Triple (baseball)

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Ty Cobb, second all-time in career triples, slides safely into third base.

In baseball, a triple is the act of a batter safely reaching third base after hitting the ball, with neither the benefit of a fielder's misplay (see error) nor another runner being put out on a fielder's choice.

Because a hit only counts as a triple without a fielding error or a fielder's choice, triples have become somewhat rare in Major League Baseball. It often requires a hit to an unoccupied part of the ballpark (as in an opposite-field hit) or the ball taking an unusual bounce in the outfield. It also requires that the batter be able to hit the ball solidly but also that he be able to run quickly. This combination of power and speed is rare, and combined with the trend for modern ballparks to have smaller outfields (to increase the number of home runs hit), it has ensured that the career and season triples leaders mostly consist of players who played earlier in the sport's history.

Because the hit is so rare, a triple is considered one of the most exciting plays in baseball. It is also an essential element in the achievement of hitting for the cycle.

Triples were much more common in the dead-ball era of baseball.

Triples leaders, Major League Baseball[edit]

Player Career length Number of triples
Sam Crawford 1899-1917 309
Ty Cobb 1905-1928 295
Honus Wagner 1897-1917 252
Jake Beckley 1888-1907 243
Roger Connor 1880-1897 233
Tris Speaker 1907-1928 222
Fred Clarke 1894-1915 220
Dan Brouthers 1879-1904 205
Joe Kelley 1891-1908 194
Paul Waner 1926-1945 191

Season[edit]

Chief Wilson's record of 36 triples in a season is unlikely to ever be broken.
Player Year Number of triples
Chief Wilson 1912 36
Dave Orr 1886 31
Heinie Reitz 1894 31
Perry Werden 1893 29
Harry Davis 1897 28
Jimmy Williams 1899 28
George Davis 1893 27
Sam Thompson 1894 27
Sam Crawford 1914 26
Kiki Cuyler 1925 26
Joe Jackson 1912 26
John Reilly 1890 26
George Treadway 1894 26

See also[edit]