--it came at the expense of my Pirates: "September 20 - Philadelphia Phillies second baseman Mickey Morandini completes the first unassisted triple play in the National League in 65 years against the Pittsburgh Pirates. In the bottom of the sixth inning, Morandini snares Jeff King's line drive, steps on second to double off Andy Van Slyke, and finally tags Barry Bonds out before he can return to first. It is the ninth unassisted triple play since 1901, but only the second to be pulled off by a second baseman."

And since I'm on a role:

I was just shattered to discover that my mind apparently created what I always thought was a sweet fact about two of those same Pirates. I had in my head that Barry Bonds, Bobby Bonilla, and Andy Van Slyke comprised the starting National League outfield as Pirates in at least one All-Star Game. However, if my wi-search is to be believed (1 2 3), it looks like the intersection of their respective all-star season sets is {1993}. However, by that year Bonilla and Bonds had moved on to the Mets and Giants, respectively. It also turns out that Van Slyke sat out the game with an injury. So much for that special memory from my childhood.

OK, back to TOLSTOY.

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