Double play

From Academic Kids

After stepping on second base, the fielder throws to first to complete a double play
After stepping on second base, the fielder throws to first to complete a double play

In baseball, a double play (denoted on statistics sheets by DP) is the act of making two outs during the same continuous playing action.

The most common type of double play occurs with a runner on first base and a ground ball hit towards the middle of the diamond. A defender with the ball steps on second base before the runner from first arrives to force one out, and then throws the ball to the first baseman to force out the batter for the second out. Other types of double plays occur when a fly ball is hit to the outfield or a line drive is hit to the infield, and caught, but a runner on the basepaths strays too far away from his base. If the ball is thrown back to that base before the runner returns or tags up to go to the next base, the runner is out along with the batter for a double play. In a strike-'em-out-throw-'em-out double play, immediately after the batter has swung and missed at the third strike, the catcher throws out a baserunner who is attempting to steal.

The ability to "make the pivot" on an infield double play, i.e. receive a throw from the third-base side, then turn and throw the ball to first in time to force-out the batsman, while avoiding being run into by the runner, is considered the key skill for a second baseman.

As of 2005 Cal Ripken holds the major league record for most double plays grounded into in a career, with 350. He also holds the American League record for most double plays made by a shortstop. Both records are a probable consequence of his longevity as a player and the long grass at the Baltimore baseball stadia.

A triple play involves three outs during the same continuous playing action.



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