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Origin of "hitter's Triple Crown"?

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  • SABR Steve
    replied
    The Sporting News listed RBIs for the first time in 1907. The RBI became an official part of the scoring summary in 1891, but seldom was. In 1920 it was ruled that the RBI was to be included in the scoring summary.

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  • Brian McKenna
    replied
    Received an email today from the editor of the 3rd ed. of "The New Dickson Baseball Dictionary", to be published in 2009.

    He was interested in referencing Bill Burgess' find in the 1936 Sporting News and the Washington Post reference from Post #9.

    Another good job by the guys at BBF. Good topic Appling.

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  • Brian McKenna
    replied
    Answer from Peter Morris:

    Note - I misstated Cobb's claim in my email to Mr. Morris.

    Hi Brian,

    Thanks for the email. Are you sure that Cobb included runs batted in in his list? The entry in the Dickson Baseball Dictionary has runs scored rather than runs batted in. Since runs batted in weren't an official stat until 1920, that makes more sense.

    Even with that qualification, I have my doubts about Cobb's claim. Like you, I've never seen that specific term used to apply to leading the league in (any) three hitting categories prior to 1941 and my efforts to search for it have come up empty. I'm inclined to think that what Cobb meant is that baseball people (or perhaps just Cobb himself) considered those to be the three most important categories in which to lead the league.

    I'm cc-ing Skip McAfee, editor of the Dickson Baseball Dictionary, who may have more to add.

    Best,

    Peter
    I emailed him back concerning Burgess's 1936 Gehrig reference.
    Last edited by Brian McKenna; 10-28-2007, 06:55 AM.

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  • brett
    replied
    Originally posted by rugbyfreak View Post
    It's always about when the media wants to start referring to something mythical like a Triple Crown as something real. To my knowledge, to this day, you never read in the papers anything about the pitching Triple Crown (W, K, ERA), and yet, that designation has now made it to baseball-reference.com, at the bottom of every pitcher's sheet, under "Awards."

    I believe--but I'm not positive--that the batting TC is still, technically, mythical. That is, I don't believe a guy receives any real trophy for it. But I could be wrong. So much of BB stats and such is mythical, built up by the press, but representing no real award from MLB.

    My dad told me that he thought he had a special baseball card for Mantle after the '56 season that had him holding some kind of trophy or award.

    I thought it was mythical and that my dad was remembering wrong but I found this:

    http://images.search.yahoo.com/searc...868c6&ei=UTF-8
    Attached Files
    Last edited by brett; 10-27-2007, 09:13 PM.

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  • rugbyfreak
    replied
    It's always about when the media wants to start referring to something mythical like a Triple Crown as something real. To my knowledge, to this day, you never read in the papers anything about the pitching Triple Crown (W, K, ERA), and yet, that designation has now made it to baseball-reference.com, at the bottom of every pitcher's sheet, under "Awards."

    I believe--but I'm not positive--that the batting TC is still, technically, mythical. That is, I don't believe a guy receives any real trophy for it. But I could be wrong. So much of BB stats and such is mythical, built up by the press, but representing no real award from MLB.

    Leave a comment:


  • Bill Burgess
    replied
    I tried a search on Sporting News. It's first reference to a triple crown was July 9, 1936, pp. 5. Was saying that Lou Gehrig was insisting he would win the 'triple crown again', as in 1934.

    I tried the New York Times, and it talks about triple crowns in horse racing as early as 1923. But no baseball references until the 1940's.

    I had also heard about a triple crown in baseball, but without HRs.

    Leave a comment:


  • Brian McKenna
    replied
    Originally posted by TonyK View Post
    Paul Dickson's "Baseball Dictionary" should mention when the term Triple Crown was first used. The year may surprise some people.
    His 1989 version doesn't mention it - I'll email Peter Morrris.

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  • brett
    replied
    Originally posted by JRB View Post
    Brett: There is a previous post on the Hornsby thread discussing the "statistical triple crown" (BA, SLG, OB%). Honrnsby obtained a statistical triple crown 7 times (the all time record), Williams did it 5 times, Wagner 4 times, Cobb 3 times, Musial 2 times, Ruth, Gehrig and Foxx did it once each. While such great hitters as Aaron, DiMaggio, Mantle and Mays never did it.

    c JRB
    Thanks, I vaguely remembered Hornsby reeling off a streak.

    George Brett also did it in 1980: .390/.454/.664

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  • JRB
    replied
    Originally posted by brett View Post

    There is the "percentage" triple crown which is BA, SLG and OB%. I think Williams won it 6-7 times, and Hornsby several times as well.

    If you wanted a triple crown that really measures different but valuable things it would be SLG%, OB% and total bases.
    Brett: There is a previous post on the Hornsby thread discussing the "statistical triple crown" (BA, SLG, OB%). Honrnsby obtained a statistical triple crown 7 times (the all time record), Williams did it 5 times, Wagner 4 times, Cobb 3 times, Musial 2 times, Ruth, Gehrig and Foxx did it once each. While such great hitters as Aaron, DiMaggio, Mantle and Mays never did it.

    Your comment about a hypothetical triple crown consisting of SLG&, OB% and Total Bases caused me to do some checking. Hornsby accomplished that feat 5 times. Williams and Wagner also did it 5 times. Ruth did it 4 times, Musial 3 times, Cobb did it twice, and Gehrig, Foxx and and Mays each did it once.

    c JRB
    Last edited by JRB; 10-27-2007, 12:05 PM.

