We know Aaron Judge is in contention for a Triple Crown, currently second to Luis Arraez in the American League batting, .315 to .313, while leading the MLB in homers and the AL in RBI.
We know he would be the first player to win a Triple Crown in a season with more than 60 home runs.
But did we know he could also win the third quadruple triple crown in AL/NL history? Let’s explain.
Let’s start with: the triple crown (regular)
2012: Miguel Cabrera, Tigers (AL)
1967: Carl Yastrzemski, Red Sox (AL)
1966: Frank Robinson, Orioles (AL)
1956: Mickey Mantle, Yankees (AL)*
1947: Ted Williams, Red Sox (AL)
1942: Ted Williams, Red Sox (AL)*
1937: Joe Medwick, Cardinals (NL)
1934: Lou Gehrig, Yankees (AL)*
1933: Jimmie Foxx, Athletics (AL)
1933: Chuck Klein, Phillies (NL)
1925: Rogers Hornsby, Cardinals (NL)*
1922: Rogers Hornsby, Cardinals (NL)
* = Led all AL/NL players in all three categories
It’s already a select group, but those three categories aren’t the end of the line, offensively. Judge, for example, at least leads the AL in many other categories as well. Who? Glad you asked.
And then there is… the Quadruple Triple Crown
Judge at least leads the AL in a specific 11-category run, among others, which would even be 12 if he regained the lead in the batting title. Four times three equals 12, and therefore, the Quadruple Triple Crown.
The 12 categories are: home runs, RBI, batting average, runs, on-base percentage, slugging percentage, OPS, walks, extra-base hits, total bases, wRC+ and WAR, by FanGraphs, among positional players.
Again, Judge leads his league in all of that right now except batting average. If the Triple Crown is meant to encapsulate broad impact – hitting for average and power while driving in runs – it takes it a step further, adding other elements of attacking impact and quantifying it in different ways. Of course, there are virtually endless combinations and permutations of stats, but those are ours for purposes here.
Of the 12 Triple Crowns, all of those players also led at least their leagues in slugging percentage, OPS, and total bases as well. So everyone was less a sixfold crown. With the judge vying for a quadruple treble or duodecuple crown, here is where the previous 12 triple crowns stack up. Maybe we’ll also learn some new words along the way.
Sevenfold Crown: 2012 Miguel Cabrera
In his memorable campaign, Cabrera led at least the AL in seven of our categories — the six above, plus extra hits. He was second in points (109, Mike Trout led with 129) and wRC+ (166, Trout 167), tied for second in WAR (7.3, Trout 10.1), fourth in on-base percentage (. 393, Joe Mauer .416) and running 17th (66, Adam Dunn 105).
Ninefold Crowns: 1933 Jimmie Foxx, 1934 Lou Gehrig
Foxx and Gehrig each won nine of the categories, down just three. Foxx led the AL in all but runs, walks and on-base percentage. He was second in both runs (125, Gehrig led with 138) and on-base percentage (.449, Mickey Cochrane .459), and fourth in walks (96, Babe Ruth 114). In his 34 Crown year, Gehrig finished second in walks (109, Foxx 111) and extra hits (95, Hank Greenberg 96), and tied for third in runs (128, Charlie Gehringer 135).
Tenfold Crowns: 1925 Rogers Hornsby, 1933 Chuck Klein, 1937 Joe Medwick, 1956 Mickey Mantle
These four players have come even closer, leading their leagues in 10 of the categories – only two less. Hornsby finished second in two stats: runs (133, Kiki Cuyler led with 144) and walks (83, Jack Fournier 86). In 1933, Klein was tied for second in runs (101, Pepper Martin 122) and tied for sixth in walks (56, Mel Ott 75). Medwick came third in on-base percentage (.414, Dolph Camilli .446) and 28th in walks (41, Ott 102). It was the steps and OBP that also kept Mantle out of the top 12, finishing second in each (.464 OBP, Williams .479; 112 steps, Eddie Yost 151).
Tenfold Crowns: 1922 Rogers Hornsby, 1966 Frank Robinson, 1967 Carl Yastrzemski
We are almost there. These three players could practically smell that Quadruple Triple Crown – if, of course, it was a real thing and these statistics all existed and were then part of the lexicon, which they were not. And each player was short in the same category: steps. Hornsby was seventh (65, Max Carey led with 80), Robinson third (87, Harmon Killebrew 103) and Yastrzemski fourth (91, Killebrew 131). Alas, what could have been.
Duodecuple crowns: 1942 Ted Williams, 1947 Ted Williams
That’s it. This is our list, for now, of players who lead their leagues in home runs, RBIs, batting average, runs, on-base percentage, slugging percentage, OPS, walks, extra hits, total bases, wRC+ and WAR in a season. Just a Hall of Famer, twice – in two years when he didn’t win MVP. The list of Triple Crown winners is already small, but if we quadruple our categories, it is, as expected, even rarer.
Judge has led in the 12 at the end of several days this season. As it stands entering Friday, if he regains the lead in batting average, he would again be in the Quadruple Triple, or Duodecuple, Crown position. More potential story for the mighty puncher.