By Blaidd Drwg
Miguel Cabrera currently leads the American League in batting average (by a lot) and RBI (by a handful) and is second in HR (by a few), so I think it is safe to talk about the possibility of Miggy repeating his Triple Crown feat of 2012. The triple crown has been completed only 16 times in 125+ years of baseball and only 2 players have done it twice – Rogers Hornsby and Ted Williams. It got me thinking, how close has anyone actually gotten to completing back to back Triple Crowns? Thanks to baseball-reference.com, I can take a look:
|Player||Triple Crown Year||Next Season||Next Season AVG||Next Season HR||Next Season RBI||AVG Behind(Ahead)||HR Behind(Ahead)||RBI Behind(Ahead)|
A couple of notes about the chart:
- Next season refers to the season following their Triple Crown.
- Next season AVG, HR, RBI refers to their league rank in each category in the season following their Triple Crown. An * means they were not in the top 10 in that category.
- AVG, HR, RBI Behind (Ahead) refers to how far behind the leader they were in the season following the Triple Crown in each category. If the number is in (), it is how far ahead of the 2nd position they were in that category.
- Cabrera’s ranks are through August 18th.
- Ted Williams did not play in 1943 due to military service (or 1944 or 1945, which is why I used 1946).
It is interesting that no player has really come close to repeating the Triple Crown. Ty Cobb would be the one who was probably the closest, but he was a distant 2nd in the RBI race, so it really wasn’t all that close. You could make the argument that Ted Williams was closer, but it wouldn’t technically be back to back because of the 3 year gap. I wasn’t surprised to find that BA was the category that the player was most likely to lead the league in the next season, but it was a bit surprising to find that no triple crown player lead the league in HR the next season. I have a feeling that for most of these guys, their Triple Crown season represented their career year, which would go a long way to explaining that.
Can Miggy do it? It will be a fun ride over the next month and a half to find out.