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Be Ready for the Unexpected at a Baseball Game

From an infield triple to a run-scoring triple play to immense confusion over a lineup change, baseball can offer something odd on any given night.

One of my favorite aspects of baseball is going to a game knowing that I may see something that I have never seen before. I’ve personally witnessed a triple play a couple of times, but the one the Yankees hit into Tuesday, July 25, is a truly rare play. With the bases loaded, a sharp grounder up the middle led to a second-to-first-to-third triple play. Because the last out was not a force out, the run counted.

I had the fortune of calling play-by-play of a triple play while covering Pine Island at the state American Legion tournament a few years ago for KDHL Radio. Pine Island was on defense with runners on first and second with no outs. If I recall, a grounder was fielded and thrown to second and on to first. Meanwhile the runner from second tried to score on the play and was tagged out.

A lot of attention was given to a pop fly that dropped in during a minor league game between teams from the St. Louis and Oakland organizations. The announcer referred to the play as a triple, though an error was actually charged.

The recent snafu during a double-switch in the Twins game at the Dodgers was epic in its confusion and attempts to explain what happened. It seems one of the misunderstandings was what spot in the order the new player was being inserted, plus who was coming into the game, according to the Twins website. The delay was extended as umpires decided whether the player Minnesota brought out of the game could be reinserted.

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A number of Owatonna High School football players got the unique chance to also play on the U.S. Bank Stadium field in a baseball game this spring. The game had an odd feel and look with the football lines in place. OHS football had played in the state semifinals there in November.

I once saw a heads-up play by a catcher in a high school-age youth game. With a runner on first, the batter took ball three but thought it was ball four and started toward first. The umpire pointed out his mistake and he trotted back toward home. Meanwhile the runner on first had started toward second and was slow to return to first. The catcher threw to first, where the runner was tagged out.

On Wednesday an amateur game in Waseca ended when the umpire walked off in frustration, according to the St. Peter team’s Twitter account.

I asked morning announcer Loren Hart for a memory of an odd play. He came up with a throwback classic of big, lumbering Baltimore first baseman Boog Powell, who legged out an inside-the-park home run in 1969 in Seattle.

Not all the unique events at a game are so memorable, but any game might feature something to talk about for years to come.

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