What Is The Rarest Accomplishment In Baseball?
Baseball is no easy sport to master. Getting good at it takes dedication, discipline, and patience. Unfortunately, many professional players will spend their entire careers without even coming close to any of the feats we detail below. The fact is, some athletes simply have a knack for making the impossible possible, and some get by on sheer luck. So, what are the rarest and most unbelievable accomplishments in baseball? Below, we’ll take a look at a few.
Rarest Accomplishments in Baseball
These are the a few of the rarest accomplishments in baseball:
- Pitching a 20-Strikeout Game
- Making an Unassisted Triple Play
- Pitching a Perfect Game
Pitching a 20-Strikeout Game
Getting strikeouts is a pitcher’s primary job. It is the best thing a pitcher can accomplish at any given at-bat. However, it is no laughing matter, either. Getting strikeouts is hard. Pitching into a tiny strike zone at 60-100 mph is extremely difficult. Therefore, it makes sense that a single pitcher getting 20 strikeouts in a game is at the top of our list.
In fact, only five pitchers have ever accomplished the feat in nine innings. Roger Clemens was the first and second to accomplish the feat, pitching 20 strikeouts in a game in both 1986 and 1996. After Clemens, Kerry Wood, Randy Johnson, and Max Scherzer also dropped 20 strikeouts in a game. The next person closest to accomplishing this rare stat was Tom Cheney, who threw 21 strikeouts during a game with one extra inning in 1962.
Unassisted Triple Plays
Triple plays themselves are an incredibly rare occurrence. To have a triple play at all, there must be at least two batters on base. Then, the fielders have to find a way to get all the runners out in one fatal swoop. One way this could occur is with a ground ball to the third baseman, who then throws the ball to the second baseman, who then throws it to first. An unassisted triple play is a different matter entirely: this means an outfielder gets all three runners out alone.
There have been 733 triple plays in the history of the MLB, and only 15 of those were unassisted triple plays. The unassisted triple play has been accomplished by two first basemen, five second basemen, and eight shortstops. Unassisted triple plays usually begin with a low-flying ball caught by an infielder. This fielder then normally tags a running player and steps on a bag to get another runner out. The fielder must be incredibly fast to accomplish this. Even a moment’s hesitation can make them miss their chance.
The Perfect Game
Since the MLB started in 1876, there have only been 23 perfect games. For a pitcher to pitch a perfect game, they and their team must not allow any batter to get on base. This means that there can be no hits, walks, bean-balls (when a pitcher hits a batter with a pitch), or errors that cause a batter to get on base. Perfect games are especially hard because they involve an entire team. Although the pitcher does most of the work, their perfect game could still be squandered if a catcher drops the ball on the third strike and the batter makes it to the base.