Major League Baseball hasn't had an offensive Triple Crown winner since 1967. As the drought nears the half-century mark, it's worth wondering if and when it will ever be captured again.
From the start of the modern game in the early 1900s until Carl Yastrzemski took home the honor in '67, there was at least one winner in every decade except the 1910s. The Triple Crown was awarded 13 times to 11 different players from 1901-1967, and the list is a virtual Who's Who of baseball greats.
It begins with Nap Lajoie, ends with Yaz, and includes names like Rogers Hornsby, Ted Williams, Micky Mantle, Frank Robinson, Ty Cobb, Lou Gehrig and Jimmie Foxx. A true collection of legends.
The question is, who among active players could add his name to to this pantheon? Recent seasons have seen amazing batting averages from Minnesota's Joe Mauer, who won three batting titles in four seasons, but he lacks the pop to lead in home runs.
Players like Toronto's Jose Bautista and New York's Mark Teixeira have the power stroke, but are unlikely to collect enough hits.
Perhaps the most likely to accomplish the feat would be Albert Pujols, who, when healthy, is a lock for 40 or more dingers and an average north of .320. He certainly gets the RBI totals. In fact, 2010 saw him capture two of the three requisite categories but a sixth-place finish in average.
Looking at Pujols' career, it's easy to see why the Triple Crown is so difficult to achieve; for one player to be dominant across three dimensions of today's game is a monumental challenge.
However, history tells us that it's not an impossible goal, and if Pujols can't manage it, there are other possibilities. Boston Red Sox slugger Adrian Gonzalez is right at the top of any short list for several reasons.