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Who Will First Reach 100 Triples?

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Carl Crawford, Johnny Damon, Jimmy Rollins / Getty ImagesWhen Steve Finley and Kenny Lofton retired after the 2007 season, America fell into what would be known (to nobody but myself) as the Dark Ages of Triples. Because for the first time in a long, long while, no active player in major league baseball had accrued at least 100 career triples. And that remains true today.

But with the advent of the 2010 season, there is hope for a Renaissance. Three guys are awfully close to a three-digit milestone of the most exciting play in baseball. Phillies shortstop Jimmy Rollins stands with 96, Tigers outfielder Johnny Damon has collected 95, and Rays outfielder Carl Crawford has 93.

A triple occurs about once every five games. Home runs are over five times more common. Through Sunday’s games this season, more people have intentionally walked (117) than tripled (107). There have also been 113 pinch hits. What I’m trying to say is that triples are rare.

Fortunately, baseball fans will soon no longer live in a world where nobody still playing baseball has at least 100 of them.

Crawford needs seven more, which is well within his ability. That would give him eight on the season, tying his total from 2009. The same with Rollins: he already has one this year, and four more would give him the full hundred and tie last year’s total. Then the aging Damon, while he’s only five away, but that’s also his maximum number of three-base hits in any of the last four seasons. Potentially Damon could get help from a portion of Comerica Park’s erratic right field wall, which helped Curtis Granderson scamper to third quite often.

Odds are that Crawford and Rollins — or at least one of them — will hustle to third enough times to finally unmanacle us from triple’s Dust Bowl. We can do this, people.

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  • NYS is also one of the poorest triple stadiums — 15 in 162 games last year, fewest in MLB. The Yankees had only five of those (vs. 16 on the road), so that could impact Granderson’s triple numbers. He still has a good chance to get well over 100 for his career.

  • Tony

    By the way, on average Granderson has collected over 8 triples a game for his career, Damon has averaged just under 6, Rollins averages just over 9 and Crawford averages just over 10 (on astro-turf or whatever the hell they call it now.)

    So while Crawford and Rollins will likely reach the mark before Grandy, he’s still in the conversation and definately better than Damon.

  • Tony

    I think some of this might have to do with the smaller parks that were built in the 80s. Now with places like Comerica and Citi Field being built with much larger dimensions, I think this has helped that.

    Also, teams are definitely running more. The increase in triples has coincided with an increase in stolen bases also.