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  • TonyK
    replied
    Paul Dickson's "Baseball Dictionary" should mention when the term Triple Crown was first used. The year may surprise some people.

    Leave a comment:


  • Brian McKenna
    replied
    Sorry Appling that no one wants to do a little research and answer your question. They just want to impart their great "insight".

    --------

    One of the earliest references I found in regards to the triple crown centers on the 1906 World Series. A Washington Post writer surmised that the White Sox had won the triple crown - that is - champions of Chicago, the American League and the World Series.

    The term "Triple Crown" doesn't seem to have gained use by sportswriters in relation to baseball until 1941. In a Christian Science Monitor article on 7/3/1941 there is a discussion about "DiMaggio shooting at Triple Batting Crown(BA,HR,RBI)."

    And then articles noting Williams' accomplishment in 1942.

    Not home or I'd grab my copy of Peter Morris' A Game of Inches or Jonathan Lights' the Cultural Encyclopedia of Baseball. They may have better references. Or maybe a baseball dictionary.

    ----------

    Can't find any contemporary references to substaniate Cobb's ascertian about the triple crown.
    Last edited by Brian McKenna; 10-27-2007, 08:29 AM.

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  • brett
    replied
    Originally posted by Appling View Post
    In my opinion, the use of illegal PEDs has inflated homerun totals more than it has affected any other hitting stat. This has smeared the honor and respect normally given to the annual Home Run King.

    So why don't we return to this original "Triple Crown" honor and award it to a hitter who leads in these three departments: Batting Average, Hits and RBI?

    It is ironic to me that these are considered to be the 3 most overrated stats among the "value based" crew. Batting average does not correlate to player production (when on base% and slugging % are factored out), RBI have no independent correlation to anything (they correlate to production, but give no added predictive ability above what can be made by other stats-in other words variations in RBI independent of other hitting stats are random) and the player with the most hits is often getting them because he is not drawing any walks.

    BA, hits and RBI would be my "superficial triple crown".

    There is the "percentage" triple crown which is BA, SLG and OB%. I think Williams won it 6-7 times, and Hornsby several times as well.

    If you wanted a triple crown that really measures different but valuable things it would be SLG%, OB% and total bases.

    Also, I saw an article in baseball digest in the late 80s about the "running" triple crown:

    Batting average, runs and stolen bases.
    Last edited by brett; 10-27-2007, 10:50 AM.

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  • Appling
    replied
    Ty Cobb Triple Crown

    Originally posted by blackout805 View Post
    ty cobb mentions in his autobiography (the one with Stump) that back in the early 1900s (before the HR was revolutionized), the triple crown was recognized as having the highest BA, most RBIs and most hits
    In my opinion, the use of illegal PEDs has inflated homerun totals more than it has affected any other hitting stat. This has smeared the honor and respect normally given to the annual Home Run King.

    So why don't we return to this original "Triple Crown" honor and award it to a hitter who leads in these three departments: Batting Average, Hits and RBI?

    By my count, these are the hitters who would have earned the "Ty Cobb Triple Crown" since 1900:
    Nap Lajoie 1901, Nap Lajoie 1904, Cy Seymour 1905, Ty Cobb 1907, Ty Cobb 1908, Ty Cobb 1909, Ty Cobb 1911, Honus Wagner 1908, Rogers Hornsby 1920, Rogers Hornsby 1921, Rogers Hornsby 1922, Paul Waner 1927, Chuck Klein 1933, Joe Medwick 1937, Stan Musial 1948, Tommy Davis 1962, Carl Yastrzemski 1967, Joe Torre 1971, Al Oliver 1982, Todd Helton 2000 and Matt Holliday 2007.

    Maybe half this list also qualify for the traditional Triple Crown honor (BA-HR-RBI) but I like the list because it down-plays the Homerun leader and it is more uniformly spread over time. Torre, Oliver, Helton and Holliday all achieved the honor after 1967!

    This list would be even better if leading in Runs Scored were considered as well as leading in RBIs. This modification (BA-H-R) would add some other very worthy candidates nicely spread over the timeline:
    George Sisler 1922, Paul Waner 1934, Stan Musial 1946, Stan Musial 1952, Tony Oliva 1964, Rod Carew 1977, Albert Pujols 2003.

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  • Appling
    replied
    Originally posted by blackout805
    ty cobb mentions in his autobiography (the one with Stump) that back in the early 1900s (before the HR was revolutionized), the triple crown was recognized as having the highest BA, most RBIs and most hits
    This quote from Cobb is both interesting and surprising. Makes sense that hits were more valued than homerun leadership prior to Ruth. I was surprised to see that Cobb valued RBI ahead of Runs scored, since "scientific baseball" using small ball (singles and stolen bases) was his forte.

    When I first started to follow MLB I can truly say that most of my friends considered BA, HR and RBI leadership the three most important categories of hitting. This seems to continue even today in most local newspapers: they list the AL and NL leaders in Batting Average, Homeruns and RBI every day, but many papers list leaders in other departments only once or twice a week. In fact, our paper almost never lists leaders in OBP or OPS.

    Back to my original question: does anyone know when the Triple Crown was first recognized as a special achievement?
    Last edited by Appling; 06-04-2005, 07:08 AM.

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  • 538280
    replied
    I think someone just decided to take the three most glamourous stats, regardless of what they mean, and make them into a triple crown. RBI is the most dumbed down stat, it is almost entirely determined on your teammates and your position in the batting order.

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