When one thinks of famous trios in the sports world, several different groups come to mind. For example, in racing, the trio of driver Dale Earnhardt, crew chief Kirk Shelmerdine, and owner Richard Childress. Another famous trio comes courtesy of the NFL, where Kurt Warner, Marshall Faulk, and Isaac Bruce led the former St. Louis Rams to glory in the late 1990s. So, trios are part and parcel of the sports world, and none of them should be taken lightly.
So, when it comes to baseball, certain threesomes are well-known above all others. They may have helped put a franchise on the map. A great and unexpected playoff run could have come at their behest, or they could have achieved the ultimate goal. Yes, World Series titles have been won on the backs of these great groups. Individually, they were already excellent. However, they could feed off each other and take their teams to new heights when put together. These are five of the greatest trios in MLB history.
The Five Greatest Trios in MLB History
Henry Aaron, Eddie Mathews, Joe Adcock
The Milwaukee Braves of the 1950s were one of the NL’s most feared units. A dynamic offense mixed with excellent pitching to create a perennial contender. In fact, from 1953 to 1960, they never finished worse than third. All of this was led by one of the greatest trios in MLB history. Henry Aaron, Eddie Mathews, and Joe Adcock represented everything right about the Braves offense. Three powerful bats combined to bash opposing pitching with double-digit home runs and high averages. It took them a couple of seasons to come into their own. However, they put out something unmatched in the period once they did. They helped lead the Braves to a world title in 1957 and an NL title in ’58.
Greg Maddux, John Smoltz, Tom Glavine
The Braves have had a knack for building great trios. Now, we move to the mound where three Hall of Famers staked their claim to glory. They also claimed to be one of the greatest trios in MLB history. Greg Maddux, Tom Glavine, and John Smoltz thoroughly used power and precision to undermine opposing offenses throughout the 1990s and early 2000s. The three combined for a staggering 648 wins as Braves and struck out nearly 7,000 batters. They also proved that quality pitching can be done on less than 100 pitches an outing. This is why they are among the greatest trios in MLB history.
Joe Morgan, Johnny Bench, Pete Rose
Saying that this is one of the greatest trios in MLB history is like saying that oxygenated air is necessary to maintain human life. It’s just a fact. These are three of the best pure hitters in baseball history and the fuel for the vaunted Big Red Machine of the 1970s. They combined to post an astonishing 211 WAR during their time with the Cincinnati Reds. However, 1972 may have been their best season. They put up a 23.9 WAR, 504 hits, 76 doubles, and 288 walks. Add to that Joe Morgan’s 58 stolen bases, Johnny Bench’s 40 homers, and Pete Rose’s 11 triples, and you have the makings of something special. You also had one of the greatest trios in MLB history.
Pee Wee Reese, Duke Snider, Jackie Robinson
Pee Wee Reese, Duke Snider, and Jackie Robinson personified the Brooklyn Dodgers throughout the 1940s and ‘50s. Not only that, but they helped the Dodgers to some historic feats. One, rather obviously, was Robinson breaking baseball’s color barrier. Another was ending a long-winded drought and bringing a title to Brooklyn in 1955. That, along with their combined 195.5 WAR as Dodgers, makes them one of the greatest trios in MLB history. Their other accomplishments include 5,728 hits, 946 doubles, and 670 home runs. But, again, their most memorable achievements directly affected baseball history. That’s why they’re here.
Joe Tinker, Johnny Evers, Frank Chance
Without this dynamic Chicago Cubs infield, no list of the greatest trios in MLB history would be complete. The double play combination of Joe Tinker, Johnny Evers, and Frank Chance became somewhat famous throughout the early 1900s. It’s not very often that three Hall of Famers populate a similar area. Here is an exception. However, not only did they do it with their gloves, but they did it with their bats as well. All three posted relatively consistent offensive production throughout their time together. The trio combined for a WAR of 130.7 and a dWAR of 45.4.
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