The Ole Ball Game

Catcher throwing out runners

by Tommy Knight
(Mtn Home Arkansas)

Out at second

Out at second

Tommy asked: In MLB has a catcher ever had 3 put outs in the same inning on attemped steals?

Rick answered: Tommy, thank you for your question!

Credit for the answer to your question goes to yankee dinosaur blog

When a runner is thrown out by the catcher, the catcher gets credit for a runner thrown out, which is used in figuring their percentages for runners thrown out.

In the scorebook it gets recorded as an assist for the catcher, with the put out going to whichever fielder makes the tag.

In 1914 Yankee backup catcher Les Nunamaker sort of establishes the unique record you asked about.

It is the first time in an MLB post 1900 contest in which a catcher has thrown out 3 runners in one inning.

It is also the only inning ever recorded in an MLB contest in which the side was retired without a single batted ball having been put in play.

Nunamaker's feat is erroneously listed in many record books as having thrown out 3 runners in the inning, when in reality he only threw out two, and picked off one.

In the 7th inning of a game vs. the Tigers in Detroit, the hosts are coasting along behind starter Harry Coveleski with a 4-0 lead.

The Tigers threaten to increase their lead when Yankee pitcher Len "KIng" Cole walks Hugh High, who is substituting for the injured Ty Cobb, on four straight pitches.

On Cole's next pitch to Sam "Wahoo" Crawford, High takes off for second and is gunned down by Nunamaker's perfect strike to Yankee second baseman Luke Boone.

Cole's control problems continue and he walks Crawford, who also takes off for second at the first opportunity, this time successful.

Bobby Veach then comes to the plate, and in the course of his at bat, Nunamaker picks Crawford off of second base.

Veach ultimately walks and decides to steal as well, thrown out by Nunamaker for the third out.

Pretty strange set of circumstances coming together in this half inning, for the catcher to have that many opportunities.

Yours in baseball,


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May 09, 2018
Catcher with 3 consecutive caught stealing NEW
by: Greg. Wolfpack. Canton ohio

Our 13 year old catcher performed this feat tonight in very competitive travel league. First 3 batters in 1st inning reached and each was thrown out trying to steal second. Then our 1st batter reached safely in the bottom of the 1st and he was also gunned by the opponents catcher. Streak then was ended.

Jan 16, 2017
Very Impressive Feat
by: Frank S

I've been searching the internet to find articles of this feat and cannot find anything besides what is documented here. One more to add...My son Reed age 13 playing in Babe Ruth 14u threw out all three outs at second. I also NEVER saw this happen in all my baseball experiences. Maybe not 42 years but 30+. Congrats to ANYONE who can accomplish this!!!

Aug 24, 2016

by: Rick,

Scott: That is impressive. I have never seen it in my 42 years of coaching; but I would guess it must have happened somewhere. Certainly would be rare. You might go to and see if they have any information on that. It is a great statistical resource.

Yours in baseball,


Aug 03, 2016
I threw out 3 runners in 1 inn. as catcher.
by: Scott

As a sophomore catcher for Gallatin (TN) HS at Smyrna (TN)HS, in 1986, in 1st inning, our pitcher walked the 1st 3 batters and all 3 tried to steal 2nd and I threw all 3 out. They never tried to steal 2nd again. Has this ever happened in pros or anywhere?

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