Mull This Over!!!:
Readers are disputing whether this really happened or not but some say it occurred in a minor league game in Yakima, Washington. Like all science fiction, the truth is out there. The question is: How can the team in the field turn a triple play without any fielder touching the ball?
There are runners at first and second and no outs. The batter hits a pop fly to the infield. Since a force out is possible at third base, the umpire declares the batter out by the infield fly rule (out #1). The runner on second takes a small lead, but the runner on first, thinking the ball was hit harder and farther than it was, takes off running, rips around second base and passes the runner there. He’s declared out as a base runner that passed a runner ahead of him on the base paths (out #2). The ball then clunks the runner at second on the head as it falls to the ground, and that runner is declared out as a base runner hit by a fair batted ball (out #3). The official scorer would likely credit the shortstop with an unassisted triple play. When a batter is out by the infield fly rule the putout is credited to the fielder who would, with normal effort, catch the ball (and, since the ball is striking the runner standing on the third base side of second base, that fielder would be the shortstop). When a base runner is declared out for passing a leading runner, or because he was hit by a fair batted ball, the putout is credited to the fielder nearest to the occurrence, in this case also the shortstop.
Three questions for three strikes (answers at end of column):
1 - Which baseball player almost didn’t make it to his Hall of Fame induction because his bosses wouldn’t let him off work?
2 - Which pitcher had a 6-0 World Series ledger, a 2.86 ERA and said his success was due to “ clean living and a fast outfield?”
3 - Which pitcher came up with a no-hitter during his very first start?
On This Date In Baseball History, July 5:
1898 - Lizzie (Stroud) Arlington becomes the first woman to play organized baseball when she pitches for Reading in the Eastern League. Some believe she also pitched in Atlantic League exhibition games after being hired by Ed Barrow, the league’s president.
1904 — The Philadelphia Phillies snapped the New York Giants’ 18-game winning streak with a 6-5 10-inning victory.
1929 - At the Polo Grounds, the New York Giants become the first team to use a public address system.
1935 — Tony Cuccinello of the Dodgers and his brother Al — for the Giants — each hit home runs in the same game to mark the first time in major league history that brothers on opposing teams connected for homers. Brooklyn beat New York 14-4.
1937 — Hal Trosky hit three home runs to pace the Cleveland Indians to a 14-4 victory over the St. Louis Browns in the opener of a doubleheader.
1937 — Frank DeMaree of Chicago went 6-for-7 in the first game of a doubleheader, in which the Cubs beat the St. Louis Cardinals 13-12 in 14 innings. DeMaree had three doubles and three singles. The Cubs won the second game 9-7 and DeMaree had two more singles.
1947 — Larry Doby became the first black to play in the American League. He struck out as a pinch-hitter as Cleveland lost 6-5 to the White Sox.
1952 - In their final season in Boston, the Braves play in front of the largest home crowd of the season when 13,405 fans watch Brooklyn beat their team for the 12th consecutive time, a 5-3 complete victory by Carl Erskine. The most memorable moment of the contest occurs in the second inning when the game is delayed because a small dog has to be escorted off the field by Dodger outfielders Carl Furillo and Duke Snider.
1961 — Bill White hit three home runs and a double to power the St. Louis Cardinals to a 9-1 victory over the Los Angeles Dodgers.
1987 — Mark McGwire became the first rookie to hit 30 homers before the All-Star break and Jose Canseco homered twice, leading the Oakland Athletics to a 6-3 victory over the Boston Red Sox.
1991 — The Colorado Rockies and the Florida Marlins were given final approval by baseball owners with a unanimous vote to join the NL in 1993.
1993 — Rickey Henderson of the Oakland Athletics opened both games of a doubleheader with a homer to become the second player to accomplish the feat. Harry Hooper of the Boston Red Sox homered to start both games against Washington on May 30, 1913.
1998 — Roger Clemens became the 11th pitcher in baseball history to notch 3,000 strikeouts. Clemens needed five strikeouts to reach the 3,000 mark before Toronto’s game against the Tampa Bay Devil Rays. He struck out Quinton McCracken and Wade Boggs in the first inning and then got Mike DiFelice, Miguel Cairo and Randy Winn in the third to reach the milestone.
1998 — Juan Gonzalez became the second player to top 100 RBIs before the All-Star break, homering in the first and seventh innings off Seattle’s Randy Johnson to improve his major league-leading total to 101. Gonzalez ended with the second-most RBIs before the All-Star break in major league history. Hank Greenberg of the Detroit Tigers had 103 in 1935 en route to 170.
2000 — Luis Gonzalez became the first player in franchise history to hit for the cycle as Arizona beat Houston 12-9.
2002 - Baseball legend Ted Williams, considered by many the greatest hitter in the history of the game, dies of cardiac arrest at the age of 83. The first-ballot Hall of Famer, who was a lifetime .344 hitter, won MVP and Triple Crown twice, led American League in batting for six seasons, and hit .406 in 1941 during his 19-year career with the Red Sox.
2004 — Eric Gagne’s streak of 84 consecutive saves ended when he blew a two-run lead for the Los Angeles Dodgers, who came back to beat the Arizona Diamondbacks 6-5 in 10 innings. Gagne relieved with a 5-3 lead at the start of the ninth but allowed pinch-hitter Luis Gonzalez’s RBI double and Chad Tracy’s run-scoring single on an 0-2 pitch. Gagne had not blown a save chance since Aug. 26, 2002.
2005 — Boston’s Manny Ramirez hit his 20th grand slam in a 7-4 win over Texas, passing Eddie Murray for sole possession of second place on the career list. Lou Gehrig hit 23.
Today’s birthdays: Marco Estrada 29; Jesse Crain 31.
1 - Don Drysdale. He was a radio and television announcer with the White Sox. However, he was told that if the took the day off for the induction that he might be fired. Strange - but true;
2 - Lefty Gomez; 3 - Alva “Bobo” Holloman. The year was 1953. Amazingly, his no-hitter was his only complete game ever.