What Is the Rarest Type of Triple Play in Major League Baseball (MLB) Scores History?

Triple plays in Major League Baseball (MLB) are rare and remarkable feats that showcase the agility, precision, and quick thinking of players on the field. Among these, the unassisted triple play stands out as the rarest and most extraordinary accomplishment, but there are several other notable variations that have graced the history of the sport.

Unassisted Triple Play: The Holy Grail

The pinnacle of defensive prowess, the unassisted triple play involves a single fielder recording all three outs of the play without any assistance from teammates. Throughout MLB history, only 15 instances of this extraordinary feat have been documented, making it a cherished rarity.

Triple Play with 5-3-6 Putout: Catcher’s Delight

In this scenario, the catcher takes center stage by catching a foul pop fly for the first out, swiftly throwing to third base to tag the runner advancing from second, and then completing the play by tagging the runner retreating back to first base.

Triple Play with 4-6-3 Putout: Infield Precision

Similar to the 5-3-6 putout, this triple play involves precise coordination between the infielders. The play typically begins with a throw from the third baseman to the catcher, who then tags a runner attempting to steal home, followed by a throw to third to complete the triple play.

Triple Play with 1-6-3 Putout: Pitcher’s Aid

Initiated by the pitcher, this triple play unfolds with a throw to first base for the initial out, followed by a series of strategic throws between the infielders to retire the remaining baserunners.

Triple Play with 6-4-3 Putout: Infield Dynamics

A testament to the agility of infielders, this triple play sequence involves the shortstop fielding a ground ball, tagging second base for the first out, throwing to fourth base to retire a runner advancing from third, and completing the play with a throw to first base.

Exploring Triple Play Rarity

Triple plays are not only rare but also hold a special place in baseball lore, captivating fans with their combination of skill, strategy, and timing. While some variations occur more frequently than others, each triple play adds a unique chapter to the history of the game.

Historical Context

Since the inception of the major leagues in 1876, there have been a total of 717 documented triple plays, highlighting their scarcity amidst the vast tapestry of baseball games played over the years.

In recent decades, the frequency of triple plays has declined, reflecting changes in gameplay strategies and defensive tactics. Shifts in offensive approaches and situational awareness have contributed to the evolving landscape of triple play occurrences.

Unassisted Triple Plays: The Rarest of Rare

With only 15 instances in MLB history, unassisted triple plays hold a distinction even rarer than perfect games, showcasing the exceptional athleticism and instinctive brilliance of the players involved.

The Thrill of the Moment

Triple plays are not just statistical anomalies but also thrilling spectacles that unfold in the blink of an eye, leaving fans and players alike in awe of the game’s unpredictable nature.

The Impact of Modern Gameplay

As baseball continues to evolve, the occurrence of triple plays remains a testament to the enduring legacy of defensive excellence, reminding us of the timeless appeal of America’s pastime.


In the rich tapestry of Major League Baseball history, triple plays stand out as rare gems, each one a testament to the skill, strategy, and split-second decision-making that define the essence of the game. From unassisted feats of individual brilliance to intricately choreographed infield maneuvers, triple plays embody the magic and majesty of America’s favorite pastime.


  1. How many triple plays have occurred in MLB history?
    • A total of 717 triple plays have been documented in MLB history since 1876.
  2. What factors contribute to the rarity of triple plays?
    • Triple plays are rare due to the precise timing, coordination, and situational factors required for their execution.
  3. Are triple plays more common in certain eras of baseball?
    • Historical data suggests that triple plays were more prevalent in earlier eras of baseball, with changes in gameplay strategies affecting their frequency over time.
  4. How do unassisted triple plays compare to perfect games in rarity?
    • Unassisted triple plays are even rarer than perfect games, with only 15 instances recorded in MLB history.
  5. What role do defensive strategies play in the occurrence of triple plays?
    • Defensive positioning, communication, and awareness are crucial factors that can influence the likelihood of a triple play, with teams employing various tactics to capitalize on rare opportunities.

Leave a Comment