20 Seasons Highlights Countdown: Two Triple Plays

Wednesday, February 2, 2022
By Kyle Dawson
20 Seasons Highlights Countdown: Two Triple Plays

In 2022, the Washington Wild Things are celebrating their 20th Frontier League season. The team will be celebrating in numerous ways Opening Weekend, beyond that and in several other ways. As part of our celebration, we're counting down some of the historical highlights the organization and team has seen occur over the first 19 seasons of Wild Things' baseball in the league. 

The countdown isn't in any specific order in terms of importance, but it's time we visit some of the best on-field moments, significant historical accomplishments, records, traditions and more. 

Plans for the celebration of the 20th season of Frontier League baseball for the Washington Wild Things are still in the works and whenever they get announced, you can rest assured the party will not stop all season long with the festivities kicking off May 13-15 with Opening Weekend. 


Today, we continue the countdown with two major plays in Wild Things' history. In order to do that we need to first jump in the time machine and dial it back to September 3, 2009, when the Wild Things did something that has only happened nine times in the history of Major League Baseball: turn a game-ending triple play.

In a game at home against the Kalamazoo Kings, Washington led 3-1 entering the top of the ninth inning. The Kings managed to put runners on first and second with nobody out before sending a pinch hitter to the plate is Destan McKonnen. Kalamazoo opted not to bunt and instead, McKonnen lined a ball toward first baseman Grant Psomas, who leaped to make the catch before scrambling back to first to double off Matt Maloney and then fired to Wild Things' shortstop Brett Grandstrand who caught the throw to force out Amos Ramon and give the Wild Things the victory in the craziest way possible.

That was the first triple play in Wild Things' history. We mentioned it's only happened to end a game nine times in MLB history. The ninth and last one to this date came just a few weeks before it occured at Wild Things Park. On August 23, 2009, the New York Mets turned one to end a game against Philadelphia.

Triple plays aren't all that common. They're more common than the cycle, a moment we visited a few weeks back to start the countdown. Read that here. In all, according to baseball-almanac.com, 727 triple plays have been spun in big-league history. Only twice has the triple play happened in the bigs that occured for the second Wild Things' triple play in franchise history, May 25, 2017. 

Washington hosted the Southern Illinois Miners that night at Wild Things Park and in the top of the fifth, the Miners had Nolan Earley and Ryan Lashley single to start the frame. Then, on a 1-2 pitch from Wild Things' starter and career innnings pitched leader Chase Cunningham, Justin Chigbogu ground a ball back at Cunningham. The right hander fielded, threw to shortstop Trevin Sonnier, who got the out at second, before firing to first baseman Kane Sweeney. As that throw was made, Earley took off from third base and was thrown out by Sweeney with a tag by catcher Kyle Pollock.

The 1-6-3-2 triple play has only occured twice in MLB history: once in 1950 with the Phillies turning one against the Pittsburgh Pirates and again in 1965 with the Cardinals the victim of the Giants' triple play. 

Washington ended up winning that game 7-3 to earn their first sweep of Southern Illinois since July of 2014. They'd end up picking up win #800 in Wild Things' history later in the season, which may be a tease for part of a future countdown stop. Wink Wink.

We can return to the present now after our leaps back in time.


To keep up with the countdown, see below for trips back in the past to our previous two stops on the countdown. Stay glued to our social media, website and more for more information regarding our big plans for the 20 Seasons Anniversary celebration, because it's sure to be wild. We're giving you the presents, the parties, the fun and more as a thanks for your support over the years and the support we know will continue to be shown to us. 

Happy Groundhog Day!


20 Seasons Countdown History:

20: James Harris Makes History with First Wild Things' cycle

19: Barry Bonds a Wild Thing? We revisit the moment that got the Wild Things national attention!