ST. PETERSBURG -- Carl Crawford has set his share of records this season, just his fifth in the Major Leagues. On Sunday, the speedy left fielder made history yet again.
Crawford's sixth-inning triple was his 15th this season. The hit scored two Rays, increased his lead over the rest of the American League, brought him within two triples of Mets shortstop Jose Reyes for the big-league lead, and edged him one step nearer to his career high of 19.
But Crawford also did something that baseball hasn't seen in 76 years.
That triple off Yankees reliever Mike Myers gave the 25-year-old Crawford 15 or more triples in three straight seasons, a feat that hadn't been accomplished since 1930, when three Hall of Famers did it: the Yankees' Earle Combs (1927-30), Pittsburgh's Paul Waner (1926-30) and Detroit's Charlie Gehringer (1928-30).
Not bad company to keep at an age when many are still cutting their teeth in the Majors.
"That's not a stat that you just go out and try to do every year, it's one of those stats that just kind of happens," Crawford said. "[But] I appreciate all the historical things I do. Whenever you get to reach a milestone like that, it's always a good thing."
Since 1906, just 12 players have had 15 or more triples in three straight seasons. As of Sunday, Crawford has 48 three-baggers in three years, a number equaled by only two others since 1935: Stan Musial, who tallied 51 from 1946-48, and Garry Templeton, who had 50 from 1977-79.
"I think if you come to the ballpark and you see Carl hit a triple, you've had a pretty good day," manager Joe Maddon said. "It's pretty much a signature play for him. Because when he hits the ball down the line, or in the gap, he's thinking three. He never thinks two. He breaks [for a] triple. He wants triple, he takes triple."
Dawn Klemish is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.