Dan's Dugout: Martinez Makes Rare Triple Crown Run • Latino Sports


Dan’s Dugout: Martinez Makes Rare Triple Crown Run


Baseball’s Triple Crown is so rare that no National Leaguer has won it since Joe Medwick in 1937.

In fact, only one player has won it in either league since 1967.

But now that J.D. Martinez plays half his schedule in the compact confines of Fenway Park, the crown could soon be headed to Boston.

J.D. Martinez has found Fenway to his liking

Martinez is making a serious bid for the 15th Triple Crown in the modern history of the game, dating back to the foundation of the American League in 1901.

He started September as the league leader in runs batted in and co-leader in home runs. Only Red Sox teammate Mookie Betts stood between Martinez and the batting crown – by a measly eight points.

The 30-year-old outfielder signed with the Red Sox after 2018 spring training had already started but wasted no time showing he was worth the five-year, $110 million haul he received.

On the eve of Labor Day, he ranked first in hits (166), extra-base hits (76), total bases (321), and runs batted in (a career-best 115). He had just one less home run than Oakland’s Khris Davis, the league leader.

The 6’3″, 220-pound slugger has been an All-Star twice but never played for a pennant-winner despite three trips to the playoffs. That void will be filled this fall when the Red Sox reach the playoffs, presumably as champions of the American League East and owners of the best winning percentage in the majors.

They couldn’t have done that without Martinez, a Miami native with Cuban roots who previously played for the Houston Astros, Detroit Tigers, and Arizona Diamondbacks.

Boston slugger J.D. Martinez has much to smile about

Although he could win a World Series ring, Martinez might have more difficulty in the race for the Most Valuable Player trophy.

Ted Williams, who spent his entire career with the Red Sox, twice won Triple Crowns without winning MVP awards in the same season.

Carl Yastrzemski, who succeeded Williams as the club’s right man in left field, took home both in 1967, as did Mickey Mantle in 1956, Frank Robinson in 1966, and Miguel Cabrera in 2012.

Martinez might fall victim to vote-splitting, however, because Betts has also been so good for the same team. It could be tough for voters to choose between the top-of-the-order catalyst and the reliable slugger who knocks him in.

Also certain to get MVP consideration are Alex Bregman (Astros), Jose Ramirez (Indians), and Mike Trout (Angels), who already has two on his resume.

About Dan Schlossberg

Former AP sportswriter Dan Schlossberg of Fair Lawn, NJ has produced 35 baseball books, including autobiographies of Ron Blomberg, Al Clark, and Milo Hamilton. Also a broadcaster, he is the host and executive producer of Braves Banter and Travel Itch Radio and a contributor to Sirius XM.

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