Dodgers Moving Up The Triples Chart

The 2006 edition of the Los Angeles Dodgers may not be hitting home runs at their expected pace, but, in a throw-back too years gone by, they have collected 42 triples. And three of the current players have seven or more, the first time that has happened since 1970.

The three-base hit, lauded by many as the most beautiful hit in baseball, has steadily declined over the seasons as the outfield walls have been moved in and the baseballs -- and as we have found out, some of the players, were juiced.

Ebbets Field, a cozy 350-399-298 feet in left, center and right, had a 405-foot left field fence at one time, allowing a long line drive to rattle around for quite some time.

The Dodgers played in the Coliseum from 1958-61 and while the left field wall was a cozy 250 feet (with a 50-foot screen), right and center was at deep as 440 feet. All four seasons in that lop-sided football stadium are ranked in the top 10 on the Los Angeles charts.

The team record for triples in a season was set by the 1970 Dodgers who had 67. The 1966 club hit 67 and the 1962 team had 65. The 2006 team is ranked sixth with 30 games left on the schedule.

The Brooklyn record, not surprisingly, is much higher, was set by the 1894 team that whaled 130. They had 105 in 1892. No other Dodger team has broken the triple-figure mark.

Five of the top 10 were in the pre-1900 time, with the 1920 team holding the "modern" record of 99.

The "Boys of Summer" you ask? They hit a ton of home runs but their best season in the three-base department was in 1953 when they banged out 59 in little Ebbets Field. The low mark for that same talented group was 32 in 1952.

The top 10 teams:
  Los Angeles      All-time
67 - 1970        130 - 1894
65 - 1962        105 - 1982
52 - 1969         99 - 1920
50 - 1958         97 - 1899
46 - 1959         93 - 1901
 
42 - 2006*        90 - 1914
40 - 1961         87 - 1896
39 - 1964         86 - 1913
29 - 1972         85 - 1921
38 - 1960         83 - 1893
38 - 1967
38 - 1971
The current team is led by that old swiftie, outfielder Kenny Lofton who has 9, outfielder Andre Ethier and shortstop Rafael Furcal with seven each. Outfielder J.D. Drew and, surprisingly enough, first baseman James Loney, have four each. Loney has seen limited action at the major league level but has been proficient to say the least. Another rookie, catcher Russell Martin, has hit three.

And if you consider three for a catcher a good total, you are right, although Johnny Roseboro, who played in both Brooklyn and Los Angeles, hit nine one season and still is in fourth place on the Los Angeles list with 44.

Three players on the roster at one time with seven or more triples is unusual and hasn't happened since 1970 when Willie Davis (16) Bill Russell (8) and Billy Grabarkewitz (8) were in form. The Dodger record is five, set in 1962 when Davis (10), Maury Wills (10), Tommy Davis (9, Ron Fairly (7) and Roseboro (7) turned the trick.

The Brooklyn record is eight different players, set in 1925. 1914, 1899 and 1894, mostly during the dead ball era.

Individually, Willie Davis holds the Dodgers record with 16 hit in 1970. The Brooklyn record is George Tredway with 26 in 1994.

To further demonstrate how the art of tripling has declined, the Dodgers career leader coming into the season was Jayson Werth, who had five. Jason Repko had three.

Lofton's nine now leads the current list, with Ethier and Furcal second at seven. The Dodgers top 10 in career three-baggers:
Individual Career Triples

  Los Angeles           All-time
110 - Willie Davis   171 - Zach Wheat
 57 - Bill Russell   110 - Willie Davis
 56 - Maury Wills     97 - Hi Myers
 44 - John Roseboro   87 - Jake Daubert
 41 - Brett Butler    82 - Duke Snider

 39 - Davey Lopes     82 - John Hummel
 37 - Raul Mondesi    80 - Pee Wee Reese
 35 - Steve Garvey    78 - Jimmy Sheckard
 32 - Wes Parker      76 - Tom Daly
 29 - Wes Parker      73 - Jimmy Johnston
 

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