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From BR Bullpen
One of the rarest seasons in all of sport is the Triple Crown year. A Batting Triple Crown is accomplished by leading, or tying for the league lead, in batting average, home runs, and runs batted in (RBI). A Pitching Triple Crown is accomplished by leading the league in wins, strikeouts, and earned run average all in the same season.
 Batting Triple Crown
The Batting Triple Crown is considered so difficult to win because players rarely hit for a high average and hit the requisite home runs to lead the league in both. In fact, players rarely win the batting title and either the home run or RBI title.
Fifteen players have won the Triple Crown since in the history of the Major Leagues. Of those, Rogers Hornsby and Ted Williams each won it twice. Williams came within a hair of winning a third Triple Crown in 1949. He lost the batting title to George Kell with an average of 0.3428, just short of Kell's 0.3429. Miguel Cabrera last accomplished the feat in 2012 in the American League. Joe Medwick was the last National Leaguer to do it in 1937. Babe Ruth never won a Triple Crown but he won the OBP Triple Crown 5 times in his career.
Heinie Zimmerman was once credited with winning 1912 National League Triple Crown with a line of .372-14-103. However, it was later found that the league's RBI totals were flawed and since he has been stripped of the title. Revised totals indicate that he finished that season with 99 RBI, 3 fewer than league-leader Honus Wagner and one behind Bill Sweeney.
The Triple Crown has been accomplished in Nippon Professional Baseball eleven times, most recently by Nobuhiko Matsunaka in 2004. Hiromitsu Ochiai won it three times in a five year span, and both Sadaharu Oh and Randy Bass each won it twice.
 Major League Baseball
 Triple Crown Winners
MLB Triple Crown Winner*
|1942||AL||Ted Williams*||Red Sox||0.356||36||137|
|1947||AL||Ted Williams*||Red Sox||0.343||32||114|
|1967||AL||Carl Yastrzemski||Red Sox||0.326||44||121|
 On Base % Triple Crown
|1919||AL||Babe Ruth||Red Sox||0.456||29||114|
|1942||AL||Ted Williams||Red Sox||0.499||36||137|
|1947||AL||Ted Williams||Red Sox||0.499||32||114|
|1949||AL||Ted Williams||Red Sox||0.490||43||159|
|1967||AL||Carl Yastrzemski||Red Sox||0.418||44||121|
|1972||AL||Dick Allen||White Sox||0.420||37||113|
 Other Professional Leagues
 Nippon Professional Baseball
|1938 Fall||JPBL||Haruyasu Nakajima||Tokyo Giants||0.361||10||38|
|1965||PL||Katsuya Nomura||Nankai Hawks||0.320||42||110|
|1973||CL||Sadaharu Oh||Yomiuri Giants||0.355||51||114|
|1974||CL||Sadaharu Oh||Yomiuri Giants||0.332||49||107|
|1982||PL||Hiromitsu Ochiai||Lotte Orions||0.325||32||99|
|1984||PL||Boomer Wells||Hankyu Braves||0.355||37||130|
|1985||PL||Hiromitsu Ochiai||Lotte Orions||0.367||52||146|
|1985||CL||Randy Bass||Hanshin Tigers||0.350||54||134|
|1986||PL||Hiromitsu Ochiai||Lotte Orions||0.360||50||116|
|1986||CL||Randy Bass||Hanshin Tigers||0.389||47||109|
|2004||CL||Nobuhiko Matsunaka||Fukuoka Daiei Hawks||0.358||44||120|
 Korea Baseball Organization
|1984||Man-soo Lee||Samsung Lions||0.340||23||80|
|2006||Dae-ho Lee||Lotte Giants||0.336||26||88|
|2010||Dae-ho Lee||Lotte Giants||0.364||44||133|
 Serie A1
|2010||Carlos Duran||T&A San Marino||0.349||6||49|
 Pitching Triple Crown Winners
The Pitching Triple Crown is more common than a hitter's Triple Crown having been accomplished in the Major Leagues 37 times versus 16 by batters. This is in part because there are fewer players in the running for each title every year.
2011 marked the first time since 1924 that pitchers acomplished the feat in both leagues in the same year. Justin Verlander did it in the American League and Clayton Kershaw in the National League. Grover Alexander accomplished the feat four times including three seasons (1915-1917) in a row. The only other pitchers besides Alexander, to perform the feat three times are Sandy Koufax and Walter Johnson.
In the NPB 16 pitchers have accomplished the feat with only Kazuhisa Inao achieving it twice.
 Major League Baseball
 Nippon Professional Baseball
 Career Triple Crown
There have been 10 players since 1901 to have won all 3 Triple Crown Categories in their career without ever winning a Triple Crown. Miguel Cabrera was in this group until he won the Triple Crown in 2012.
|Player||Batting Title||Home Runs Title||RBI Title|
|Heinie Zimmerman||(1) 1912||(1) 1912||(2) 1916-17|
|Babe Ruth||(1) 1924||(12) 1918-21,1923-24,1926-31||(6) 1919-21,1923,1926,1928|
|Johnny Mize||(1) 1939||(3) 1940,1947-48||(3) 1940,1942,1947|
|Joe DiMaggio||(2) 1940-41||(2) 1937,1948||(2) 1941,1948|
|Hank Aaron||(2) 1956,1959||(4) 1957,1963,1966-67||(4) 1957,1960,1963,1966|
|Andres Galarraga||(1) 1993||(1) 1996||(2) 1996-97|
|Barry Bonds||(2) 2002,2004||(2) 1993,2001||(1) 1993|
|Alex Rodriguez||(1) 1996||(4) 2001-02,2005,2007||(2) 2002,2007|
|Manny Ramirez||(1) 2002||(1) 2004||(1) 1999|
|Albert Pujols||(1) 2003||(2) 2009-10||(1) 2010|
 Further Reading
- John E. Daniels: "Where Have You Gone, Carl Yastrzemski ?: A Statistical Analysis of the Triple Crown", in The Baseball Research Journal, SABR, Volume 37, 2008, pp. 107-114
- Vince Gennaro: "The Most Dominant Triple Crown Winner", in The Baseball Research Journal, SABR, Number 31, 2003, pp. 86-87.
- Michael Francis Mann: Baseball's Rare Triple Crown, Xlibris Corporation, Bloomington, IN, 2011. ISBN 1465352244
- Frederick E. Taylor: "Whatever Happened to the Triple Crown ?", The Baseball Research Journal, SABR, Volume 41, Number 1 (Spring 2012), pp. 93-96.