There are several ways the MLB can award and validate a player’s performance. One of the rewarding titles an MLB player can earn is the triple crown, although it is not a physical award.
But what is the triple crown in baseball?
Read this article to the end to find out about the triple crown and more.
Triple Crown in Baseball
The triple crown (non-physical award) validates the player’s capacity to have the best performance in the league through the whole season based on three specific statistical categories.
These categories encompass the batting average (BA), runs batted in (RBI), and home runs (HR).
It’s important to note that a player can share a lead in one category with another player.
The whole league refers to any of the two leagues – the National League (NL) and the American League (AL).
Meanwhile, the term pitching triple crown meaning applies to a pitcher topping the league in three categories in one season – strikeouts, earned run average, and wins.
On the one hand, the “batting triple crown” is specifically given to a batter leading a league in the three triple crown categories mentioned.
A player who leads both leagues can earn the MLB triple crown within the season.
What Is Batting Average
The batting average (shortened BA) is a stat used for evaluating a player’s batting performance.
The batting average equation involves dividing hits by at-bats. It is expressed in the symbolic equation below:
Today, a BA higher than 300 can qualify as excellent.
What are Runs Batted In
Run batted in (RBI) is another official statistic in baseball credited to a batter whose performance led to a run and as a result, a score in a game.
Potential RBI-scoring actions include a walk, sacrifice, base hit, etc.
The MLB 9.04 rule expounds on RBI calculations, handling, and interpretation.
An RBI score of 100 is a good achievement.
What Is a Home Run
A home run (HR) is a statistical tool used to credit a batter’s way of batting a ball that allows him to run around the bases and safely reach home within a single play.
Safe, in this case, would signify that he could reach the base without being put out by any possible means.
Another requirement for earning an HR is that no error has been committed by the defensive team right when the batter is going through the whole process described above.
Two moves can achieve an HR: the ball being batted over the fence and an in-the-park-homer.
Every time a batter earns a home run, he automatically gets an RBI point for himself and the rest of the scoring runners.
Winning a Triple Crown: Easy or Tough?
Getting a triple crown or triple crown Major League Baseball award is very tough!
Maintaining a powerful and solid batting performance does not happen every day.
Also, the ability to win a triple crown requires immense mental and physical preparation.
Winning a triple crown is such an infrequent occurrence in baseball to the point that there are only two (2) players in MLB history who earned two triple crowns in their lifetime.
- Ted Williams (1942 and 1947)
- Rogers Hornsby (1922 and 1925)
List of American League Triple Crown Winners
So how many triple crown winners baseball has in the AL?
Here is the list of AL triple crown winners baseball (from the most recent):
- Miguel Cabrera: Cabrera was playing for the Detroit Tigers in the AL when he won his triple crown in 2012.
Cabrera notably led the league with high scores in all three stats: 44 home runs, 139 RBIs, and a .330 batting average.
That was his first-ever Miguel Cabrera triple crown achievement.
- Carl Yastrzemski: Yastrzemski’s triple crown was not only satisfactory but was also legendary.
Yastrzemski’s performance in 1967 earned him the title of being “the most valuable player,” according to Mgr. Carl Ermer of Minnesota.
Yastrzemski was playing for the Red Sox when he won the triple crown with 121 RBIs, .326 batting average, and 44 home runs.
- Frank Robinson: Robinson led the American League and played for the Baltimore Orioles when he won his triple crown in 1966.
His RBI score was 122, his BA was .316, and his HR was 49.
- Mickey Mantle: Mantle’s WAR record of 12.9 was the highest in 1956. His WAR record and his triple crown win in the same year granted him a solid place among the top MLB players.
Mantle was a player of the New York Yankees when he won the triple crown with 52 HR, 130 RBIs, and .353 BA.
- Ted Williams: Williams won the triple crown twice. His first win happened in 1942 (137 RBIs, .356 BA, and 36 HR).
His second triple crown win happened in 1947 with a .343 BA, 114 RBIs, and 32 HR.
He was playing for the Boston Red Sox on these two occasions.
Other triple crown winners include:
- Lou Gehrig
- Jimmie Foxx
List of National League Triple Crown Winners
Here is the list of AL triple crown winners (from the most recent):
- Joe Medwick: Medwick (also called “Muscles” or “Ducky”) excelled as a left-fielding player of the St. Louis Cardinals.
His triple crown win in 1937 is monumental.
That is because it was the last time the NL brought home a triple crown honor. This achievement was possible because of his 154 RBIs, .374 BA, and 31 HR.
- Chuck Klein: Klein was with the Philadelphia Phillies when he won his triple crown in 1933.
The consecutive years from 1932 to 1933 turned out to be most exhilarating for him.
In 1932, he got his Most Valuable Player Award in the NL. Then, in 1933, he won his triple crown with 28 HR, .368 BA, and 120 RBIs.
- Rogers Hornsby: Hornsby shares the title of owning two triple crown wins with only one other player, Williams.
His first win in 1922 was thanks to his 152 RBIs, 42 HR, and .401 BA. Finally, he earned a .403 BA, 39 HR, and 143 RBIs in 1925, enough for a second triple crown.
He was playing for the St. Louis Cardinals on both occasions.
What is the triple crown in baseball?
The triple crown credits a player who leads a league in a season based on three sophisticated statistical grounds – BA, RBI, and HR.
A pitching triple crown awards a pitcher who leads a league based on three statistical standards – ERA, K, and wins.
The triple crown ranks as one of the most challenging feats any player can achieve. Consequently, only two players in MLB history have won the triple crown twice.
What other facts and trivia do you know about the triple crown?
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A powerful swing and the ball is flying across the field, just one hit, and we might never forget the thrill it brings. I do not know about you, but I never do. Every baseball game is the chance to compete with others and cooperate with your teammate. It is among my biggest passions.