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Lou Gehrig finished "a triple short of the cycle" 42 times

Aug 19, 2010, 4:16 PM EDT

This morning I suggested that hitters finishing “a triple short of the cycle” isn’t nearly as noteworthy as baseball writers like me seem to think, as it’s happened 172 times already this season.
I figured that alone was stretching the limits of reader interest, but apparently not. A few of you actually asked about the all-time leaders in “a triple short of the cycle” games. As always I turned to the amazing “Play Index” on for the answer:

Lou Gehrig          42
Babe Ruth           38
Alex Rodriguez      38
Ted Williams        35
Barry Bonds         35
Stan Musial         32
Billy Williams      32
Juan Gonzalez       32
Jimmie Foxx         31
Willie Mays         30
Rogers Hornsby      30
Al Simmons          30

Not a whole lot of surprises on that list, although Billy Williams and Juan Gonzalez are in the midst of a little better company than usual. Lou Gehrig finished “a triple short of the cycle” 42 times, which is an average of once every 51.5 games for the Hall of Famer. Alex Rodriguez is the active leader with 38, followed by Magglio Ordonez with 26 and Albert Pujols with 25.
And now, let’s never speak of this again.
UPDATE: OK, maybe not never again. For a whole lot more on this subject, check out the research done by Good stuff.

  1. Simon DelMonte - Aug 19, 2010 at 4:27 PM

    What about players a single short? Or a double short? What about players who hit a single, a double and two homers and then wanted to stop at third? What about Jose Reyes, who is rarely a triple short of a cycle, merely a homer and a double short?

  2. Alex K - Aug 19, 2010 at 4:31 PM

    Cano did this today…

  3. bbeer - Aug 19, 2010 at 4:35 PM

    You know Aaron, you could have an article a day based on things like this “Stupid entertaining fact of the day”
    and basically you could take suggestions from readers like us on things that we always wanted to know but dont get paid/have the time to look into it. I think that could be pretty cool….

  4. The Dangerous Mabry - Aug 19, 2010 at 5:00 PM

    Jose Reyes:
    25 games with a single and triple, but no 2B or HR
    5 games with a single, double, and homer, no triple.
    6 games with single, double, and triple, no homer.
    2 games with single, triple, homer, no double.
    0 games with double, triple, homer, no single.
    And 1 game hit for the cycle.
    I don’t subscribe to play index, so I can’t see all the names, but the most games in a career that came a homer short of the cycle is 3. 10 players have achieved that, including Brian Giles, Hank Aaron, Joe Cronin, Ellis Burks, and Lou Gehrig.

  5. - Aug 20, 2010 at 2:51 PM

    Alex Rodriguez is the active leader with 38
    How many of those games were with the Texas Rangers where A-Roid has admitted to being on Steroids during his Texas years?

  6. Ditto65 - Aug 21, 2010 at 8:35 PM

    Wouldn’t roids help him hit more triples, making it less likely that he would be short triple in the cycle?

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