Triple plays are unusual enough, and the Indians turned a truly unusual one Tuesday night against the Dodgers.
It’s the second most unusual triple play I have ever seen.
The most unusual one I ever saw I was involved in, unwittingly triggering the whole thing.
I was 13 and playing in our local parks and rec league. This was the youngest age group using the dropped third strike.
I had decided that it would be cool sometime to swing at a third strike that couldn’t be caught and advance to first. In the fourth inning of a lopsided opening game, I got my first at-bat season.
The count was 2-2, and I decided this might be the time to try it. The next pitch came in around ankle high, and I knew the catcher wouldn’t up with cleanly. I heard the ball hit the backstop and took off toward first.
Unfortunately I didn’t understand the whole rule, the part about first being unoccupied or two out in the inning. Obviously there were no outs — and the bases were loaded, so the dropped third strike didn’t apply.
My teammates didn’t have the best working knowledge of the rule either, and if I was running to first, well …
One took off from third and was tagged out once the catcher retrieve the ball. Another froze but finally took off from second and was thrown out at third. I was standing on first, bewildered by what was transpiring.
The base ump turned to me and explained — at the top of his lungs —the rule.
And that ended the game. We were down, I think, 21-0 and so we were run-ruled.
Every game received a write-up in the local paper. I was described only as “the next batter.”
I’m sure they felt they were sparing me embarrassment, but it actually made me feel worse.
I had done something so stupid I couldn’t even be named.