Triple Crown is easier for a horse, of course

Baseball's crown takes more time against a much bigger field

     Which is more impressive, winning the Triple Crown in horse racing or winning baseball’s Triple Crown?

     * For a horse, the Triple Crown consist of winning the Kentucky Derby, the Preakness and Belmont Stakes.

     * In baseball, the Triple Crown is leading your league in batting average, home runs and runs batted in.

     * For a horse, you beat the fastest 3-year-olds in the world.

     * In baseball, you beat out the best players in the world by successfully doing what is widely considered the most difficult thing in sports – hitting a baseball.

     * Horse racing’s Triple Crown takes about 6½ minutes total to win.

     * Winning in baseball’s Triple Crown takes roughly six months and 162 games to win.

     * To win one crown you have to beat out horses lying in wait who don’t enter all three races -- “cowards” in the words of California Chrome co-owner Steve Coburn.

     * There are no shortcuts to win baseball crown.

     * For horses, it’s about speed and endurance. They must win on dirt tracks of varying lengths.

     * Baseball players must hit for average and power.

     * In horse racing history, there have been 11 Triple Crown winners.

     * In baseball, there have been 16 winners, although there is a debate as to which 16. MLB.com (shown below) recognizes Hugh Duffy in 1894, but not Tip O’Neill in 1887. Baseball-reference.com recognizes O’Neill, but not Duffy.

     * Horse racing’s last Triple Crown winner was Affirmed in 1978.

     * Two years ago, Detroit’s Miguel Cabrera ended a 45-year drought by winning the American League Triple Crown. The National League has not had a Triple Crown winner since St. Louis’ Joe Medwick in 1937.

     Which Triple Crown is more difficult to win? Baseball’s seems far more difficult because it spans a much greater length of time against a much bigger field.

     So with apologies to Mr. Ed, winning the Triple Crown is tougher for a human than for a horse, of course.

BASEBALL TRIPLE CROWN

American League

 2012

Miguel Cabrera, Detroit

44

139

.330

 1967

Carl Yastrzemski, Boston

44

121

.326

 1966

Frank Robinson, Baltimore

49

122

.316

 1956

Mickey Mantle, New York

52

130

.353

 1947

Ted Williams, Boston

32

114

.343

 1942

Ted Williams, Boston

36

137

.356

 1934

Lou Gehrig, New York

49

165

.363

 1933

Jimmie Foxx, Philadelphia

48

163

.356

 1909

Ty Cobb, Detroit

9

115

.377

 1901

Nap Lajoie, Philadelphia

14

125

.422

National League

 YEAR

 PLAYER

HR

RBI

AVG

 1937

Joe Medwick, St. Louis

31

154

.374

 1933

Chuck Klein, Philadelphia

28

120

.368

 1925

Rogers Hornsby, St. Louis

39

143

.403

 1922

Rogers Hornsby, St. Louis

42

152

.401

 1894

Hugh Duffy, Boston

18

145

.438

 1878

Paul Hines, Providence

4

50

.358

HORSE RACING TRIPLE CROWN

 

Year

Name

Jockey

Trainer

Owner

1919

Sir Barton

John Loftus

H. G. Bedwell

J. K. L. Ross

1930

Gallant Fox

Earl Sande

James Fitzsimmons

Belair Stud

1935

Omaha

William Saunders

James Fitzsimmons

Belair Stud

1937

War Admiral

Charley Kurtsinger

George Conway

Samuel D. Riddle

1941

Whirlaway

Eddie Arcaro

Ben A. Jones

Calumet Farm

1943

Count Fleet

John Longden

Don Cameron

Mrs. J. D. Hertz

1946

Assault

Warren Mehrtens

Max Hirsch

King Ranch

1948

Citation

Eddie Arcaro

Ben A. Jones

Calumet Farm

1973

Secretariat

Ron Turcotte

Lucien Laurin

Meadow Stable

1977

Seattle Slew

Jean Cruguet

William Turner, Jr.

Karen L. Taylor

1978

Affirmed

Steve Cauthen

Lazaro S. Barrera

Harbor View Farm

 

 

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