The Texas Rangers handed Jared Weaver (5-1) his first loss of the season. Josh Hamilton chased Weaver in the 4th inning with a 2 run double. The score at the time was 8-2. Hamilton was using a pink bat for Mother’s Day but decided to pull out the bat he had used all week in the 7th inning. This is the bat that he used to hit a historic 4 home runs against Baltimore this past Tuesday night becoming just the 16th player in the history of Major League baseball to do so. He broke it on a single in last night’s game. Hamilton said “She went out a hero,” and the bat was tagged for the Hall of Fame. Hamilton currently leads the majors with a .402 average, 18 home runs and 44 RBI. In the last seven days Hamilton has accumulated 14 hits, 9 homers and 18 RBI. In baseball and the sporting world Josh Hamilton is an easy figure to root for. He has been compared to Roy Hobbs, the fictional character in “The Natural”. Although it is just 35 games into the 2012 season, these stats bring us to another discussion. The Triple Crown.
The Triple Crown in baseball consists of player being the leader in these three categories: Home Runs, Runs Batted In (RBI) and Batting Average. The last player to win the Triple Crown was 45 years ago in 1967. The player was Carl Yastrzemski. There are only 13 Triple Crown winners and two players did it twice, Rogers Hornsby and Ted Williams. Many cite the reason we haven’t seen a Triple Crown winner in the past 45 years is the specialization of batters that bat for power or average. But, every once in a while a player catches fire like Hamilton is doing right now and the possibility is there. Yes, it is still very early in the season but Hamilton is a very dynamic player. One huge question for Hamilton is can he stay healthy? He has only played in 156 in 2008 and as few as 89 in 2009. When he won the MVP in 2010 he missed after cracking a rib running into a wall in September. Time will tell, but it looks right now like it could be a historic run for Josh Hamilton and the Texas Rangers fans. It’s also a contract year for JHam but that is for another discussion.
Here is a list of potential Triple Crown winners that came close but failed since Carl Yastrzemski.
1972: Dick Allen led the AL in HR and RBI, finished third in BA
1972: Billy Williams won the NL BA title, finished third in HR, second in RBI
1992: Gary Sheffield won the NL BA title, finished third in HR, fifth in RBI
1995: Dante Bichette led the NL in HR and RBI, finished third in BA
1997: Larry Walker led the NL in HR, finished second in BA, third in RBI
2009: Albert Pujols led the NL in HR, finished third in BA and RBI
2010: Miguel Cabrera led the AL in RBI, finished third in BA, second in HR