Wednesday April 24, 2019
Leading the League in Doubles and Homers
The other day I wrote about the last MLB player to lead the league in doubles and triples in the same season (Cesar Tovar, 1970), along with all the guys who have lead the league in both since then, just not in the same year. (Rudi, Brett, Yount, Molitor, Van Slyke, Knoblauch, Garciaparra and Bobby Abreu.)
Steve Krevisky's SABR page, which I came across in my research, also includes a list of guys who led the league in doubles and homers in the same season. Last on his list is Willie Stargell in 1973, so I knew Krevisky's list was created before 1995, since that's when Albert Belle did it. Question: Who was the last guy to do it?
I assumed there would be more recent names. Doubles and triples hitters seem like different beasts; and while there are classic doubles hitter (Knoblauch, Edgar), you also got guys like David Ortiz and Albert Pujols who do both well. Ortiz retired 17th on the all-time HR list with 541 and 12th on the all-time doubles list with 632. Pujols is even better: 6th in dingers, 10th in doubles. So surely one of those guys led the league in both in the same season.
Well, what about Miggy. Big with both. Or A-Rod?
Nope and nope.
Junior? Never led the league in doubles. Jason Giambi? Never led the league in HRs.
Short answer is that between Stargell ‘73 and today, it’s only been Albert Belle in ‘95.
As for the guys who did in separate seasons? Longer list, with a lot of the above names.
* A-Rod is the only guy who did this for three different teams: Doubles with M’s, league leader in HRs thrice for Texas and twice for NYY
** Beltre is the only guy who did it in both leagues
Look at the last two guys. Miggy just kept missing. And Arenado? Good god, could he have gotten any closer?
BTW: If you‘ve been paying attention, you’ve noticed that the 2Bs/3Bs guys since 1970, and the 2Bs/HRs guys since 1970/73, don't include any of the same names. Meaning, since 1970, no one has led the league in all three categories (doubles, triples, homers) at some point in their career.
Here's the question: Has anyone in baseball led the league in all three stats at some point in their career?
OK, that's not the question, since, yes, guys have done that—particularly in the deadball era when homers were often inside-the-parkers, and so it was kind of the same skill set: hit the ball were they ain't and run like hell.
Here's the last question: Who has done it since the deadball era? And who is the last guy to do it?