posted on Apr, 8 2006 @ 01:56 AM
TWENTY OR MORE TRIPLES IN A SEASON
Owen Wilson, an otherwise forgettable player, freakishly hit 36 triples in 1912, with his home games being played in the Pirates' then almost brand
new Forbes Field, a cavernous park. (365 down the LF line; 408 to straightaway LF, where Maz hit the biggest HR in baseball history; 457 to deepest
LCF; 436, I believe, to straightaway CF; well over 400 to deepest RCF; 375 to straightaway RF; and only the RF line was short, at 300 (but with a high
screen going from there to the 375 mark). The Pirates led the NL in team triples more often than not, during the 61 full seasons they played in that
park... as you might expect.
No player from 1900 to the present has come within a mile of Owen's 36 triples, causing some historians to question that stat's validity. The next
highest is a three-way tie between two Hall of Famers (Sam Crawford, the all-time career triples leader, and Kiki Cuyler) and one woulda-been Hall
member (Joe Jackson), at 26.
And as the freakishly shaped old parks became fewer; and the ones with preposterously enormous outfields (see earlier post about Braves Field and its
550' CF through 1928) changed; and the outfielders became faster (at least in the N.L.) after WWII, with the coming of desegregation; just getting 20
triples became a rare feat.
Willie Wilson did it twice, playing in a ballpark made for triples. Dale Mitchell, a good outfielder with an otherwise empty career batting average
of .312 (little power and a .368 career on-base percentage), hit 23 of his 61 career triples in 1949. In 1985, Wilson had one of the two
aforementioned seasons and got 21 triples.
As for the 20-triple seasons, George Brett did it in 1979 (as noted in one of my previous trivia questions), Willie Mays did it in 1957 (ditto), and
Stan Musial did it in 1946. How is that for one of the best trios of players you'll ever see in one of these weird trivia questions?
B U T
There have been two other players, neither of whom ever will be otherwise mentioned in the same breath with Mays, Musial and Brett, who have gotten 20
and 21 triples in a season, respectively, in the past 10 years.
So let me toss out just minor clues, since these are very modern guys and y'all do damn well with them and don't need much if any help:
(1) Player One, 21 triples, 1996: Remembered primarily as an American League player, and seen frequently on national TV while in the AL, but got the
21 triples in his first NL season. Played only 14 seasons, in only 8 of which he played more than 100 games, and in only 10 of which he played more
than 50 games. Even so, he had 117 career triples. Had he played anything close to a long, full career, he obviously would have been the first
player since Clemente to amass 150 or more career triples, and would have done so without the benefit of massive Forbes Field. Was an excellent
baserunner, with 327 career steals and a career stolen base percentage of just over 75. Outstanding contact hitter, but terribly impatient and took
very few walks.
(2) Player Two, 20 Triples, 2000: Here is your big clue: He is a SHORTSTOP, very average in both fielding percentage and range figures. Not
a good offensive player. He has more career triples than home runs, has only 191 walks in 7 full seasons (an atrocious stat), has a mediocre stolen
base percentage of 66, and a godawful strikeout-to-walk ratio of 567/191. Despite 7 full seasons of play, has never scored 90 runs or driven in 60 in
But his 20 triples were no fluke. He hit 14 of them the next year, then 14 again 2 years after that. And he has 161 doubles, almost 4 times his
number of career HR's.
As always, please do not use any research tools to find the answers, or, if you do, please do not post the answers.
With all of that said:
NAME THESE TWO GUYS--OR ONE OF THEM--WHO HAVE HAD 20-TRIPLE SEASONS IN THE PAST TEN YEARS.
HOOTIE: No time limits on this one. Have at it.