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April 21, 2013

BP Unfiltered

Desmond Jennings Doesn't Need Your Assistance

by Ben Lindbergh

It's been a weekend of weird plays. On Friday night, Jean Segura did something so strange we literally didn't have a way to score it. And on Saturday, Rays center fielder Desmond Jennings caught a Coco Crisp fly ball, then doubled Eric Sogard off first. All by himself.

At the end of that clip, you can hear the announcer say, "8 unassisted—not gonna see that every day." Actually, not necessarily gonna see that every decade. Jennings' play wasn't as wacky as Segura's, but it was almost as rare. As the Elias Sports Bureau reported via ESPN Stats & Info, the last 8-unassisted double play was turned in 2003—to be precise, May 23, 2003, when the Mariners' Mike Cameron caught a fly ball hit by Cristian Guzman and doubled off Jacque Jones unassisted. But Jones was doubled off second base, which is closer to center. Our database, which goes back to 1950, contains only three previous instances of a center fielder trotting over to first base to complete a double play, and none since 1992:

Date

Center Fielder

Batter

Runner

6/8/55

Jim Piersall

Jim Hegan

Larry Doby

6/8/68

Jose Cardenal

Willie Horton

Don Wert

7/7/92

Andy Van Slyke

Luis Gonzalez

Eric Anthony

Who knows what wonders Sunday has in store!

Thanks to Colin Wyers for research assistance.

Ben Lindbergh is an author of Baseball Prospectus. 
Click here to see Ben's other articles. You can contact Ben by clicking here

Related Content:  Desmond Jennings

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