25 years ago today, Twins turned two triple plays in one game
Twenty-five years ago, the Minnesota Twins did something that had never been done before — or since — in Major League Baseball.
Minnesota’s historic feat? On July 17, 1990, the Twins turned two triple plays in the same game against the Boston Red Sox at Fenway Park.
The first instance occurred in the fourth inning. Wade Boggs led off with a walk against Scott Erickson, who then allowed a double to Jody Reed before walking Carlos Quintana to load the bases. Up stepped former Twins outfielder (and current Minnesota batting coach) Tom Brunansky.
At that point, Twins third baseman Gary Gaetti made a bold prediction.
"I turned to Boggs and the third-base ump and said, ‘The next pitch is a 5-4-3′," Gaetti said after the game. "You can ask ’em."
Boggs would confirm Gaetti’s story.
"Yeah, he said it," Boggs told reporters. "I turned to him and said, ‘Oh, really?”
Gaetti, who knew something about triple plays having turned seven in his career, said he moved himself closer to the line to help his cause. And sure enough, Brunansky hit a hard-hit ball right to the third baseman, who stepped on the bag, threw to second baseman Al Newman for the second out, with Newman’s throw to Kent Hrbek at first base completing the trifecta.
The second triple play came in the eighth inning with reliever John Candelaria on the mound. This time, Tim Nahering led off the inning with a double and Boggs walked. Boston manager Joe Morgan called for a hit and run, to avoid hitting into a triple play.
Nevertheless, Reed hit one to Gaetti, who repeated an identical around-the-horn triple play, with Reed easily out at first.
"That one just developed," Gaetti said. "If the ball isn’t hit extremely hard, you can just forget about it."
Said Naehring, who was forced out at third on the second triple play: "With those triple plays, it was like somebody doesn’t want you to win the ballgame."
Newman concurred, saying "That’s unbelievable. I just figured we were going to win the ballgame after the second one."
Alas, the Twins had more triple plays than runs combined as Boston won 1-0. And the only run of the game was unearned, too.
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