On triple plays and long oddsBy
The Yankees last turned a triple play during the waning months of the Johnson Administration. In the eighth inning of a game against the Twins on June 3, 1968, John Roseboro came up to the plate with two on and no out. He lined the pitch back to Dooley Womack, a name largely lost to baseball history. Womack threw to Bobby Cox at third to double off Tony Oliva, and Cox threw to Mickey Mantle, who was manning first base, to double off Bob Allison.
These days, if the Yanks turn a triple play, one lucky fan — if you count listening to John Sterling and Suzyn Waldman lucky — will win $10,000 and a year of cable from Time Warner. But there’s a catch: The triple play must come in the third inning. The odds are, as you can imagine, not very high that someone will ever win this contest.
Nowadays, with the Yanks nearing elimination, the broadcast partners are struggling to keep their audiences. To that end, WCBS has been pimping their unlikely contests. Win $1,000,000 if someone throws a perfect game. Score $10K for that third inning triple play. Carl Bialik, the Numbers Guy at The Wall Street Journal, drilled down on those contests this week. He found that Time Warner has a 99.4 percent chance of never paying out the prize and that the Yanks had a 0.3 percent chance of tossing a perfect game.
But keep watching. Someone might win.