Unassisted Triple Plays

Major League Players Who Turned an Unassisted Triple Play

The unassisted triple play is one of the rarest fabulous feats in Major League baseball. It has been accomplished only fifteen times in history and as illustrated in the quote below, it is a legacy that will follow each and every player who has ever accomplished this unbelievable feat.

"Funny thing, I played in the big leagues for thirteen years and the only thing anybody seems to remember is that once I made an unassisted triple play in a World Series." - Bill Wambsganss in The Glory of Their Times: The Story of the Early Days of Baseball Told by the Men Who Played It (Lawrence S. Ritter. HarperCollins Publishers. July 2, 2013. Page 215)
Unassisted Triple Plays in the American League

Randy Velarde glove worn during unassisted triple play.

Randy Velarde glove worn during unassisted triple play (Hall of Fame Collection).

American League Unassisted Triple Plays | Triple Plays

AL #
ML #
Player Name
POS
Date / Box
Inn
Batter
POS
Team
1.
1.
SS
07-19-1909
2 nd
2B

How It Happened: Caught liner. Touched 2 nd . Tagged runner coming from 1 st .

2.
2.
2B
5 th
P

How It Happened: Caught liner. Touched 2 nd . Tagged runner coming from 1 st .

3.
3.
1B
2 nd
1B

How It Happened: Caught liner. Tagged man off 1 st . Tagged 2 nd before man returned.

4.
7.
1B

9 th

RF

How It Happened: Caught liner. Tagged man off 1 st . Tagged 2 nd before man returned. Game Ending.

5.
8.
SS
1 st
C

How It Happened: Caught liner. Touched 2 nd . Tagged runner coming from 1 st .

6.
10.
SS
6 th
DH

How It Happened: Caught liner. Touched 2 nd . Tagged runner coming from 1 st .

7.
11.
2B
6 th
DH

How It Happened: Caught liner. Tagged runner coming from 1 st . Touched 2 nd .

8.
14.
2B
5 th
1B
How It Happened: Caught liner. Touched 2 nd . Tagged runner coming from 1 st .
AL #
ML #
Player Name
POS
Date / Box
Inn
Batter
POS
Team
Unassisted Triple Plays in the National League

Jimmy Cooney glove worn during unassisted triple play.

Jimmy Cooney glove worn during unassisted triple play (Hall of Fame Collection).

National League Unassisted Triple Plays | Triple Plays

NL #
ML #
Player Name
POS
Date / Box
Inn
Batter
POS
Team
1.
4.
SS
4 th
1B

How It Happened: Caught liner. Touched 2 nd . Tagged runner coming from 1 st .

2.
5.
SS
9 th
1B

How It Happened: Caught liner. Touched 2 nd . Tagged runner going back to 1 st .

3.
6.
SS
4 th
RF

How It Happened: Caught liner. Touched 2 nd . Tagged runner coming from 1 st .

4.
9.
2B
6 th
3B

How It Happened: Caught liner. Touched 2 nd . Tagged runner coming from 1 st .

5.
12.
SS
5 th
P

How It Happened: Caught liner. Touched 2 nd . Tagged runner going back to 1 st .

6.
13.
SS
7 th
3B

How It Happened: Caught liner. Touched 2 nd . Tagged runner coming from 1 st .

7.
15.
2B
9 th
RF

How It Happened: Caught liner. Touched 2 nd . Tagged runner coming from 1 st . Game Ending.

NL #
ML #
Player Name
POS
Date / Box
Inn
Batter
POS
Team

Unassisted Triple Play History | Bold = Occured During World Series



On May 8, 1878, Paul Hines was credited with a triple play which was correct for the "rules in play." However, by modern rules it was an unassisted double play with a throw to second base for the third out.
Bill Wambsganss Unassisted Triple Play
Bill Wambsganss Triple Play during 1920 World Series
(Source: Hall of Fame Collection)

Did you know that George Burns and Johnny Neun are the only two first basemen in Major League history to turn an unassisted triple play? Breaking down all fifteen instances of unassisted triple plays by position, there have been two by first basemen, five by second basemen, and eight by shortstops in Major League history.

Did you know that two of the unassisted triple plays occurred as the last play of a game? On 05-31-1927 , Johnny Neun secured a 1-0 home win for the Detroit Tigers with an unassisted triple play in the top of the ninth inning. And, on August 23, 2009 , Eric Bruntlett wrapped up 9-7 win by the Phillies over the Mets with an unassisted triple play in the bottom of the ninth inning.

On October 10, 1920 , Elmer Smith hit the the first grand slam in World Series history. What is the relevance? During that same game Wamby also turned the first & only unassisted triple play (Read the entire Cleveland Times article on our 1920 World Series page) in post season history.
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