Triple Crown? Judge going for the Quadruple Triple Crown

September 30th, 2022

We know Aaron Judge is in the running for a Triple Crown, currently second to Luis Arraez in the American League batting race, .315 to .313, while leading MLB in homers and the AL in RBIs.

We know that he’d be the first player to win a Triple Crown in a season with 60-plus homers.

But did we know he could also win just the third Quadruple Triple Crown in AL/NL history? Let us explain.

Let’s start with: the (regular) Triple Crown

This is meant as no disrespect to the run-of-the-mill Triple Crown, of course. It’s no small feat. In more than 11,500 qualified batting seasons from 1920, when RBIs became official, through 2021, there have been just 12 instances of a player leading at least his league in batting average, home runs and RBIs.

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

That’s a select group already, but those three categories are not the end-all, be-all of production, offensively. Judge, for instance, leads at least the AL in numerous other categories, too. Which? Glad you asked.

And then there’s ... the Quadruple Triple Crown

Judge leads at least the AL in a specific suite of 11 categories, amongst others, which would be an even 12 if he regained the batting title lead. Four times three equals 12, and thus, the Quadruple Triple Crown.

The 12 categories are: home runs, RBIs, batting average, runs, on-base percentage, slugging percentage, OPS, walks, extra-base hits, total bases, wRC+ and WAR, per FanGraphs, among position players.

Again, Judge leads his league in all of these right now, save batting average. If the Triple Crown is meant to encapsulate a broad impact – hitting for average and power while driving in runs – this takes that a step further, adding in other elements of offensive impact and quantifying them in different ways. Of course, there are practically endless combinations and permutations of stats to choose from – but these are ours for the 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. Thus, each was at least a Sextuple Crown. With Judge vying for a Quadruple Triple, or Duodecuple, Crown, here’s where the 12 prior Triple Crowns stack up. Perhaps we’ll learn some new words along the way, too.

Septuple Crown: 2012 Miguel Cabrera

In his memorable campaign, Cabrera led at least the AL in seven of our categories – the six above, plus extra-base hits. He was second in runs (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 17th in walks (66, Adam Dunn 105).

Octuple Crowns: None

Nonuple Crowns: 1933 Jimmie Foxx, 1934 Lou Gehrig

Foxx and Gehrig each garnered nine of the categories, coming just three short. 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 was second in walks (109, Foxx 111) and extra-base hits (95, Hank Greenberg 96), and ranked tied for third in runs (128, Charlie Gehringer 135).

Decuple Crowns: 1925 Rogers Hornsby, 1933 Chuck Klein, 1937 Joe Medwick, 1956 Mickey Mantle

These four players came even closer, leading their leagues in 10 of the categories – just two short. Hornsby finished second in two stats: runs (133, Kiki Cuyler led with 144) and walks (83, Jack Fournier 86). In ‘33, Klein was tied for second in runs (101, Pepper Martin 122) and tied for sixth in walks (56, Mel Ott 75). Medwick came in third in on-base percentage (.414, Dolph Camilli .446) and 28th in walks (41, Ott 102). It was walks and OBP that kept Mantle from the 12, too, finishing second in each (.464 OBP, Williams .479; 112 walks, Eddie Yost 151).

Undecuple Crowns: 1922 Rogers Hornsby, 1966 Frank Robinson, 1967 Carl Yastrzemski

We’re almost there. These three players could practically smell that Quadruple Triple Crown – if, of course, it were a real thing and these stats were all in existence and part of the lexicon then, which they were not. And each player was short the same category: walks. 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. That’s our list, for now, of players to lead their leagues in home runs, RBIs, batting average, runs, on-base percentage, slugging percentage, OPS, walks, extra-base hits, total bases, wRC+ and WAR in a season. Just a Hall of Famer, twice – in two years when he did not win MVP. The list of Triple Crown winners is already small, but if we quadruple our categories, it’s, as expected, even rarer.

Judge has led in all 12 at the end of multiple days this season. As it stands entering Friday, if he regains the batting average lead, he’d be in Quadruple Triple, or Duodecuple, Crown position again. More potential history for the powerful slugger.