Scoring a baseball game requires paper, something to write with, following the action on the field, and knowing what to write on the score sheet. We enjoy everything related to baseball, not just watching and playing. We indulge in baseball books, poems, music, and films. In reviewing them we cannot use a normal 1 to 10 ratings system. Even this we must make about baseball.
Here is our ratings system to understand our opinions about our previous reviews and moving forward.
- Golden Sombrero
- Hit By Pitch
- Home Run
- Grand Slam
- Walk-Off Grand Slam
The is no wrong way to score a baseball game, so long as you can read and understand what happened in the game. (The Winning Run/ BL)
Here are our past reviews and ratings.
- The Greatest Baseball Stories Ever Told: Thirty Unforgettable Tales from the Diamond by Jeff Silverman (Single)
- The Baseball: Stunts, Scandals, and Secrets Beneath the Stitches by Zack Hample (Double)
- Ball Four by Jim Bouton (Home Run)
- A Day in the Bleachers by Arnold Hano (Home Run)
- Ted Williams: The Biography of an American Hero by Leigh Montville (Double)
- The Way of Baseball: Finding Stillness at 95 MPH by Shawn Green and Gordon McAlpine (Double)
- Ballplayer by Chipper Jones and Carroll Rogers Walton (Double)
- They Called Me God: The Best Umpire Who Ever Lived by Doug Harvey and Peter Golenbock (Grand Slam)
- The Best Team Money Can Buy: The Los Angeles Dodgers’ Wild Struggle to Build a Baseball Powerhouse by Molly Knight (Home Run)
- Bottom of the 33rd: Hope, Redemption, and Baseball’s Longest Game by Dan Barry (Triple)
- The Only Rule Is It Has To Work: Our Wild Experiment Building a New Kind of Baseball Team by Ben Lindbergh and Sam Miller
- The Unforgettable Season by G.H. Fleming (Double)
- The Mick: An American Hero, The Legend and the Glory by Mickey Mantle and Herb Gluck (Triple)
- Faithful: Two Diehard Boston Red Sox Fans Chronicle the Historic 2004 Season by Stewart O’Nan and Stephen King (Triple)
- 56: Joe DiMaggio and the Last Magic Number in Sports by Kostya Kennedy (Home Run)
- Moneyball: The Art of Winning an Unfair Game by Michael Lewis (Triple)
- My Oh My by Macklemore & Ryan Lewis (Single)
- The Green Fields of the Mind by Bart Giamatti (Grand Slam)
Moving forward we will use this ratings system in our reviews. We do not always agree, but the scoring is the opinion of the reviewer. Everyone wants to hit a Walk-Off Grand Slam, but not everyone will. Hopefully we find our own versions of Bill Mazeroski off the diamond.
The most exciting play in baseball is the triple. Rarely is a triple a forgone conclusion. Usually it is a crazy dash around the bases, while the fans and teammates yell for the batter to run faster and to either stop at second base or to slide into third. A triple suddenly changes the complexion of an inning and of a game. The pitcher can be sailing along and with one pitch can go from relaxed and pitching from the wind up to having a distraction on third who makes you shorten your windup from the stretch. The triple is a game changer.
The way that baseball is played and how fields are laid out has reduced the triple to an rarity. The home run has replaced the triple as the means of pushing across multiple runners with one swing and changing the fortunes of a team. The triple has become a lost art. The game changes as time passes, different strategies and approaches are adopted. Pitchers no longer are expected to pitch complete games nearly ever time they take the mound. Instead pitching into the 7th inning is considered a good outing. Batters no longer content to hit singles and then rely on stolen bases or the hit and run to get them around the bases. Baseball changes and different aspects of the game change. Unfortunately the triple has become less of a weapon used by teams, and it has reduced the prevalence of the most exciting play in baseball.
Understanding how baseball has changed and how the triple has become less and less utilized you simply need to look at how modern players stack up against players from baseball’s past. Sam Crawford holds the record for most career triples with 309. The remaining of the top 5 in career triples are Ty Cobb with 295, Honus Wagner with 252, Jake Beckley with 244, and Roger Connor with 233. The active leader in triples in Carl Crawford with 117 triples, this is good enough for 103rd all time. Crawford is at best on the back side of his prime, and at worst he is on the back side of his career as a whole. Rounding out the top 5 among the active leaders for career triples are Jose Reyes with 111 triples, he ranks 123rd all time. Jimmy Rollins has 107 triples which is good enough for 138th all time. Juan Pierre is fourth among active players with 94 triples, he is 189th all time. Rounding out the top 5 of active players with career triples is Ichiro Suzuki with 83, which has him with the 256th most career triples. None of these players have much of a chance to threaten the career record. Age and time will eventually catch up to all of them, thus protecting Sam Crawford and his record. It is easy to argue the career triples record is safer than nearly every baseball record, including Joe DiMaggio‘s 56 game hit streak.
The difficulty of the career record may be out of reach due to the changing of how baseball is played. However reaching the top 5 for most triples in a season is more attainable, although breaking the single season record maybe completely out of reach. Chief Wilson holds the single season triple record with 36 in 1912. David Orr is tied for second with 31 triples in 1886, which was tied by Heine Reitz in 1894. Perry Werden hit 29 triples in 1893. Rounding out the top 5 for most triples in a single season are Harry Davis in 1897 and Sam Thompson in 1894 with 28 triples. The heyday of the triple was during the dead ball era, and there have been only a few players who have had even a single season with a high number of triples. They have become more and more rare as time has passed. Since 1994 only four players have had a single single where they hit 20 or more triples: Curtis Granderson with 23 triples in 2007, Lance Johnson with 21 triples in 1996, Christian Guzman with 20 triples in 2000, and Jimmy Rollins with 20 triples in 2007.
Baseball fans should appreciate the players who can round the bases at top speed to go from batter to 90 feet away from scoring. The triple has become a rare event in baseball and it should be treasured when it does happen. The changing of the game has protected Sam Crawford’s and Chief Wilson’s records from being broken. While I personally love seeing triples, the evolution of baseball is good for the game as it continually reinvents itself. The premium placed on power in today’s game will mean the triple will become less common. Players are bigger and stronger, which usually means they are not nearly as fast. This reduction of speed means there will be plenty of doubles and home runs, but the triple and stolen base will be a little less common and when they are used they should excite fans and players even more.
The triple is becoming a lost art. While it is unfortunate that part of baseball’s history is becoming more and more rare, it is just part of the evolution of the game. The triple may be a thing of the past, it still has a place in the modern game. Playing small ball will never go out of style, and because of that the triple will remain an exciting part of baseball forever. The triple is not completely lost, it is just in the background and shows itself on occasion, and when it does it will ignite baseball fans everywhere.