Finding the Gap: The Most Doubles in a Game, Season and Career in MLB History
There’s something about hitting a double that not only feels good, but looks superb.
The end result, of course, is a batter standing out on a second base right smack in the middle of the diamond for all to admire.
Sure, a bloop can lead to a double, but many times one results from a flex of the muscles – a blast of a pitch into the gap or over an outfielder’s head. Some even bounce or deflect into the stands for a ground-rule double.
Who’s doubled the fun with the most two-baggers in a Major League Baseball game? In a season? In a career?
We dove into the record books to answer those questions and more (note: MLB separates regular-season and postseason statistics).
Most Doubles in a Game
Perhaps surprisingly, the record for doubles and home runs in a regular-season game during the modern era (since 1901) is the same – four. However, it’s happened over three times more often with doubles.
The next time it happens will be a milestone of sorts after Kyle Farmer of the Cincinnati Reds became the 49th player to do so on April 27, 2022, knocking four doubles in five at-bats against the San Diego Padres.
Only five players have earned a share of the record with just four at-bats in a game, most recently Kevin Newman of the Pittsburgh Pirates in 2021.
Most Doubles in a Series
Six players have collected a record seven doubles in a regular-season series, but Joe Dugan collected his bounty in the fewest games – three.
A third baseman for the Philadelphia Athletics, Dugan hit seven doubles in a road series against the Boston Red Sox from Sept. 23-25, 1920. He didn’t have any other hits in the series, which the A’s lost two games to one.
Hitters to collect seven doubles in four-game series are Jimmy Collins of the Boston Americans against the Philadelphia A’s in 1901, Earl Sheely of the Chicago White Sox against the Red Sox in 1926, Carl Reynolds of the White Sox against the now Cleveland Guardians in 1929 and Mike Sweeney of the Kansas City Royals in 2001.
Slugger Mel Ott had seven with the New York Giants in a six-game series (including a pair of doubleheaders) against the Philadelphia Phillies in 1929.
Most Doubles in a Season
The American League raised its schedule from 154 games to 162 in 1961 and the National League did the same one year later, but the six players who have hit 60 or more doubles in a single season did so between 1926-36. In the middle of that run – naturally, like a player standing on second base in the middle of the diamond – Earl Webb of the Red Sox set the record with 67 doubles in 1931.
Beyond 1936, perennial All-Star first baseman Todd Helton of the Colorado Rockies matched the seventh-most doubles in a season with 59 in 2000. Previously, Tris Speaker of Cleveland (1923) and fellow Hall of Famer Chuck Klein of the Phillies (1930) collected the same number.
Most Doubles in a Postseason Game
You might say the four doubles in a game already has been reached 50 times in baseball history because it has occurred once in the postseason.
Frank Isbell of the White Sox gained extra bragging rights by accomplishing it in an 8-6 World Series victory over the crosstown Chicago Cubs on Oct. 13, 1906. The speedy second baseman, who was the majors’ stolen base leader in 1901, had five at-bats that day.
Seventeen players have hit three doubles in a postseason game, most recently Kiké Hernández of the Red Sox in 2021. He also had a single and home run in a memorable 5-for-6 night, tying the record for the most hits in a playoff game.
Most Doubles in a Single Postseason
The more postseason series, the more opportunities for a player to rack up doubles.
It reflects in the fact that the players with a record eight doubles in a single postseason and the 10 who have hit seven have done so since 2004.
The foursome with eight doubles were on World Series-winning teams: David Freese and Albert Pujols of the St. Louis Cardinals in 2011, Ben Zobrist of the Kansas City Royals in 2015 and Mookie Betts of the Los Angeles Dodgers in 2020. Freese, who was the MVP of the NLCS and World Series, reached his great eight in the fewest plate appearances (71).
Most Doubles in a Career
Miguel Cabrera hit his 600th double in the 2022 season, making him the 18th player to reach the career milestone. The list is full of all-time greats, with some beginning their careers before the 1900s.
Hall of Fame center fielder Tris Speaker sprayed a record 793 doubles in a 22-season career from 1907-28, leading the AL in two-baggers eight times and finishing second three others. His total is often reported as 792 doubles, but the Society for American Baseball Research considers him to have 793.
Pete Rose (746), Stan Musial (725) and Ty Cobb (724) are the only other players with over 700 doubles in their careers.
Most Career Doubles in the Postseason
The New York Yankees making the postseason 17 times in an 18-year stretch from 1995-2012 reflects in the most doubles career-wise.
Shortstop Derek Jeter, whose 158 postseason games are the most in history, leads the way with 32 doubles, followed by center fielder Bernie Williams (29) in second place and catcher Jorge Posada (23) in third.
What was perhaps Jeter’s most iconic hit wasn’t a double, but it surely should have been one. The right field umpire missed young fan Jeffrey Maier’s interference in the first game of the 1996 ALCS, allowing Jeter to circle the bases for a home run instead of the hit being ruled a ground-rule double.
David Ortiz from the Yankees’ archrival, the Red Sox, ranks fourth with 22 doubles in the postseason.
Graphic design by Matt Sisernos.
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