In baseball, a triple is the act of a batter safely reaching third base after hitting the ball, with neither the benefit of a fielder's misplay (see error) nor another runner being put out on a fielder's choice.
Triples have become somewhat rare in Major League Baseball. It often requires a ball hit to a distant part of the field, or the ball taking an unusual bounce in the outfield. It also usually means that the batter hit the ball solidly, and be a speedy runner. It also often requires that the batter's team have a good strategic reason for wanting the batter on third base, as a double will already put the batter in scoring position and there will often be little strategic advantage to taking the risk of trying to stretch a double into a triple. (The inside-the-park home run is much rarer than a triple). The trend for modern ballparks is to have smaller outfields (often increasing the number of home runs); it has ensured that the career and season triples leaders mostly consist of those who played early in Major League Baseball history, generally in the dead-ball era.
The triple is considered one of the most exciting plays in baseball. A triple is the hardest to achieve in terms of hitting for the cycle (a home run does not have to be "inside the park" to count towards the cycle, though Harry Danning did hit an inside the park home run as part of the cycle).
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