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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. A triple is sometimes called a "three-bagger" or "three-base hit".[1] For statistical and scorekeeping purposes it is denoted by 3B.[2][3]

Triples have become somewhat rare in Major League Baseball, less common than both the double and the home run. This is because it requires a ball to be hit solidly to a distant part of the field (ordinarily a line drive or fly ball near the foul line closest to right field), or the ball to take an irregular bounce in the outfield, usually against the wall, away from a fielder. It also requires the batter's team to have a good strategic reason for wanting the batter on third base, as a stand-up double is sufficient to put the batter in scoring position and there will often be little strategic advantage to risk being tagged out whilst trying to stretch a double into a triple (although reaching third base with fewer than two outs could potentially allow the runner to reach home plate on a sacrifice fly). On the extreme, the triple may be stretched into the very rare inside-the-park home run. The trend for modern ballparks is to have smaller outfields (generally increasing the number of home runs), ensuring that the career and season triples leaders mostly consist of those who played early in Major League Baseball history, particularly in the dead-ball era.

A walk-off triple (one that ends a game) occurs very infrequently. In general, game-winning hits with a runner on first base are walk-off doubles, since it is quite common for runners starting on first base to score on a double (as it is to make it from first to third on a single). For example, in 2019, there was not a single walk-off triple.

Triples leaders, Major League Baseball[edit]

Play 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


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]


  1. ^ "Triple (3B)". MLB.com. Retrieved July 3, 2018.
  2. ^ "Dexter Fowler". Baseball Reference. Retrieved July 3, 2018.
  3. ^ McMahon, Rob, ed. (2009). USA Today Baseball Scorebook. Sterling Innovation. p. 11. ISBN 978-1-4027-6245-1.

External links[edit]