Sep 20, 2020

The Unassisted Triple Play

Mickey Morandini
Philadelphia Phillies (1990-1997, 2000)
On this day in 1992, the last place Phillies played a Pittsburgh Pirates team that was surging their way to a third consecutive NL East Division Championship.  The Pirates would go on to win this game 3-2 in extra innings, but the Phillies were able to make history in their defeat.

With the score tied 1-1 in the bottom of the 6th, Curt Shilling gave up back-to-back singles to Andy Van Slyke and Barry Bonds to bring infielder Jeff King to the plate with runners on first and second and no outs.  King hit a line drive up the middle with both baserunners moving on the pitch.  It was caught by Phillies second baseman Mickey Morandini (1 out) who stood up and ran to second base (2 outs) and tagged the approaching Barry Bonds (3 outs) to end the inning.

As the Phillies ran off the field, Morandini nonchalantly flipped the ball in the air near the pitchers mound without realizing that the Hall Of Fame might want to hang onto it.  He had just made the first unassisted triple play in franchise history.  It was also the first unassisted triple play in the National League since 1927, and the first of its kind to be made by a second baseman during the regular season in the history of the game.

This may not seem like a huge deal to a casual fan, but consider the fact that there have only been 15 unassisted triple plays in the modern era (since 1901).  The most recent one was in 2009 by another Phillie - Eric BruntlettClick here to go back in time 28 years for 58 seconds and witness history.