If you’re a fan of baseball, then you’ve probably heard of the “Triple Crown.” But what exactly is it? Continue reading to learn who the winner is!

KEY POINTS

  • The Triple Crown is an offensive feat in baseball where a player tops the league in home runs, RBIs, and batting average.
  • A player needs to be proficient in power-hitting, average-hitting, and run-scoring to win the triple crown.
  • Due to the requirement of being the league’s offensive leader in three different categories, winning the triple crown is challenging. One player rarely possesses the necessary skill sets for each of the game’s three offensive facets.
  • With Miguel Cabrera as the most recent champion in 2012, there have been 14 players who have achieved MLB Triple Crown status (16 times overall).
  • The most recent pitcher to win a Triple Crown was Shane Bieber in 2020.

Life’s best qualities are… three?

The Triple Crown is one statistical anomaly that piques the interest of even the most stoic of fans in a sport rife with tradition.

In the last 45 years, a batter has only succeeded once. Given its rarity, it is not surprising that baseball fans from all over the world have been following Aaron Judge’s quest to join the elite group of Triple Crown winners.

The Triple Crown, however, is what? How difficult is it for a player to win, specifically? All the solutions are in The Sporting News.

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What is the Triple Crown in Baseball?

The term “Triple Crown” describes a player who, in a single season, leads his respective league in batting average, home runs, and RBIs.

Historically, those three figures have served as the barometer for batting excellence in any given year. It comes as no surprise that the trifecta ranks among baseball’s greatest achievements when combined with one another.

How Do You Win the Triple Crown?

It can be challenging to claim the Triple Crown. It combines hitting for average, driving in runs, and hitting for power. Home runs and average fall under two of those categories that are entirely dependent on your talent.

However, the third statistic runs batted in, is influenced by both your ability to hit with runners in scoring position AND your teammates reaching base. This accomplishment is exceptionally rare for a reason.

A lot of times, average hitters aren’t power hitters. The opposite is frequently also accurate. Power hitters may have a high average, but that doesn’t mean they are the league leaders in terms of average. Notable omissions from the list of winners include none of the home run kings (Ruth, Aaron, or Bonds).

One more thing to be made clear: you only need to be in first place in your league across all three categories. For instance, if you are a hitter in the American League, you do not necessarily have to outperform hitters in the National League.

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How Many Players Have Won the Triple Crown?

The Triple Crown has been won by 27 different athletes to date. That also applies to athletes competing in the Negro Leagues.

In 1878, Paul Hines of the Providence Grays became the first athlete to score the trifecta. He accomplished this feat while batting.358 with four home runs and 50 RBIs, which in 2022 would not have been particularly impressive but were game-changing numbers nearly 150 years ago.

Who Was the Last Player to Win the Triple Crown?

Miguel Cabrera, who accomplished the feat in 2012, was the most recent athlete to do so. The Tigers slugger hit 44 home runs, 139 runs batted in, and a.330 batting average on his way to his first AL MVP Award.

With Cabrera’s outstanding campaign, a 45-year streak in which no player achieved the triple crown came to an end. The last player to win the Triple Crown was Carl Yastrzemski of the Red Sox in 1967. Before Cabrera.

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Who Has Won the Most Triple Crowns?

The Triple Crown has been won by four different athletes. Oscar Charleston, a legend of the Negro League who won an absurd three trifectas in five years from 1921 to 1925, is the group’s leader.

He is joined by three other Baseball Hall of Famers who have earned the distinction more than once: Rogers Hornsby, Josh Gibson, and Ted Williams. The Triple Crown was won twice by Hornsby, Gibson, and Williams during their illustrious careers.

Triple Crown in Baseball

Every Triple Crown Winner in MLB History

As a player must lead either the American League or National League in batting average, home runs, and RBIs, completing a Triple Crown is one of baseball’s most challenging feats.

