News, Opinions, and Everything Baseball

Triple Crown: Baseball Terminology

Triple Crown Carl Yastrzemski The Baseball Journal

Carl Yastrzemski in 1967

The Triple Crown is an award given to a player who leads the league in three offensive categories: batting average, home runs, and runs batted in. Miguel Cabrera was the last player to win a Triple Crown back in 2012 with the Detroit Tigers. Prior to Cabrera, the most recent winner was Carl Yastrzemski with the Boston Red Sox in 1967.

The National League has not a Triple Crown winner since Joe Medwick of the St. Louis Cardinals back in 1937.

In order to win the Triple Crown, a player has to hit for both power and average. He also has to have teammates who get on base to produce high RBI numbers. There have only been 17 Triple Crown winners in baseball history. Some of the more famous recipients include Frank Robinson (1966), Mickey Mantle (1956), Ted Williams (1942, 1947), Lou Gehrig (1934), Jimmie Foxx (1933), Rogers Horsby (192, 1925), and Ty Cobb (1909). Hornsby and Williams are the only players to have won multiple awards.

There is also a Triple Crown award for pitchers, although it is not as highly regarded or talked about. The statistical categories for the award include wins, strikeouts, and earned run average. Notable pitchers to have won the pitching Triple Crown include Justin Verlander (2011 AL), Clayton Kershaw (2011 NL), Randy Johnson (2002 NL), Pedro Martinez (1999 AL), and Roger Clemens (1997, 1998 AL).

Triple Crown Miguel Cabrera The Baseball Journal

Miguel Cabrera Triple Crown bobblehead

With the evolution of the game of baseball, the difficulty in winning the hitting Triple Crown has also evolved. Players in today’s game can be either well rounded or have a specific skill set that they do best. There are contact and high average hitters who get on base. There are power hitters. Some players are speedy and produce copious stolen bases and runs. This makes the task of winning the award really being the best of the best.

With all of the great hitters who have won the award, think of all the great hitters who have NOT won the award. There are far too many to list because there are only 15 players who have ever won the award. In all of baseball history. That is what makes the award so coveted and such a hot topic of discussion when players are in contention to lead the league in all three categories. There is a wave of young that could vie for the Triple Crown in the future, but it seems to take a seasoned veteran to have the poise and overall skill set to accomplish such a heroic feat.

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: