What is a Double in Baseball and What Does It Mean?

John Means

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In the world of baseball, a double is more than just a simple hit. It represents a significant achievement for a batter, a moment of skill and precision that can change the course of a game.

A double occurs when a batter strikes the ball and safely reaches second base without being called out, without the benefit of an error or a fielder’s misplay. It is a testament to the batter’s ability to connect with the pitch and find the gap in the defense.

In this article, we will delve into the intricacies of what a double means in baseball and explore its significance in the sport. We will examine how a double is achieved, the factors that contribute to its success, and its impact on a player’s statistics and offensive performance.

What Is a Double?

A double is an exciting play in baseball that occurs when a batter hits the ball and safely reaches second base. It is considered a significant offensive achievement and can greatly impact a team’s scoring opportunities.

Here, we will explore how a double is achieved and the various factors that contribute to its success.

How a Double is Achieved

To achieve a double, the batter must hit the ball into play and reach second base before being tagged out by the defense. This usually involves hitting the ball into the outfield and running quickly to second base.

The batter must exhibit good timing, solid contact with the ball, and swift baserunning skills to successfully complete a double. It requires a good combination of power, speed, and skill to execute a well-rounded double.

Factors That Contribute to a Double

Several factors contribute to the likelihood of hitting a double in baseball. One crucial factor is the placement and trajectory of the hit. Hitting the ball into the gaps between outfielders or down the lines increases the chances of reaching second base safely.

The speed of the batter is another crucial factor, as faster runners can cover the distance between bases more quickly. Additionally, the defensive alignment and positioning of the outfielders can impact the availability of open spaces for the ball to drop and allow the batter to advance.

Other factors that can contribute to a double include the strength and technique of the batter’s swing, the pitch selection and location, and the overall strategy employed by the batter and the team.

A batter who possesses a combination of power and accuracy in their swing, coupled with good pitch recognition, is more likely to produce doubles consistently.

Doubles are an exciting aspect of baseball that can greatly impact a team’s offensive performance and provide scoring opportunities.

Scoring and Statistics

Scoring and Statistics

Scoring and statistics play a crucial role in baseball, providing a quantitative measure of a player’s performance and a team’s success.

Let’s see how doubles are recorded in a player’s statistics, the significance of doubles in a player’s offensive performance, and the team statistics associated with doubles.

How a Double is Recorded in a Player’s Statistics?

Doubles are an important component of a player’s offensive statistics. When a player hits a double, it is recorded as a separate category in their stat line.

Typically, doubles are tracked alongside other hitting statistics such as singles, triples, home runs, and runs batted in (RBIs). Each double is added to the player’s total number of doubles for the season.

Importance of Doubles in a Player’s Offensive Performance

Doubles have a significant impact on a player’s offensive performance. They contribute to a player’s overall hitting ability and power. Doubles indicate a player’s ability to hit the ball with force and accuracy, driving it into gaps or down the lines.

A high number of doubles demonstrates consistency, gap-to-gap hitting skills, and the ability to advance baserunners.

Doubles also contribute to a player’s slugging percentage, which is a measure of their overall power at the plate.

Slugging percentage combines the total bases of a player’s hits, including doubles, triples, and home runs, and divides it by their total at-bats. A higher slugging percentage indicates a player’s ability to generate extra-base hits, including doubles.

Team Statistics Related to Doubles

Doubles are not only important for individual players but also have an impact on team statistics. Teams that excel in hitting doubles often have a higher run production.

Doubles create scoring opportunities, allowing baserunners to advance multiple bases and potentially score runs. Teams with a strong lineup of hitters who consistently hit doubles can put pressure on opposing pitchers and defenses.

Furthermore, team statistics such as doubles hit over the course of a season can provide insights into a team’s offensive prowess.

It can be an indicator of the team’s overall hitting ability, power, and ability to generate extra-base hits. Teams that rank high in doubles often have a well-rounded offensive approach and can create scoring threats throughout their lineup.

Types of Doubles

What Is a Double

Doubles in baseball come in different forms and circumstances, adding variety and excitement to the game. In this section, we will explore the different types of doubles that can occur during a baseball game.

We will discuss clean doubles, ground-rule doubles, and the distinction between doubles and other types of extra-base hits.

Clean Doubles

Clean doubles refer to hits that result in the batter reaching second base safely without any defensive interference or errors. These are the most common type of doubles in baseball.

