One of the least common hits in baseball, you get a triple by hitting the ball into the field of play and getting to third base safely. Pete Rose's 4,193rd hit was a triple. This was his second hit as baseball's hit king.

The all-time career-leader in triples is Sam Crawford (who played for Cincinnati and Detroit from 1899-1917) with 312. His longtime teammate and fellow Hall of Famer Ty Cobb is second with 295. Crawford's record won't be broken anytime soon, as only one current player (as of the end of 2000) has over 100 career triples (Lance Johnson, with 117).

Owen Wilson of the Pittsburgh Pirates holds the all-time single-season triples record, with 36, in 1912. By comparison, Cristian Guzman of the Minnesota Twins led the majors in 2000 with 20 triples.

With ballparks getting smaller and the increasing focus on power rather than speed, triples are less common than in the past.

Tri"ple (?), a. [L. triplus; tri- (see Tri-) + -plus, as in duplus double: cf. F. triple. See Double, and cf. Treble.]

1.

Consisting of three united; multiplied by three; threefold; as, a triple knot; a triple tie.

By thy triple shape as thou art seen.
Dryden.

2.

Three times repeated; treble. See Treble.

3.

One of three; third.

[Obs.]

Shak.

Triple crown, the crown, or tiara, of the pope. See Tiara, 2.<-- (b) (Sport) The championship in three specific categories of a sport in one year, if won by a single contender; as (Baseball) The championship in batting average, home runs, and runs batted in (RBI's) in one league. --> -- Triple-expansion steam engine, a compound steam engine in which the same steam performs work in three cylinders successively. -- Triple measure Mus., a measure of tree beats of which first only is accented. -- Triple ratio Math., a ratio which is equal to 3. -- Triple salt Chem., a salt containing three distinct basic atoms as radicals; thus, microcosmic salt is a triple salt. -- Triple star Astron., a system of three stars in close proximity. -- Triple time Mus., that time in which each measure is divided into three equal parts. -- Triple valve, in an automatic air brake for railroad cars, the valve under each car, by means of which the brake is controlled by a change of pressure in the air pipe leading from the locomotive.

Tri"ple, v. i. [imp. & p. p. Tripled (?); p. pr. & vb. n. Tripling (?).] [Cf. F. tripler. See Triple, a.]

To make threefold, or thrice as much or as many; to treble; as, to triple the tax on coffee.