THIS DAY IN BÉISBOL April 22: A-Rod starts a rare triple-killing

It’s easy to forget Alex Rodriguez was a pretty good shortstop before being traded to the Yankees, but he wasn’t a bad third baseman, either. 

On this day in 2010, A-Rod and the rest of New York’s infield made a dazzling play look easy, pulling off a perfect 5-4-3, around-the-horn triple play against the A’s in Oakland.

In the bottom of the sixth inning with the A’s leading 4-2 and C.C. Sabathia on the mound, Rodriguez, playing close to the bag with runners on first and second and no outs, fielded a hot-smash grounder, stepped on third for one out and threw a strike to Robinson Cano at second base for another out. 

Cano then rifled the relay to Yankees’ first baseman Nick Johnson to complete the triple killing.

It was the Yankees’ first triple play in 42 years, which happened in Minnesota in June 1968 and included future Hall of Fame manager Bobby Cox playing third and Mickey Mantle at first.

The post-script: A-Rod’s pretty play in 2010 was wasted as the Yankees lost to the A’s.

— Robert Dominguez

Robert Dominguez is co-author with David Hinckley 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.”