Womack-to-Cox-to-Mantle — Triple PlayPosted: April 22, 2010
The Yankees today pulled off their first triple play in nearly 42 years, or 6,632 regular season games ago. Alex Rodriguez fielded a grounder, stepped on third, fired to Robinson Cox at second, then on to Nick Johnson for the TP.
On June 3, 1968, a Monday night game at a mostly empty Yankee Stadium with the bases full in the ninth, Minnesota catcher Johnny Roseboro hit a line drive back to Yankee pitcher Dooley Womack. Womack threw to Yankee third baseman Bobby Cox, below, for the second out, and Cox fired to Mickey Mantle, playing first base in the final year of his storied career, to complete the triple play.
The Twins went on to win the game 4-3 behind a cozy 7,238 fans who witnessed a slice of baseball history.
Mantle, of course, is one of the all-time greats, a Yankee legend and Hall of Famer. Cox had a forgettable major league career, but will someday go into the Hall for his managerial work with the Atlanta Braves.
And Womack will go down forever as Dooley Meatball for the ninth-inning home runs he surrendered earlier in that 1968 season to Bill Freehan and Jim Northrup to ruin what looked to be a Yankee doubleheader sweep against the Detroit Tigers.
Oh yes, the rest of the Yankee infield that night was shortstop Tommy Tresh and second baseman Horace Clarke. Remember 1968, high school, the Beatles, assassinations, protests…. and Horace Clarke.