The AL Triple Crown was last won by Miguel Cabrera of the Tigers in 2012, ending a 45-year drought. It was much more common in the first half of the 20th century but much rarer in recent years. Since RBIs were recognized as an official statistic in 1920, MLB has had 10 players win a total of 12 Triple Crowns.

Here is a closer look at each of the men who have accomplished this impressive hitting feat:

2012 — Miguel Cabrera, Detroit Tigers (AL): By batting.330 with 44 home runs and 139 RBIs, Miggy won the first Triple Crown in baseball in 45 years. No player even during the offensively prolific 1990s and early 2000s was able to accomplish what Cabrera did by leading the AL in batting average by four points, home runs, and RBIs by 11. Cabrera won the first of two AL MVP Awards in a row as a result of his effort.

1967 — Carl Yastrzemski, Boston Red Sox (AL): In the year before 1968’s “Year of the Pitcher,” While leading the league in home runs (44) and RBIs (121) for the only time in his 23 seasons, Yastrzemski won the second of his three batting titles (.326). The Hall of Famer, who also led the AL in on-base percentage (.418), slugging (.622), runs (112), hits (189), and total bases (360), set career highs in all three of those categories. He also won the AL MVP Award and the Gold Glove Award.

1966 — Frank Robinson, Baltimore Orioles (AL): Robinson was traded by the Reds to the Orioles in December 1965 before his 30th season for three players. All Robinson accomplished for his new team was hit.316 with 49 home runs and 122 RBIs while also leading the AL with a.410 OBP, a.637 slugging percentage, and 122 runs. Robinson won the MVP Award for the second time thanks to his efforts, giving him a trophy in each league after also taking home the prize for Cincinnati in 1961. Because he had never previously led his league in any of the three categories in his 21 seasons of play, Robinson’s timing was perfect.

1956 — Mickey Mantle, New York Yankees (AL and MLB): Mantle narrowly outperformed the competition in terms of batting average (.353) and RBIs (130), but he dominated the field in home runs. Vic Wertz had 32 home runs; he had 52, 20 more; and Duke Snider had 43, the most in the National League. Unsurprisingly, Mantle won the first of his three career AL MVP Awards and the first of back-to-back AL MVP Awards.

1942 and ’47 — Ted Williams, Boston Red Sox (AL and MLB in ’42; AL only in ’47): Williams is the only player in the AL and one of only two players overall to win multiple Triple Crowns, but if it weren’t for World War II, he might have taken home even more titles. Splendid Splinter, then 23 years old, hit.356 with 36 home runs and 137 RBIs in 1942, making him the last player in the Major Leagues to bat at least.400. He then missed three full seasons to serve in the military, but when he came back in 1946, he didn’t miss a beat, placing a pitiful second in the American League in all three categories while winning the AL MVP Award. The following year, Williams batted.343 with 32 home runs and 114 RBIs to win the Triple Crown once more. During the six seasons he played in between 1941 and 1949, he led the league in average four times, home runs four times, and RBIs three times.

1937 — Joe Medwick, St. Louis Cardinals (NL): Medwick’s last Triple Crown victory for the NL occurred more than 80 years ago. The Hall of Fame left fielder set career highs with a.374 average, 31 home runs, and 154 RBIs. He also led the league in slugging (.641), runs (111), hits (237), and doubles (56). Medwick had the most runs batted in in the National League (NL) with 39, but his total of home runs was actually tied for first with Mel Ott of the Giants.

1934 — Lou Gehrig, New York Yankees (AL and MLB): A 31-year-old Gehrig won his only batting title with a.363 average. He also led the AL with the best on-base percentage (.465) and slugging percentage (.706). His 166 RBIs were the highest total of any season in which he exceeded 150 RBIs, and his 49 home runs tied a career high in terms of power. Surprisingly, the Iron Horse finished fifth in a tight race for the AL MVP Award, including second among the Yankees.

