Putting the wait for a new Triple Crown into perspective

Today, Miguel Cabrera goes for the Triple Crown. How long has it been since someone won the Triple Crown?

Well, it was last done by Carl Yastrzemski in 1967. That’s 45 years ago. Let’s see if we can put that in perspective.

Last time someone won the Triple Crown, the A’s played in Kansas City. There were only 20 teams, and there were no baseball divisions. Bud Selig had nothing to do with big league baseball. Only seven guys had 500 career homers. Just six pitchers had 2,500 Ks. Now there are 30. Only 11 had 100 saves. Now 132 relievers are in that club. Jamie Moyer was in preschool last time someone hit the Triple Crown.

Let’s move it beyond the world of baseball for a second. Last time someone won the Triple Crown, LBJ was president, Mao Zedong ran China, Leonid Brezhnev was the head of the USSR, and Charles DeGaulle ran France. Nelson Mandela was in jail on Robben Island. Ronald Reagan was the new governor of California. Barack Obama attended grammar school in Indonesia. The Vietnam War was not only going on, it was still popular.

Last time someone won the Triple Crown, Che Guevera was still alive, and fighting in Bolivia. Last time someone won the Triple Crown, Helen Keller was still alive. Henry Pu-Yi, the last emperor of China, was still alive last time someone got the Triple Crown. Also still alive: Otis Redding, John Steinbeck, Boris Karloff, Dwight Eisenhower, and Judy Garland.

Here were some songs in the Top Ten the last time someone won the Triple Crown: The Letter by the Box Tops (which was No. 1), Reflections by the Supremes, Higher and Higher by Jackie Wilson, and Brown Eyed Girl by Van Morrison. Also, the debut album of the Jimi Hendrix Experience had just come out.

Movies in the theater: Bonnie and Clyde, Battle of Algiers (new in US theaters anyway), The Dirty Dozen, To Sir with Love, In the Heat of the Night, The Flim Flam Man.

Star Trek, the original one, was a TV show entering its second season. “The Trouble with Tribbles” episode would air in December 1967.

Last time someone won the Triple Crown, there had been only one Super Bowl. And no one cared about it.

It’s been 45 years since the last Triple Crown. Here are some people who didn’t live to their 45th birthday: Marvin Gaye, Billie Holiday, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Mary, Queen of Scots, Ray Oyler, Natalie Wood, Stephen Austin, Alan Freed, Lyle Alzado, Junior Seau, Elvis Presley, Robert Kennedy, Gary Coleman, Edgar Allen Poe, and Amelia Earhart.

Yaz clinching the Triple Crown is closer in time to Mussolini coming to power in Italy than it is to the present day. It’s also closer in time to the first Yankees world championship than it is to the present day.

The last time anyone won the Triple Crown, it had been only 59 years since the last Cubs world championship.

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  1. Señor Spielbergo said...

    Doesn’t have anything to do with the article other than “end of the regular season,” but I wanted to post a random observation I had somewhere.

    Living in Toronto Blue Jays territory, I saw the AL East hierarchy change this season, and noticed it was similar to 1997’s: the Orioles and Yankees at the top, the Blue Jays and Red Sox at the bottom.

    But looking at the end-of-season standings for 2012, I noticed how many other teams’ win totals mirrored their 1997s. 16 of MLB’s 28 teams in 1997, in fact, came within nine or fewer wins (either way) of their ‘97 totals this year.

    0-win difference: Padres, Pirates
    1-win difference: Yankees
    2-win difference: Dodgers, Twins
    3-win difference: Blue Jays
    4-win difference: Giants
    5-win difference: Angels, Brewers, Orioles, Royals, White Sox
    7-win difference: Braves, Cubs
    9-win difference: Red Sox, Tigers

    Has anyone done any analysis to figure out which seasons are the most similar? 1997 and 2012 would have to be up there…

  2. Señor Spielbergo said...

    (follow-up) Yes, I realize the AL East hierarchy didn’t change _that_ much: basically the Orioles and Red Sox switched places and that’s it. That’s still a 14-year streak of losing seasons in Baltimore and a 14-year streak of winning seasons in Boston being broken in the same year.

    Maybe the Yankees’ 20-year streak of winning seasons will be broken next year – here’s hoping!

  3. scott said...

    Nicely done, Chris!  Though I am surprised there are no other thoughtful articles on the subject here… I’ve seen all the vitriol-laced articles elsewhere (amazing how many people feel the need to vent about people/ideas/accomplishments they otherwise wouldn’t care about!) and was hoping to come here and read more clear-eyed comments about this, so I’m disappointed.  Oh well…..  Well done Miggy!  I was pulling for you all the way but never actually believed it would happen until the last few days.

    And Senor, that’s pretty cool too.

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