Some records have stood the test of time and some will never be broken. Examples are Joe DiMaggio’s 56-game hitting streak that can’t be touched. Ted Willams .406 in 1941 is a tall order and may not be surpassed, but I’m not 100% on that. The 90-year-old record that I believe will fall in perhaps the next five years is the single-season record for doubles: 67 by Earl Webb in 1931.
To put this in perspective, no one since the 1930s has even hit 60. Five players did in that decade: the before-mentioned Earl Webb, “Ducky” Joe Medwick hit 64 in 1936, Hank Greenberg had 63 in 1934, Paul Waner hit 62 in 1932 and Charlie Gehringer had 60 in 1936. It’s a sacred record for sure, but I believe with today’s game and how it’s played, this record falls.
It will have to be a special kind of player having a special kind of year in a special kind of ballpark to make this happen. So what are some of the factors that need to come into play? Well, I think it’s going to have to be a guy with some good pop in his bat, but not a huge home run guy. This means kind of a line drive hitter. He can’t be too fast … fast players will try to stretch a few of those doubles into triples. The last factor? He’s going to be 33 years old. Hear me out on that one ... Five of the top 15 single season doubles hit have all been players 33 years old. Crazy, isn’t it? Just look at this past year. Freddie Freeman hit 59 and guess how old he was? Yup … 33.
Let's look at some MLB players who could break this record
Obviously, Freeman is the first that comes to mind. He’s led the league in doubles three of the last four years and four times overall. At 34, his window is fading and, yeah, he passed the 33-year-old mark, but I think he’s the odds-on favorite right now.
Nick Castellanos: He’s on the list because he did hit 58 in 2019, but most of them were in Detroit, which I think is a great ballpark for doubles. Him not playing in Detroit anymore lessens his chances, but he should at least be listed.
Rafael Devers: This one is my “sleeper” pick. He has that stroke where he effectively goes the other way. He can use that big wall in Fenway to play ping pong with it to get the record. I think he’s in that sweet spot of having power, but not too much power. I think he’s a tad too slow right now, but maturity will help his baserunning and can make a run at the record. I like him a lot.
Jose Ramirez: He’s led the league twice, had 56 in one year, and his approaching his age 31 season. 2026 anyone?
Bryce Harper: A dark horse for one factor: health. I also think his swing isn’t quite suited for doubles, but his aggressive baserunning could give him an edge going into his age 31 season. Another 2026 candidate.
Who would be your pick? Do you think this record will be broken this decade, or will it last to year 100 and beyond? Let us at Call to the Pen know on X by following us and commenting here.