Since 1950 there have only been four Major League Baseball players who have accomplished the feat. In that same time frame the same feat has been accomplished six times, by five different players in the New Brunswick Senior Baseball League. Three of those players have donned the Royals’ uniform, and two continue to do so. Catcher and first baseman Jody Peterson who is the only 2 time winner won the Triple Crown in both 2002 and 2007, while left fielder Dave Barr took home the honour in 2011. The other winner was Brent Hallett who was the first player to ever win the Triple Crown in the NBSBL.
This year has seen another Royal add his name to the list, Mike Washburn. Washburn finished his Triplecrown season batting .486 with 14 home runs (2nd all time to teammate Peterson’s record 15) and a new league record 62 runs batted in. These are some very lofty numbers and elite company to be joining for the young Royal slugger.
Winning the Triple Crown is one of the hardest things a player can do. There are so many factors that contribute when it comes to winning. Barr sums it all up quite easily.
“Winning the Triple Crown is extremely difficult because you can only control what you do, you have no effect on what the other players in the league end up doing.”
Peterson agrees that it is one of the most difficult things you can do as a baseball player.
“Winning a triplecrown is extremely difficult. Combining power, average and consistency day in and day out all summer long. In addition to those demands he has to play with guys like David Barr and Derek Wilson who make winning the award pretty tough as you can often times find yourself looking up at one of them on the leader board. Barr has the third highest career batting average in the entire league history so he’s the standard you chase for in average every summer and he’s real hard to beat.”
Washburn has always been a very good talent when it comes to baseball as displayed by his resume, but a Triple Crown has never been something that has crossed his mind, let alone him come close to winning.
“I have never come close to winning the Triple Crown before,” said Washburn, “it is honestly something that has never crossed my mind.”
Despite never coming close to winning a Triple Crown, Washburn ran away early and never looked back despite the best efforts of his teammates who weren’t about to take it easy on him.
“I can promise you that Mike would not want anyone to ease up,” said Barr, “the more homeruns our team hits the better for our team, and winning is the thing we really want to do. Mike is a competitor and always has been, he would want everyone to play their hardest and come after him right until the final at bat of the season if that is what it took.”
Just like Barr stated, it’s all about winning games and not individual accolades when it comes to Washburn.
“It’s not possible without the talent we have on our team,” said Washburn, “and an award like this means I have been fortunate enough to contribute to our team winning, and that’s most important.”