The winner of the 2012 Kentucky Derby, I'll Have Another, faces an almost inevitable disappointment: For the next two weeks, rather than talking about his impressive Derby win, we'll be discussing whether or not he can be the horse that breaks an increasingly long Triple Crown drought by taking the Preakness Stakes and then the Belmont Stakes in June. It's been 33 years, now, since Affirmed made it happen.â†µ
SB Nation horse-racing expert Matt Gardner thinks he's a versatile horse with a legitimate-enough chance, thanks to his Belmont-level stamina, to go all the way, although he sounds a little more impressed by Bodemeister. But we at SB Nation St. Louis know something about long odds and ridiculous names: Our own Ducky Joe Medwick was the last winner of the NL Triple Crown, back in 1937.
Like most horses, he excelled in two of the three areas—batting average and RBI, in this case—and was weak in a third. But any Triple Crown situation, regardless of sport, requires some combination of supreme talent and luck. In this case, Medwick hit 30 home runs for the only time in his career the same season that Mel Ott, the New York Giants' Master Melvin and a six-time home run champion, had a minor off year.