What is a 1-2-3 Double Play?

A One-Two-Three Double Play is when a Baseball or Softball pitcher, catcher and first baseman get two outs on the same defensive play.

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To initiate the 1-2-3 DP, the batter must put the ball in play. The pitcher must then field the ball and throw it to home to get the runner advancing form third out. The catcher then throws the ball to the first baseman for the force out of the batter at first.

This type of double play is exciting because it typically, though not always, involves a runner from the opposing team trying to score at home plate and being denied.

Alternate 1-2-3 Double Plays

The numbers that refer to baseball or softball positions refer to the position that that player is playing on the field. They do not refer to where the player is on the field at the time a play is made. This allows for variations on the 1-2-3 DP combo to occur.

For example, a runner attempting to steal home could get caught in a pickle and create a 1-2-3 Double Play situation. In this scenario, the pitcher steps off the mound and throws to the catcher to record the first out at home. Then the catcher spies the runner on first too far off the bag and fires a strike over to the first baseman who promptly tags the runner out.

That scenario goes down in the baseball scorebook as a 1-2-3 Double Play. That's because to qualify for that type of double play, it just needs to go in exact order.

1-2-3 Double Play vs Others

The 1-2-3 DP is far less common than the 6-4-3 and the 5-4-3 varieties, and for good reason. Those are common because of both availability and the ability to pull it off. The 1-2-3 DP generally requires a runner on third who is being forced to advance.

Who is the 1, 2 and 3?

Other Types of Common Double Plays