A clean double occurs when the batter hits the ball into play and successfully reaches the second base before the defense can make a play to tag them out. It requires a well-placed and well-hit ball combined with effective baserunning.

Ground Rule Doubles

Ground rule doubles are a unique type of double that occurs when the ball hits the playing field and then bounces out of play due to specific ground rules set by the ballpark.

This can happen when the ball bounces over a fence, hits an object such as a railing or a wall, or lands in a designated area outside the field of play.

When a ground-rule double occurs, the batter is awarded second base automatically, and any baserunners ahead of them are also allowed to advance.

Significance and Impact

Doubles in baseball carry significant importance and can have a profound impact on a game’s outcome. In this section, we will explore the advantages of hitting a double, the scoring opportunities it creates, and the role of doubles in team strategy and game situations.

Advantages of Hitting a Double

Hitting a double offers several advantages for the batter and their team. Firstly, a double allows the batter to advance two bases, positioning them in scoring position at second base.

This provides an excellent opportunity to drive in runs and contribute to the team’s offensive production. Additionally, hitting a double puts pressure on the opposing team’s defense, as it requires quick and accurate fielding to prevent the runner from advancing further.

Hitting a double also boosts a batter’s individual statistics. Doubles contribute to a player’s extra-base hit total and can elevate their slugging percentage, reflecting their power and ability to drive the ball into gaps.

Doubles often demonstrate a batter’s ability to make solid contact and hit the ball with authority, which can positively impact their overall performance and reputation.

Scoring Opportunities Created by Doubles

Doubles create valuable scoring opportunities for the offensive team. When a batter hits a double, any baserunners ahead of them have a higher chance of scoring. If there are no outs, the baserunners can potentially score on the double itself.

With one out, a double can lead to runs being driven in by subsequent batters. It increases the likelihood of multi-run innings and contributes to offensive momentum.

Moreover, hitting a double can disrupt the opposing team’s pitching strategy. It may prompt the defense to be more cautious, potentially leading to a more favorable pitch selection for subsequent batters.

Role of Doubles in Team Strategy and Game Situations

Doubles play a strategic role in various game situations. In close games or situations where a team is trailing, a double can be a momentum-shifting hit. It can energize the team and their fans, creating a sense of excitement and motivation.

Teams often emphasize situational hitting and executing strategies to capitalize on doubles, such as hitting behind baserunners or employing hit-and-run plays.

Furthermore, doubles are considered valuable in manufacturing runs. In situations where a sacrifice bunt or sacrifice fly may be needed, a double can provide an alternative path to advance baserunners and score runs.

Teams may also strategically position their hitters based on their abilities to hit doubles, aiming to maximize offensive output and run production.

Impact of Doubles in Key Games and Moments

Doubles have played pivotal roles in key games and moments, often changing the course of a game or series. They have the potential to ignite rallies, generate runs, and swing momentum in favor of the hitting team.

In high-pressure situations, a timely double can provide the spark needed to propel a team to victory or fuel a memorable comeback.

For example, a clutch double in a late-inning situation can drive in crucial runs, tie a game, or put a team ahead. In playoff scenarios or tight pennant races, a well-timed double can create excitement, swing the momentum, and leave a lasting impact on a team’s postseason chances.

Examples and Famous Doubles

Throughout baseball history, there have been memorable doubles that have left a lasting impact on fans and the game itself.

Now, we will explore some of these memorable doubles, highlight players known for their ability to hit doubles and discuss the impact of doubles in key games and moments.

Memorable Doubles in Baseball History

Baseball has witnessed numerous memorable doubles that have become iconic moments in the sport. From World Series heroics to record-breaking achievements, these doubles have etched themselves into the annals of baseball history. Examples include:

  • Bill Mazeroski’s walk-off double in Game 7 of the 1960 World Series: Mazeroski’s historic blast against the New York Yankees secured the Pittsburgh Pirates’ championship, making it one of the most iconic walk-off doubles in baseball.
  • Carlton Fisk’s “The Wave” double in the 1975 World Series: Fisk’s dramatic home run-turned-double in Game 6 against the Cincinnati Reds symbolized the Boston Red Sox’s fight and resilience in a memorable World Series matchup.
  • Edgar Martinez’s double in the 1995 ALDS: Martinez’s double in the 11th inning of Game 5 against the New York Yankees propelled the Seattle Mariners to their first-ever postseason series win, forever etching his name in Mariners’ lore.

