A once-in-a-lifetime moment in baseball.
Sep 7, 2009, Vol. 14, No. 47 • By JOE QUEENAN
The most amazing thing for me was how close I came to missing the whole thing. I was only at the game because a Mets fan I know could not bear to watch the inept, injury-plagued home team any longer and gave me the tickets.
Because there was no water to be found, I returned to the stands--just in time to see the once-in-a-lifetime triple play. After the game, some of my friends said it was horribly unfair for Utley to miss out on this chance at baseball immortality. But as Utley is going to Cooperstown on the first ballot, he already has a loftier brand of immortality locked up. Moreover, had Utley been in the game, there would have been no chance for a triple play because the two previous batters would never have reached base.
Or would they? The next day, on the very first Mets at-bat, Utley dropped a routine pop fly, then threw wildly past second, allowing the batter to round the bases. The Met scoring that inside-the-park-home-run-via-double-error was Angel Pagan, who had hit the bizarre inside-the-park four-bagger that lodged under the center field matting the day before. Utley had never made two errors on the same play in his entire career.
Joe Queenan is the author, most recently, of Closing Time: A Memoir.