The Power of Three

June 14, 2009

Catchers aren't known for their wheels, so when Matt Wieters of the Orioles recently legged out a triple against the Tigers for his first major league hit, Ken Weingartner, a media relations manager for the U.S. Trotting Association who was at the game, got to wondering how many current catchers had opened their major league hit accounts with three-baggers. The answer—out of the 82 men who have made an appearance behind the plate this year—is three. And the three are bizarrely intertwined.

Wieters hit his triple on May 30. Behind the plate was Detroit's Dane Sardinha, whose first big league hit was a triple against the Rockies on June 29, 2008. The catcher for Sardinha's triple was Colorado's Yorvit Torrealba, whose first major league hit, against the Giants on Sept. 5, 2001, went for, naturally, three bases.

Alas, the string stops there: San Francisco's catcher that day was Damian Miller, whose first triple, in 1998, didn't come until his 35th hit.

PHOTOJOY ABSALON/CAL SPORT MEDIA/ZUMA PRESS (WIETERS)TRIPLE PLAY From left: Wieters, Sardinha and Torrealba
PHOTOED WOLFSTEIN/ICON SMI (SARDINHA)[See caption above] PHOTOJACK DEMPSEY/AP (TORREALBA)[See caption above]

HOLE YARDS PAR R1 R2 R3 R4
OUT
HOLE YARDS PAR R1 R2 R3 R4
IN
Eagle (-2)
Birdie (-1)
Bogey (+1)
Double Bogey (+2)