1933 — Jimmie Foxx, Philadelphia Athletics (AL): In addition to winning the AL MVP Award for the second consecutive year, Foxx was one of only two players this year to win the Triple Crown (more on that below). The Hall of Famer had smacked 58 home runs and scored 169 runs the year prior, but despite hitting.364, he fell short of winning the batting title. By hitting.356 with 48 home runs and 163 RBIs in 1934, he completed the task, outpacing Babe Ruth by 14 home runs and Gehrig by 23 RBIs.

1933 — Chuck Klein, Philadelphia Phillies (NL): In 1933, Philadelphia had two Triple Crown winners as well as two Triple Crown winners in baseball. Although Klein’s.368 average and 120 RBIs fell far short of Foxx’s staggering totals, they were still respectable in the National League. Klein also led the league in OBP (.422), slugging (.602), hits (223) and doubles (44), despite coming in second place for the NL MVP Award after winning the award the year before. Amazingly, the Phillies traded him to the Cubs after the season.

1922 and ’25 — Rogers Hornsby, St. Louis Cardinals (NL and MLB in ’25; NL only in ’22): In the midst of an incredible run in St. Louis, Hornsby—the only NL player to win multiple championships—did so. Louis. From 1920 to 1925, he led the league in average, on-base percentage (OBP), and slugging percentage, batting at least.370 on each occasion and exceeding.400 three times. The only home run titles of Hornsby’s career came along with his two Crowns; in 22 he hit.401 with 42 home runs and 152 RBIs and in 25 he hit.403 with 39 home runs and 143 runs driven in. He won his first of two NL MVP Awards in the subsequent year.

1912 — Heinie Zimmerman, Chicago Cubs (NL): .372, 14 homers, 104 RBIs *

1909 — Ty Cobb, Detroit Tigers (AL and MLB): .377, nine homers, 107 RBIs *

1901 — Nap Lajoie, Philadelphia Athletics (AL): .426, 14 homers, 125 RBIs *

1894 — Hugh Duffy, Boston Beaneaters (NL): .440, 18 homers, 145 RBIs *

1878 — Paul Hines, Providence Grays (NL): .358, four homers, 50 RBIs *

1887 — Tip O’Neill, St. Louis Browns (NL): .435, 14 homers, 123 RBIs *

  • RBIs were not an official statistic before 1920

What is the Triple Crown in Baseball Pitching?

It’s also an amazing accomplishment to win the triple crown in pitching. To win, a pitcher must be first in victories, strikeouts, and ERA. However, the list for pitchers is a little longer even though this is still a sizable statistical achievement. Shane Bieber took home the prize in 2020.

The statistics for pitching are a little more positive than those for batting, not that the accomplishments are simple. A pitcher who consistently wins, has a low ERA, and a high strikeout rate is more likely to be considered dominant. These are not statistical outliers. Finding a power hitter who can also lead the league in batting average is different from this.

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Conclusion: the Triple Crown in Baseball

The Triple Crown is “awarded” (received or honored with as no physical award exists) to the hitter who leads his own All three of these hitting stats are in the following order: 1: Home runs. 2: Average at bat; 3: Runs batted in.

A Triple Crown performance requires that all three categories be either led or tied at the end of the season. Few players have ever come close, so when a player simply dominates two categories, it is frequently an impressive feat.

FAQs

How Rare is Triple Crown in Baseball?

It is rare for one player to be skilled enough at all three offensive aspects of the game. The MLB Triple Crown has been attained by 14 players (16 times), with Miguel Cabrera as the most recent champion in 2012. The most recent pitcher to achieve this feat was Shane Bieber in 2020.

How Does a Pitcher Get a Triple Crown?

To win the Batting Triple Crown, a player must rank first or second in the league in runs scored (RBI), home runs, and RBI. A Pitching Triple Crown is accomplished by leading the league in wins, strikeouts, and earned run average all in the same season.

What is the Rarest Play in Baseball?

the unassisted triple play

Rarest of all is the unassisted triple play by an outfielder, performed only once in professional baseball history, by Having a team score on a triple play is possible, but it’s also incredibly uncommon, according to Walter Carlisle.