Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Minnesota Twins Make Triple Play History

On July 17, 1990, the Minnesota Twins accomplish something that had never been done before as they turn not one, but two triple plays in a game at Fenway Park. The triple plays occurred in the fourth and eighth innings and were nearly identical; in both instances, Twins third baseman Gary Gaetti stepped on third base on a ground ball, threw the ball to second baseman Al Newman, who then threw the ball to first baseman Kent Hrbek.

There had been over 600 occurrences of the rare triple play, but never had more than one happened in the same game. It was a moot point though, as the Red Sox beat the Twins anyway, 1-0. The next day, the Twins tied an American League record by recording six double plays, but again lost to the Sox, 5-4. The Red Sox also turned three double plays that game making for the most double plays ever turned in a single game, nine.

The six double plays tied a record the Twins already owned. Three years earlier in 1977 playing against the Toronto Blue Jays, the Twins turned six double plays in a 10-inning game.

In 2006 the Twins turned another great triple play, against the Seattle Mariners, with the bases loaded and no outs, Juan Rincon gets Kenji Johjima to ground into a 4-5-6-3 triple play to end the inning.
In the history of the Twins organization the Minnesota ball club has turned 11 triple plays on defense, and hit into seven.