Triple Play

by Larry Hehn on August 7, 2013

baseballEvery year, more than 2,400 regular season games are played in Major League Baseball. Over the past 20 years, roughly four triple plays have been recorded each year on average.

At those odds, you’d likely have to watch over 600 baseball games before witnessing a triple play. That’s more than 7 seasons if you attend your favorite team’s every home game.

The triple play is a rare and exciting feat.

It’s one of the most energizing plays for the team that makes it, and one of the most deflating for the team that suffers it.

In the almost 40 years I’ve been playing softball, I’ve now been part of two triple plays.

The first was about 25 years ago. My team was batting. I was on second base, with a teammate on first. Our batter hit a hard ground ball straight to the third baseman. He fielded the ball, stepped on third to record me as the first out, and threw to second for the next out. The second baseman relayed the throw on to first for the triple play.

The second triple play of my career was last week, but this time the shoe was on the other foot. The opposing team had runners on first and second. I was playing first base. The batter hit a sharp line drive that the runners thought was going through for a hit. I managed to snag the line drive and tag out the runner between first and second in one motion. I then threw the ball to our shortstop in time to force out the other runner who was scrambling back to second base.

That was followed by a lot of cheers and high fives!

To witness a triple play is special on its own. To record two of the outs and assist on the third is a rare honor. I don’t expect to experience another triple play in my dwindling softball career, so this one will definitely be treasured. I don’t think I have another 600 games in me!

The chance to turn a triple play doesn’t present itself very often. I now realize it took years of practice, and plenty of routine plays, to get me ready to help turn that one piece of history.

So while you may be looking for that 1-in-600 chance to shine, remember the other 599 games you need to get you there.

You can’t have one without the other.

So let’s not get tired of doing what is good. At just the right time we will reap a harvest of blessing if we don’t give up. – Galatians 6:9

What’s the most memorable sporting moment you’ve witnessed?

{ 10 comments… read them below or add one }

bill (cycleguy) August 7, 2013 at 10:31 am

I could say pitching my only no hitter in the title game of the Little League championship or when I hit my first homerun (I was not known for power but being a spray hitter), but I think it was last year when Andrew McCutcheon hit a walk off HR in the bottom of the ninth and beat the Reds. 🙂 My grandson was extremely unhappy.


Larry Hehn August 7, 2013 at 11:00 am

Those sound like some great memories, Bill. I’m very impressed with the no hitter! Sorry to hear your grandson isn’t a Pirates fan. I’m sure he’s a great kid otherwise… 😉


David Rupert August 7, 2013 at 11:59 am

I did see Barry Bonds hit three home runs in a game I was at. That was very exciting.

but I took this post to a different level personally. There are rare times in my life when I’m feeling good, I have some money in my pocket, my wife loves me, my kids are behaving and God is giving me opportunities. I try to take a mental snapshot of those moments – -not expecting them to happen again — and tuck them in my mind-wallet as a good memory never ot forghet.


Larry Hehn August 7, 2013 at 12:06 pm

Funny you should mention a three home run game, David. They happen at almost the same frequency as triple plays.

I love the analogy of a mind-wallet. Thank you for adding this!


Carol Rives August 7, 2013 at 4:56 pm

Ok Larry, another great post about hanging in there!

Before I read your post, my eyes were drawn to the italicized scripture; it’s exactly what I needed to see today! Thanks for that! Then I read your post…. thanks for that, as well!


Larry Hehn August 8, 2013 at 12:16 am

My pleasure, Carol. Thank you for your encouragement!


seekingpastor August 12, 2013 at 10:32 am

I haven’t witnessed a lot of amazing plays live, but on television I remember the Duke vs. Kentucky NCAA tournament game when Laettner hit the last second shot. And several Tennessee Football games stand out.


Larry Hehn August 13, 2013 at 11:22 am

That buzzer-beater made #17 on ESPN’s 100 most memorable moments of the last 25 years. Definitely one that will stay with you!


Rob Shepherd August 12, 2013 at 9:49 pm

My wife and I saw Michael Jordan play in his lowest scoring game of his career. It was still a highlight for me because it was Michael Jordan.


Larry Hehn August 13, 2013 at 11:24 am

There are quite a few sports stars that I wish I had seen play live. Jordan would sure be one of them.


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