Overseas Fan Spring Training - Rarest of Statistical Awards

Eric D. Schabell
Contributing Writer

The sport of baseball is filled with statistics, with numbers, and with abbreviations for all these mystical elements that can cause some confusion for the average Overseas Fan.

Today we take a look at the most rare of statistical awards that a hitter can win.

This achievement is measured by no less than three statistical categories.

It has only been awarded 16 times in the history of Major League Baseball.

It is not a physical award, a hitter is honored with this award as a form of recognition.

It is rarer than perfect games, which have happened 23 times in Major League history.

It is called the Triple Crown.

This is only awarded when a hitter is leading in three separate categories in his own League.
  1. Home runs
  2. Batting average
  3. Runs batted in
All three categories must be led or tied at the end of the season in order to be part of a Triple Crown performance.

Before we get to the Red Sox history with the Triple Crown, we need to cover the statistic first. Batting average was covered in a previous article in this series, see below.

Home run (HR)
Home runs are when a hitter runs all the bases and crosses home plate to score on a single hit. This most often happens when a hitter knocks the ball out of the park, over the outfield walls. On rare occasions the ball stays inside the ballpark and the hitter is fast enough to run all the bases before the opposing team can tag him out.

Runs Batted In (RBI)
A batter is awarded an RBI on any run that scores as a direct result of a single, double, triple or home run; on a sacrifice fly or a sacrifice bunt on which a runner scores from third base; on a groundout (with less than two outs) on which a runner scores from third base; or on a hit-by-pitch or walk with the bases loaded.

This boils down to you as the hitter being credited for scoring a run, be that with any type of hit, a walk, or forcing in a run by being walked or hit by a pitch with the bases loaded.

The Triple Crown

Now we can talk about the actual Triple Crown. The oldest recorded Triple Crown winner was in 1887, Tip O'Neill of the St. Louis Cardinals in the league called American Association (no longer exists).
  • 14 (HR)
  • .435 (AVG)
  • 123 (RBI)
The Boston Red Sox have no had no less than four Triple Crown winners.

The first was Hugh Duffy in 1894 when the Red Sox played in the National League.
  • 18 (HR)
  • .440 (AVG)
  • 145 (RBI
As you can see, home runs were not a big part of the game in the 1800's.

Ted Williams won the Triple Crown twice, first in 1942.
  • 36 (HR)
  • .356 (AVG)
  • 137 (RBI)
He won it again in 1947, something you can't hardly imagine these days.
  • 32 (HR)
  • .343 (AVG)
  • 114 (RBI)
The last Red Sox to win the Triple Crown was Carl Yastrzemski in 1967.
  • 44 (HR)
  • .326 (AVG)
  • 121 (RBI)
This is a feat that has become so difficult, it took from 1967 all the way up to 2012 before Miguel Cabrera of the Detroit Tigers was able to put together these Triple Crown numbers.
  • 44 (HR)
  • .330 (AVG)
  • 139 (RBI)
Stay tuned for more interesting bits of baseball and feel free to poke me with something you really would like to see covered in one of these articles.

You can catch up on some of the past articles in this series.
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