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In baseball, a double is the act of a batter striking the pitched ball and safely reaching second base without being called out by the umpire, without the benefit of a fielder's misplay (see error) or another runner being put out on a fielder's choice.
Typically, a double is a well-hit ball into the outfield that either finds the "gap" between the center fielder and one of the corner outfielders, bounces off the outfield wall and down into the field of play, or is hit up one of the two foul lines. To hit many doubles, one must have decent hitting skill and power; it also helps to run well enough to beat an outfield throw.
Doubles typically drive in runs from third base, second base, and even from first base at times. When total bases and slugging percentages are calculated, the number two is used for the calculation. The all-time leader in doubles is Tris Speaker, with 792.
A two-base hit awarded by an umpire when a batted ball is hit fairly and bounces out of play is referred to as a ground rule double. The batter is awarded second base and any runners advance two bases from the base they occupied at the time of the pitch. Prior to 1931, such hits were considered home runs. A two-base hit awarded because the batter hit into a special situation defined in the ground rules is also defined as a ground rule double. An example of this occurs where the rules of Chicago's Wrigley Field award a ground rule double if a batted ball is lost in the vines on the outfield bleacher wall. The rules of the Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome in Minneapolis awarded a ground rule double if the ball became stuck in its Teflon ceiling. This happened only once in major league baseball—Dave Kingman hit a ball into the ceiling during a 1984 game.
Doubles leaders, Major League BaseballEdit
The following players are the top 10 major league doubles hitters of all-time and have each hit more than 625 career doubles:
- Tris Speaker – 792
- Pete Rose – 746
- Stan Musial – 725
- Ty Cobb – 724
- Craig Biggio – 668
- George Brett – 665
- Nap Lajoie – 657
- Carl Yastrzemski – 646
- Honus Wagner – 640
- David Ortiz – 632
Derek Jeter has the most career doubles (32) in postseason history.
Only five players in major league history have reached 50 or more doubles in a season at least three times: Tris Speaker (1912, 1920–21, 1923, 1926), Paul Waner (1928, 1932, 1936), Stan Musial (1944, 1946, 1953), Brian Roberts (2004, 2008–09) and Albert Pujols (2003–04, 2012).
Individual season leaders:
- Earl Webb (1931) – 67
- George Burns (1926) – 64
- Joe Medwick (1936) – 64
- Hank Greenberg (1934) – 63
- Paul Waner (1932) – 62
- Charles Gehringer (1936) – 60
The most doubles hit by a player in a major league game is four. This has been achieved more than 40 times, most recently on April 22, 2017, by David Peralta for the Arizona Diamondbacks against the Los Angeles Dodgers. Only two players—Billy Werber and Albert Belle—have achieved the feat twice. Johnny Damon and Shannon Stewart are the only players to have hit four doubles in interleague play, doing so in separate games on July 18, 2000. The St. Louis Cardinals have recorded the most doubles by a team in one game: they hit 13 doubles in a 17–13 win over the Chicago Cubs on July 12, 1931 in the second game of a doubleheader.
Frank Isbell of the Chicago White Sox hit four doubles in game 5 of the 1906 World Series, the only time this has been achieved in the postseason. The sole player to have twice hit three doubles in a postseason game is Albert Pujols, both times in the 2011 postseason. The most doubles hit in a postseason game by both teams combined is 13, by the New York Yankees and Boston Red Sox in game 3 of the 2004 ALCS. There have been 13 postseason games that ended with a walk-off double; the most recent was hit by Carlos Correa of the Houston Astros in game 2 of the 2017 ALCS.
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