Players Known for Their Ability to Hit Doubles

Certain players have become renowned for their exceptional ability to hit doubles consistently. Their prowess at finding the gaps and driving the ball has earned them a reputation as doubles specialists. Some notable players in this regard include:

  • Tris Speaker: A Hall of Famer known as the “Grey Eagle,” Speaker holds the all-time record for career doubles with 792. His ability to hit for both power and average made him one of the greatest hitters of his era.
  • Stan Musial: Musial, another Hall of Famer, amassed an impressive 725 doubles during his illustrious career. His smooth swing and consistency at the plate made him a doubles machine for the St. Louis Cardinals.
  • Albert Pujols: Pujols, a future Hall of Famer, has consistently displayed the ability to hit for both power and average. His combination of strength and a disciplined approach at the plate has resulted in numerous doubles throughout his career.

Baseball has witnessed numerous memorable doubles that have become iconic moments in the sport’s history. Players known for their ability to hit doubles have left a lasting impact and doubles themselves have played pivotal roles in key games and moments.

Extra-Base Hits Vs. Doubles

It is important to distinguish between doubles and other types of extra-base hits, such as triples and home runs. While doubles involve reaching second base safely, triples require reaching third base, and home runs involve hitting the ball over the outfield fence.

Doubles differ from triples and home runs in terms of the number of bases achieved and the scoring potential they offer. However, all three types of hits contribute to a batter’s extra-base hit total and offensive production.

Extra-base hits, including doubles, are valued in baseball because they advance baserunners and create scoring opportunities.

They typically indicate solid contact and power in a batter’s swing. Doubles, specifically, provide an immediate boost to a team’s offensive potential, as the batter is positioned in scoring position at second base.

Again, doubles are distinct from other types of extra-base hits like triples and home runs, but they all contribute to a batter’s offensive production and the team’s scoring opportunities.

Notable Doubles Hitters in Baseball History


PlayerCareer Doubles
Tris Speaker792
Stan Musial725
Albert Pujols669
Craig Biggio668
George Brett665
Nap Lajoie657
Honus Wagner640
Cal Ripken Jr.603
Lou Gehrig534
Paul Molitor605


Who holds the record for the most doubles in a single season?

The record for the most doubles in a single season is held by Earl Webb, who hit 67 doubles in the 1931 season while playing for the Boston Red Sox. His record has stood for over nine decades.

Are ground rule doubles counted in a player’s total doubles?

Yes, ground-rule doubles are counted in a player’s total doubles. Whether it’s a clean double or a ground-rule double, both types of doubles contribute to a player’s overall double count.

Can a double be nullified or taken away due to an error by the defense?

No, a double cannot be nullified or taken away due to an error by the defense. Even if there is a fielding error that allows the batter to reach second base safely, it will still be scored as a double because the batter reached second base without being put out.

How does hitting doubles affect a player’s batting average?

Hitting doubles can positively impact a player’s batting average. Since a double is counted as a hit, it improves the player’s batting average by adding a hit to their total number of at-bats. Doubles also contribute to a player’s slugging percentage and on-base plus slugging (OPS) as they are extra-base hits.

What is the significance of a player’s doubles total in their overall offensive performance?

A player’s doubles total is significant in their overall offensive performance as it reflects their ability to hit for power and drive the ball into the gaps. Doubles indicate solid contact, good bat speed, and the potential to drive in runs. Players with a high number of doubles often contribute significantly to their team’s scoring and offensive production.


Doubles in baseball hold a significant place in the game’s history, statistics, and memorable moments. They are a testament to a player’s ability to make solid contact, drive the ball into the gaps, and create scoring opportunities for their team.

Whether it’s a walk-off double in a World Series game, a record-breaking season, or a pivotal hit in a crucial moment, doubles have shaped the history and narrative of baseball, leaving an indelible mark on the game we love.

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John Means

John Means is a professional baseball player who has played in the major leagues for the Kansas City Royals and the Oakland Athletics. He made his major league debut with the Royals in 2009. He was traded to the Athletics in 2012. Baseball is his favorite sport. His passion about the game is evident in his play. Now he write blogs about baseball and other things whenever he has some free time. LinkedIn

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