The other day SABR member Clem Comly who also follows basketball wondered who the “triple doubles” leader might be in baseball history. His search defined a “baseball triple double” as a player that had 2 or more runs, 2 or more hits, and 2 or more RBI in a single game. His used Retrosheet (1913-2014) in his calculations and determined that the all-time baseball leader in triple doubles was Babe Ruth with 247. Lou Gehrig was second with 204, Willie Mays and Alex (A-Rod) Rodriguez were tied for third with 191 and Hank Aaron was fifth with 188.
I though it might be fun to run a similar search for all of baseball during the time period of 1961 through 2014 since 1961 is the year the Minnesota Twins came into existence. I cut the list off at 100 meaning that you had to have at least 100 “triple double” games to make the list. It turns out to be a Whose Who of baseball hitting. You can almost use this list to see who might deserve to be in the Hall of Fame, assuming of course you excluded things like position played, fielding and the whole steroid situation.
The top five highest active players are Albert Pujols with 152, Carlos Beltran with 118, Jason Giambi with 117, David Ortiz with 111 and Alfonso Soriano with 100. Future Hall of Famers? We will have to wait and see.
I also used the same “triple double” criteria to determine who the Minnesota Twins “triple double” leaders are and I used a cutoff of 30 games.
|1||Harmon Killebrew||83||Ind. Games|
|2||Kirby Puckett||82||Ind. Games|
|3||Tony Oliva||71||Ind. Games|
|4||Kent Hrbek||57||Ind. Games|
|5||Justin Morneau||53||Ind. Games|
|6||Joe Mauer||45||Ind. Games|
|7||Bob Allison||44||Ind. Games|
|8||Gary Gaetti||43||Ind. Games|
|9||Torii Hunter||36||Ind. Games|
|10||Jacque Jones||35||Ind. Games|
|11||Larry Hisle||31||Ind. Games|
|12||Michael Cuddyer||31||Ind. Games|
|13||Rod Carew||30||Ind. Games|
|14||Tom Brunansky||30||Ind. Games|
I am surprised to see Jacques Jones on this list. Larry Hisle only played in Minnesota for five seasons but he put up some nice numbers during his stay here and a lot of Twins fans have no idea who he is.