The all-time career-leader in triples is Sam Crawford (who played for Cincinnati and Detroit from 1899-1917) with 312. His longtime teammate and fellow Hall of Famer Ty Cobb is second with 295. Crawford's record won't be broken anytime soon, as only one current player (as of the end of 2000) has over 100 career triples (Lance Johnson, with 117).

Owen Wilson of the Pittsburgh Pirates holds the all-time single-season triples record, with 36, in 1912. By comparison, Cristian Guzman of the Minnesota Twins led the majors in 2000 with 20 triples.

With ballparks getting smaller and the increasing focus on power rather than speed, triples are less common than in the past.

In baseball, a triple is a kind of hit whereby the batter reaches third base on a batted ball in play. Of the four broad types of baseball hits (single, double, triple, and home run), the triple is by far the rarest, due to the degree of difficulty in reaching third base before the fielders can retrieve the ball. This rarity, combined with the degree of difficulty and the high chance of being thrown out, make the triple one of the single most exciting plays in baseball. Personally, I would rank it as the fourth most exciting play in baseball, behind only the straight steal of home, the suicide squeeze, and the inside-the-park home run.

Triples have become increasingly rare over the course of baseball history. This is because ballparks (and especially, outfields) have shrunk over time, in order to bring fans closer to the action and also to generate more home runs. Now there is less space for the ball to bounce around, and the outfielders get to balls more quickly. Accordingly, most of the all-time triples records were set in the early part of the 20th century, when outfields ranged from massive to positively cavernous, and these records will likely never be broken.

Major League Triples Records

Most triples, single season:

NL: Chief Wilson (1912), 36
AL: Sam Crawford (1914), Shoeless Joe Jackson (1912), 26

Most triples, career:

ML: Sam Crawford, 309
NL: Honus Wagner, 252
AL: Ty Cobb, 295

Most triples, single game:

NL: 4, Bill Joyce, New York Giants, May 18, 1897
AL: 3, tie, 21 players

Tri"ple (?), a. [L. triplus; tri- (see Tri-) + -plus, as in duplus double: cf. F. triple. See Double, and cf. Treble.]


Consisting of three united; multiplied by three; threefold; as, a triple knot; a triple tie.

By thy triple shape as thou art seen.


Three times repeated; treble. See Treble.


One of three; third.



Triple crown, the crown, or tiara, of the pope. See Tiara, 2.<-- (b) (Sport) The championship in three specific categories of a sport in one year, if won by a single contender; as (Baseball) The championship in batting average, home runs, and runs batted in (RBI's) in one league. --> -- Triple-expansion steam engine, a compound steam engine in which the same steam performs work in three cylinders successively. -- Triple measure Mus., a measure of tree beats of which first only is accented. -- Triple ratio Math., a ratio which is equal to 3. -- Triple salt Chem., a salt containing three distinct basic atoms as radicals; thus, microcosmic salt is a triple salt. -- Triple star Astron., a system of three stars in close proximity. -- Triple time Mus., that time in which each measure is divided into three equal parts. -- Triple valve, in an automatic air brake for railroad cars, the valve under each car, by means of which the brake is controlled by a change of pressure in the air pipe leading from the locomotive.

© Webster 1913.

Tri"ple, v. i. [imp. & p. p. Tripled (?); p. pr. & vb. n. Tripling (?).] [Cf. F. tripler. See Triple, a.]

To make threefold, or thrice as much or as many; to treble; as, to triple the tax on coffee.

© Webster 1913.

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