THIS DAY IN BÉISBOL April 21: Rafael Furcal hits 3 triples in one game
Rafael Furcal, the speedy Atlanta Braves shortstop who was named Rookie of the Year in 2000, put his wheels to work on April 21, 2002.
On that day, the Dominican-born blazer scored a rare trifecta: He tied a Major League record by hitting three three-baggers in one game.
Furcal, who went 3-for-5, scored all three times he was on base, sparking a 4-2 home victory against the Florida Marlins.
The last player before him to hit a trio of triples in one game was White Sox outfielder Lance Johnson in 1995. The last Braves player to do it was Danny O’Connell back in 1956 when the team played in Milwaukee.
Furcal, who spent six years with the Braves, also played for the Dodgers, Cardinals and Marlins, and retired at age 36 in 2005. A three-time all-star, he finished his 14-year career with 1,817 hits, 341 stolen bases and a respectable .281 average.
— Robert Dominguez
Robert Dominguez is co-author of “Bronx Bummers: The Unofficial History of the New York Yankees’ Bad Boys, Blunders and Brawls” and writer of the upcoming “El Salón: The Trials and Triumphs of Baseball’s Latino Hall of Famers.”