Baseball Triple Doubles

Triple Double StarsThe 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.

Rk Player #Matching
1 Alex Rodriguez 191
2 Barry Bonds 184
3 Sammy Sosa 158
4 Manny Ramirez 157
5 Albert Pujols 152
6 Ken Griffey 143
7 Jim Thome 142
8 Chipper Jones 137
9 Gary Sheffield 134
10 Vladimir Guerrero 134
11 Frank Thomas 127
12 Jeff Bagwell 127
13 Hank Aaron 124
14 Jim Rice 123
15 Frank Robinson 122
16 Eddie Murray 122
17 Willie Stargell 121
18 Carl Yastrzemski 120
19 Mike Schmidt 119
20 Carlos Beltran 118
21 Billy Williams 117
22 Jason Giambi 117
23 Rafael Palmeiro 116
24 Carlos Delgado 115
25 Dave Winfield 114
26 Juan Gonzalez 113
27 Jose Canseco 113
28 Larry Walker 112
29 David Ortiz 111
30 Mark McGwire 111
31 Albert Belle 111
32 Todd Helton 109
33 Andre Dawson 109
34 Mike Piazza 107
35 Willie Mays 107
36 Reggie Jackson 107
37 Joe Carter 107
38 Willie McCovey 103
39 Jeff Kent 103
40 Andres Galarraga 102
41 Jim Edmonds 102
42 Cal Ripken 101
43 Alfonso Soriano 100
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Play Index Tool Used
Generated 5/29/2014.

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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.

2006 - present script logo for BP

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.

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.

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