Baseball's Triple Crown is leading the league in home runs, runs batted in and batting average. The stats may no longer be the best descriptions of a player's offensive season but it is still a very impressive feat. One that has not occurred since Carl Yastrzemski won the last Triple Crown in 1967 and in the National League since Joe Mewick in 1937.
This season in the National League there is a race as 3 men Carlos Gonzalez, Joey Votto and Albert Pujols have a shot at being number 1 in all three categories. It is unlikely that one will end up in the lead and the hunt for a Triple Crown winner will last another season so let's take the time to examine some other near misses for Giants hitters:
1961 Orlando Cepeda: .311, 46 HR, 142 RBI's
The Baby Bull put up a heck of a season in 1961 his best as a Giant. He led the league in homers and Runs batted in but fell short in batting average losing to the great Roberto Clemente who hit .351. A trend that many Giants sluggers would repeat in the years to come.
1968 Willie McCovey: .293, 36 HR, 105 RBI's
Stretch took the "Double Crown" this season leading the league in homers and RBI's but falling short in batting average. McCovey was in his prime and at the top of his game and would make another run at the Triple Crown the next season.
1969 Willie McCovey: .320, 45 HR, 126 RBI's
McCovey for the second straight year won the "Double Crown", he posted his only full-season average over .300, but his .320 mark still fell 24 points shy of Pete Rose, who led the majors in batting average in both of McCovey's "Double Crown" seasons.
1989 Kevin Mitchell: .291, 47 HR, 125 RBI's
Another of the many "Double Crowns" won by Giants players, Mitchell was a long shot as he didn't hit for a high average only once posting a season over .300 and fell far short of the mark set by Tony Gwyn.
1993 Barry Bonds: .336, 46 HR, 123 RBI's
This was Bonds only "Double Crown" season and his first in the orange and black. The only thing that stopped the chance at the Triple Crown was of Andres Galarraga's Coors Field fueled season where he hit .402 at home; a staggering 74 points higher then on the road.
This would be the closest Bonds ever came to winning the Triple Crown. He would have other seasons where he led one catagory but never again would he make it to the top of 2 at the same time.
2002 Barry Bonds: .370, 46 HR, 110 RBI's
With these crazy numbers it is hard to believe that Bonds only lead the league in batting average. He finished 18 RBI's short of Lance Berkman and 3 home runs short of Sammy Sosa. The league leading walks that limited him to only 403 at bats in over 600 plate appearances didn't help either.
2004 Barry Bonds: .362, 45 HR, 101 RBI's
This is the same song and dace as what happened to Bonds in 2002. He lead the league in average but fell just short in homers and RBI's. Again only 3 behind eventual homer champ and contract year super star Adrian Beltre and in RBI's he was 30 behind a Coors Field aided Vinny Castilla.