10 Things in MLB More Rare Than a No-Hitter
With five no-hitters (including two perfect games) already occurring in the first half of the 2012 season, the feat appears to be more common than in the past, evidenced by the fact that only seven were thrown from 2000 to 2006.
Even if we do see them more often than in the past, being in attendance for a no-hitter is still something that you'll never forget as long as you live.
No-hitters aren't the only rarity in baseball, however, as there are many single game and single season feats that we hardly ever see reached.
20 Strikeout Game
Having only been accomplished by a few pitchers in major league history, striking out 20 batters in a game has to be one of the most difficult feats for a pitcher to reach.
Tom Cheney once threw 21 strikeouts in an extra inning game with the Washington Senators in 1962, but only two have reached 20 in a nine inning game, with Roger Clemens achieving the feat twice.
Unassisted Triple Play
Second baseman Eric Bruntlett may not be a household name in Major League Baseball, but he does currently sit as the most recent player to achieve an unassisted triple play.
The second baseman caught a line drive, stepped on second base and tagged out a runner to end the Phillies' game against the New York Mets on August 23, 2009.
The move has only been pulled off 15 times in baseball's modern era, with only six coming in the past two decades.
Baseball's pitching triple crown isn't at quite the same level of difficulty as the hitting side, as five pitchers have reached the feat since 2000, including both Justin Verlander and Clayton Kershaw last year.
The last batter to reach the feat was Boston Red Sox left fielder Carl Yastrzemski when he batted .326, hit 44 home runs and drove in 121 runs in 1967, good enough for AL MVP honors.
Hitting for the Cycle
Hitting for the cycle is by no means common, but it isn't as rare as the other feats on this list, as 31 players have done so since 2005, with Scott Hairston representing the lone cycle in 2012 after he hit for it in April against the Colorado Rockies.
Stealing Second, Third and Home in One Appearance
Stealing home is a rare occurrence, so it would only make sense that stealing home after a steal of second and third base in the same trip would be all that much more of an anomaly.
Dee Gordon achieved the feat in July of last year against the Los Angeles Angels, but prior to that, this triple steal has only been accomplished seven times since 1980.
4-Home Run Game
Having only been accomplished 16 times in major league history, we all knew we were witnessing something special last month when we saw Josh Hamilton go deep four times in one game.
Prior to that, Carlos Delgado was the last player to reach the feat, as he went yard four times while with the Toronto Blue Jays nine years ago.
Shortstop Doesn't Touch Ball
This has to be one of the more obscure statistics that the record keepers could keep track of, but when you think about how often a ball gets spread around the infield, it really does seem amazing.
In June of 1976, Toby Harrah started at shortstop for the Texas Rangers in both games of a double header and didn't touch the ball once—the only time such an event has ever occurred.
The "Immaculate Inning"
When you see a pitcher strike out the side you can't help but be impressed, as it's a great display of how a pitcher can take over a baseball game.
What is far more impressive is the always elusive "immaculate inning", occurring when a pitcher strikes out the side needing only nine pitches.
The feat has been achieved 19 times since 2000, with Juan Perez being the most recent, doing so as a member of the Philadelphia Phillies last season.
As we see day in and day out in baseball, many players out there have relentless power, while many others have blistering speed on the basepaths.
What is far more rare is finding a player that has a combination of both.
Only four players in major league history have ever hit 40 home runs and stolen 40 bases in a single season, with Alfonso Soriano being the most recent to do so with a 46 home run, 41 stolen base effort for the Washington Nationals in 2006.
Ted Williams will be remembered for a number of things he brought to the game of baseball, but none may be more memorable than his single season accomplishment in 1941.
He finished the season with a .401 batting average, and while the feat has been reached 13 times since 1900, Williams was the last player to do so.
Tony Gwynn had a chance to work towards reaching .400 in 1994, when the season was cut short due to a work stoppage that saw his season end with a .394 batting average.
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