When Josh Hamilton was signed by the Los Angeles Angels this off-season, many expected the teaming of Albert Pujols, Mike Trout and Hamilton in the same lineup to create an opportunity for them to put up historic numbers and become one of the greatest hitting trio of teammates. They still might do so, although it is unlikely they will reach the heights of Ruth/Gehrig/Name-Your-Third-Yankee. All this, though, got me to thinking about great hitting trios in the Giants’ history, and so I went through, year by year, and created a big table. I’ve winnowed that down to the best ten single-season performances by a trio of Giants, measured by Baseball Reference’s batting runs above average, which measures the number of runs better or worse than average a player was solely as a hitter.
|Best Hitting Trios Since 1900 by Batting Runs|
|2001||185||B Bonds||116||R Aurilia||40||J Kent||29|
|2000||165||B Bonds||62||J Kent||58||E Burks||45|
|2002||162||B Bonds||109||J Kent||46||R Sanders||7|
|1930||159||B Terry||64||M Ott||52||F Lindstrom||43|
|2004||144||B Bonds||106||J Snow||26||R Durham||12|
|1963||143||W Mays||56||O Cepeda||46||W McCovey||41|
|1927||136||R Hornsby||65||G Harper||39||B Terry||32|
|1970||127||W McCovey||54||D Dietz||39||B Bonds||34|
|1993||127||B Bonds||73||R Thompson||28||M Williams||26|
|1965||124||W Mays||62||W McCovey||38||J Hart||24|
|1989||124||K Mitchell||60||W Clark||55||R Thompson||9|
No, you haven’t miscounted. There are eleven years here, only because I couldn’t bring myself to choose between one of Mays’s greatest seasons and the pennant-winners of 1989. Barry Bonds just broke the game of baseball, didn’t he? 2001 and 2002 were monster seasons where he accounts for about two thirds of what the trio accomplishes. 2000, with Kent and Burkes helping, is more evenly distributed. (That’s Barry’s dad Bobby in the 1970 trio.) Rogers Hornsby is part of a trio in his only season in a Giants uniform. Some of the Mays and McCovey teams of the 1960s make the list. So does 1930, when Terry hit .401. It should be noted that a lot of the Terry/Ott teams of the 1930s and the Mays/McCovey/Cepeda teams of the 1960s make the list at 12-20.
By the way, the 2001 Giants trio ranks eighth on the all-time top ten. The rest of the spots on that top ten are taken up by Ruth/Gehrig/Combs-Meusel-Lazzeri-Chapman.