Walter G. Carlisle
- Bats Both, Throws Right
- Height 5' 9", Weight 154 lb.
- Debut May 8, 1908
- Final Game May 11, 1908
- Born July 6, 1883 in Yeadon, West Yorkshire, England
- Died May 27, 1945 in Los Angeles, CA USA
More famous for something he did in the minors, former circus acrobat Walter Carlisle played 3 games in the majors with the Boston Red Sox in 1908. Also vying for a job in the outfield that year was a 20-year-old lad named Tris Speaker.
On July 19, 1911, while playing for Vernon of the Pacific Coast League in a game against Los Angeles, Carlisle completed the only known example of an unassisted triple play by a center fielder. It was not unusual for Carlisle to make diving catches that he completed by tucking into forward somersaults and, if need be, follow through to his feet to make a throw to the infield. Carlisle made a diving catch with a somersault (or two has been reported in this case) off the bat of Roy Akin just behind second base with runners on first and second. The runners had taken off with the hit and found themselves unable to get back. Carlisle did not make a throw to the infield, but ran in to touch second, and then continued all the way back to first to complete the triple play himself. The following year, Akin pulled off his own unassisted triple play, albeit as an infielder.
Walter is one of 30 major league players born in England. He and contemporary Harry Smith are among the few born in Yorkshire. He moved to the United States when he was two years old; the family settled in Minneapolis. He played in the American Association in 1902, when he started out with the Minneapolis Millers, and in 1920. Carlisle led the PCL in triples three times - 1911 (10), 1912 (17) and 1915 (14). He also hit the most homers in the league in 1907 (14) and the most doubles in 1911 (49).
Year-by-Year Managerial Record
|1909||Pueblo Indians||Western League||58-93||8th|
- Matt Monagan: "The circus acrobat who turned the rarest triple play: Walter Carlisle did it from center field, unassisted", mlb.com, August 2, 2020.