Throwback Thursday: Toronto Blue Jays Triple the Fun
So when I agreed to these throwbacks I wanted to bring you guys things from Blue Jays past that may have slipped under the radar or became much more prevalent in Blue Jays the more the years past. I told you all about Dave Collins, the glasses wearing skinny dude who still leads the Blue Jays in single season stolen bases with 60…in 1984! This next piece of history goes to show that sometimes it just happens.
Through the inception of the franchise there were definitely not much to talk about in regards to history…unless you were talking wretched expansion induced mediocrity. Sure the were Doug Ault’s homers, the emergence of Alfredo Griffin and Dave Stieb before 1980 and there were a few defensive plays worth watching but this rarity happened three times before 1980 and then not again until my beard grew grey in 2012.
On April 22, 1978 big ol’ beast Jim Clancy got the win for a 4-2 Jacket Day promotion over the Chicago White Sox in front of 44,327 fans which included Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau In doing so, Clancy helped his own cause by starting the Blue Jays first ever triple play in the teams history.
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They had another triple play and then there was this game against the Yankees in 1979 where the Blue Jays turned another triple play at Exhibition Stadium in Toronto. Blue Jays starer Tom Underwood would give up singles to the Yankees Chris Chambliss and Roy Staiger which gave the vistors runners on first and second with nobody out. Eventual Blue Jay Damaso Garcia then lined a pitch to Jays second baseman Dave McKay, who caught it and threw to first baseman Craig Kusick to double off Staiger. Kusick then threw to shortstop Alfredo Griffin and tripled off Chambliss at second.
It seemed the Blue Jays were hot for the triple play…one of the rarest feats in baseball. 3 in a span of two years is pretty uncommon. When would the next one be turned? Would you believe 33 years later in 2012?
In a game on April 20, Royals outfielder Alex Gordon led off the inning with a double to right field and shortstop Yuniesky Betancourt followed with a walk. First baseman Eric Hosmer came to the plate and hit a line drive that was caught by first baseman Adam Lind, who ran a few steps to touch the bag and double off Betancourt. He then threw the ball to second base, where Yunel Escobar caught it and tripled off Gordon. Triple Play.
Some purists may argue, and I am one of those purists, that believe the Blue Jays got boned out of a triple play during the 1992 World Series in game 3(Kelly Gruber SO got the back heel of Deion Sanders!!!) but it doesn’t count in the official annals of baseball. So it truly took 33 years before the Blue Jays ever turned another triple play. Look it up! I tells you it’s true.