1909 : Neal Ball’s Unassisted Triple Play Makes MLB History

July 19, 2018 all-day

The unassisted triple play is one of the rarest fabulous feats in Major League baseball. It has been accomplished only fifteen times in history and  is a legacy that will follow each and every player who has ever accomplished this unbelievable feat.

Did you know that Neal Ball of Grand Haven recorded the first unassisted triple play in major league history? In game 1 of a doubleheader on July 19, 1909, Ball was playing shortstop for the Cleveland Naps and accomplished this rare feat during the top of the second inning.

After this stunning fielding play in the top half of the second inning, Ball stepped to the plate in the bottom of the second inning and hit an inside-the-park home run — his first major league home run!

Neal Ball Baseball Card

Neal Ball Baseball Card | 1909-11 T206 Reprint (#16) | Baseball Almanac Collection

Neal Ball was born on Friday, April 22, 1881, in Grand Haven, Michigan. Ball was 26 years old when he broke into the big leagues on September 12, 1907, with the New York Highlanders. His biographical data, year-by-year hitting stats, fielding stats, pitching stats (where applicable), career totals, uniform numbers, salary data and miscellaneous items-of-interest can be found in the  Baseball Almanac on this comprehensive Neal Ball baseball stats page.

For more information, see Historical Records of Unassisted triple play from Baseball Almanac.

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