I've heard it said a lot of times over the years that we would never see another Triple Crown winner. The usual reasons were trotted out: players don't care about potential monetary rewards because they already make scads of money; players don't have enough of a sense of history to fully appreciate how remarkable such a feat is, etc., etc. A more believable explanation is the one provided by Stephen Jay Gould for the disappearance of the .400 hitter: the quality of play in baseball has improved over time, the standard deviations of player performance levels have decreased, and it has become harder and harder for players to stand out from the crowd to such a massive extent. The Triple Crown is arguably a tougher road to hoe because one must excel in more than one specific stat. Even during the height of the Steroid Era, the Triple Crown seemed out of reach.
Where have the .400 hitters gone? This is a question that comes up from time to time among baseball fans who lament that the giants of yesteryear - Ty Cobb, Rogers Hornsby, and Ted Williams among them are long gone and that we'll never see their kind again. -- Dan Agonistes' Baseball Blog, August 4, 2004
This episode raises some important questions. Like: where have all the good men gone? Where are all the gods? Where's the street-wise Hercules to fight the rising odds? -- GeoX's review for "Hero for Hire" (or were you quoting someone, Geo?)
Where have they gone, indeed? Are they hanging out with Joe DiMaggio somewhere? Or perhaps they're engaged in a costume change...