Saturday, May 15, 2010

The Triple Crown?


If the season ended today, Los Angeles Dodgers outfielder Andre Ethier, with his .392 AVG, 11 HR, 38 RBI (all tops in the National League), would win the elusive Triple Crown.

And when I say elusive, I mean elusive--

In the modern era (since 1900) there have only been 13 Triple Crown winners. That's 109 years of baseball played in two leagues. In other words, 218 opportunities and it has only been done 13 times.

There is no doubt that winning a Triple Crown is a tough gig and no one realistically expects Ethier to pull it off. But 35 games into the season and he's atop all three Triple Crown categories, is a pretty decent accomplishment, in my book.

The last Triple Crown winner in MLB came in 1967 when Hall of Famer Carl Yastrzemski (.326 BA, 44 HR, 121 RBI) of the Boston Red Sox pulled the hat-trick. We have to go all the way back to 1937 to find the last winner in the National League. Joe Medwick (.374 BA, 31 HR, 154 RBI) of the St. Louis Cardinals is the last NLer to do so.

The great Ted Williams (1942, 1947) and the immortal Rogers Hornsby (1922, 1925) are the only players to accomplish it twice.

And incredibly in 1933, Jimmie Foxx (AL) and Chuck Klein (NL) did it simultaneously. I highly doubt we will ever see that again. I mean, having just one is hard enough, imagine having two in the same year.

The others include: Frank Robinson (1966); Mickey Mantle (1956); Lou Gehrig (1934); Ty Cobb (1909) and Nap Lajoie (1901).

As we can see the list only includes a who's who amongst baseball royalty. Every member is a Hall of Famer and would easily make any ones list of the 25 greatest of all-time.

Just imagine if Andre Ethier made the list.

Ethier photo courtesy of Getty Images
Stats courtesy of baseball-reference.com

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