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The Rarest Play in Baseball

what is the rarest play in baseball

There are lots of rare plays in baseball, but one in particular stands out as the rarest play in baseball – the triple play that involves two outs. This not only happens very rarely, but it’s happened three times since 1901 and twice before 1921, making it very unlikely to occur again soon, if ever.

Let’s take a look at these historic triple plays and figure out why they’re so rare and even more unlikely to be replicated soon.

The Single

In a game that was overflowing with excitement and new records, there may have been no bigger play than Robinson Cano’s single. The Yankees were clinging to a 4-3 lead when Cano stepped up to bat with two outs. Up to that point, Alex Rodriguez had already driven in four runs for New York and every Yankee hitter had reached base at least once.

With just one swing of his bat and catchers mitt however, Cano would give them a cushion they wouldn’t need thanks to Mariano Rivera’s dominant performance on the mound.

The Double

In baseball, a double is when a batter gets to second base safely with two outs. No other play has more specific rules surrounding it than a double.

In order for one to be official, several conditions must be met: The ball must be fair when hit by the batter; both runners must touch second base; neither runner can leave early (before reaching first); and at least one of them must try to get there on his own power.

Most doubles are singles and triples—according to STATS LLC data collected from 1909-2008, 2.3% of all hits were doubles, while 8.7% were triples and 12.2% were home runs.

The Triple

Not a Triple But Something Nearly as Rare (By Michael Clair) – In 1969, Don Hahn of Los Angeles stole second base and third base in the same inning.

It’s unlikely you’ve ever seen it happen, but here’s how it happened: Hahn led off against Cubs’ pitcher Bob Hendley. Hendley fell behind 2-and-0 before throwing a fastball over for strike one. He then missed with two straight breaking balls to fall behind 3-and-1 before coming back with another fastball which was fouled back by Hahn.

 Hendley came back with two strikes on him and threw another fastball for ball four; however, catcher Bruce Edwards’ throw to third base got away, allowing Hahn to sprint to third base unoccupied.

The Home Run

As baseball fans, we’re so used to seeing home runs, it’s easy to take for granted how rare they are. Well, it turns out there is a play that is much more uncommon than even a homer. What is it? Give up? It’s called a grand slam home run!

The Walk

Not many fans know about The Walk, but it’s incredibly rare—it only happens once every few years. Because of its rarity, not even announcers get to see it very often; they often miss it or announce that a walk has been recorded without actually watching.

 But if you’re paying attention when it happens, you’ll probably be awed: if a batter steps out of the box and then doesn’t touch home plate on his way back to bat, that counts as a walk and should be called by an umpire.

The Hit by Pitch

Although there’s a long history of competitive violence on baseball diamonds, there’s only one recorded instance of a team intentionally hitting their own teammate with a pitch.

In 1920, St. Louis Browns left fielder Micky Dolenz Dolphin copped to taking $10,000 from gamblers to allow himself to be hit by pitches intentionally during an exhibition game against the Chicago White Sox.

Chances to make the most unique play in baseball history

1 out of 34,000. No, it’s not off of a walk-off wild pitch or an infield error on a routine ground ball. It’s getting three strikes called in a row when facing some serious heat from an MLB pitcher. Sounds improbable?

 Well, it happened for Mike Esposito during a game between his Seattle Mariners and Rick Honeycutt’s California Angels back on July 4th, 1975. To make matters even more crazy – he accomplished it TWICE within five minutes!

A Mystery to Solve!

A ground-rule double occurs when a ball bounces off an object on, above or below playing field and into foul territory between home plate and first or third base. It is not recorded as an error. No one can be credited with a hit, but it’s still possible to score runners from third base during such a play.

credited with a hit, but it’s still possible to score runners from third base during such a play.


In baseball, there are rules that regulate every single play that happens during a game. The records for these rules can be found at Major League Baseball’s official site. While some of these records have been surpassed, others will never be broken. One such record is that of Tinkers to Evers to Chance. It was once believed that it was one of the greatest plays in baseball history but no one knew who made it or when it happened due to a lack of written evidence or a recording device used at time of play.

Frequently Asked Question

One of baseball’s most unusual and exciting plays is known as a triple play. A rare play in any sport, it occurs when a single event results in three outs being recorded on one play. But what happens if more than one triple play happens at once? The answer might surprise you. Yes, two (or more) different batters can be put out on three consecutive outs on one baseball pitch; however, there are no specific records for that occurring at any point throughout Major League Baseball history.

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