One of the rarest plays in all of baseball happened a bit ago. Rafael Furcal, shortstop of my Atlanta Braves, made an unassisted triple play. I was downstairs blogging and heard the reaction on ESPN and raced upstairs in time to catch the replay. David Pinto was out walking the dog.

This has only happened twelve times in Major League Baseball history! More people (14) have hit four home runs in a single game. As rare as the feat is, it’s almost always unspectacular–a middle infielder makes a routine catch, steps on the bag, and tags the runner. It’s mainly serendipity. Tonight’s was different: Furcal made a rather amazing leaping catch well behind the bag, had to hustle to get the tag, and then chased down the runner.

Update (1100 8-11):

  • The AJC has more on it here.
  • Donald Sensing has the video.
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    James Joyner
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    1. John Lemon says:

      I thought Ted Turner still owned the Atlanta Braves. Huh. I guess that’s the reason you can afford your own internet domain.

    2. I was able to grab video of the replay and posted it on my blog.

    3. Former little leaguer says:

      Believe it or not…

      When I played ball at the 12 year old level I made the exact play that was made last night save that jump. While it might seem something to brag about, it is more a function of happenstance. Just being in the right place at the right time.

      In my case, I actually thought we had 1 out and I really (at age 12) got confused half-way thru the play. I thought I had made a double play and only tagged the runner because it was just the thing to do. (you always tag a runner) I did not know it was a triple play till the coach told me.

      While the play requires little skill it was one of the highlights of my young life. Looking back, it was luck but I still have a buddy that thinks it the greatest sports moment in history including the 1980 US Ice Hockey team. LOL