Freddie Freeman in his first season with the Dodgers, in 2022, he led the majors with 47 doubles, a career-high, and tied for the fourth-most in a season in franchise history.
In 2023, Freeman has already blown past that and broke the Dodgers record for doubles in a season. In May of this season, his 17 doubles also set a franchise record for a single month, as did his 24 extra-base hits that month. He also hit 16 doubles in August.
Freeman now has 57 doubles through 155 team games, still on pace for 60 doubles. No major league player has hit 60 doubles since 1936, when Joe Medwick of the Cardinals hit 64 doubles (still the National League record) and Charlie Gehringer of the Tigers hit 60.
In the 86 full seasons since 1936, Freeman has only the 11th season in which a player hit even 56 doubles in a season. But let’s track his doubles along the way as he tries for 60.
On August 27 at Fenway Park, Freeman hit two doubles against the Red Sox. The second was in the fifth inning against left-hander Chris Murphy, an opposite-field drive off The Green Monster in left field.
50 doubles for Freddie, the new LA Dodgers single-season doubles record holder! pic.twitter.com/BMohXhf0Ho— Los Angeles Dodgers (@Dodgers) August 27, 2023
Freeman’s 50th double surpassed Shawn Green in 2003 for the most doubles in Los Angeles Dodgers history.
Freeman hit his 50th double in the Dodgers’ 129th game of the season, the quickest MLB player to 50 doubles in a season since Craig Biggio for the Astros in 1999 (126 games). Biggio ended that season with 56 doubles.
Three days after setting the LA Dodgers record, Freeman hit a double off D-backs rookie Brandon Pfaadt in the fourth inning, after homering against him the inning before. Coming in the Dodgers’ 132nd game, Freeman was the fastest player to 51 doubles since Todd Helton, who hit his 51st and 52nd doubles in the Rockies’ 131st game in 2000. Helton finished that season with 59 doubles, the highest total in the last 86 years.
After that series against Arizona, Freeman went six full games without a double. He didn’t have any extra-base hits in that time, collecting just four singles in 19 at-bats.
But on September 7 in Miami, Freeman lined a ball behind first base and down the right field line against George Soriano. The ball attendant jumped the gun and fielded the ball, thinking it was foul, and threw it into the stands.
Mookie Betts was running from first on the play, and the umpires ruled he would have scored had the attendant not interfered, awarding the Dodgers a run and Freeman an RBI.
Freeman’s double tied Johnny Frederick, who hit 52 doubles in his rookie season for Brooklyn in 1929, setting a record that stood for 94 years.
The two-bagger that broke the Dodgers single-season record came on September 8 against Mason Thompson and the Nationals in the fifth inning. This was a leg double, a groundball hit just out of reach of a diving second baseman and not too far into the gap in right center.
Doubles King, Freddie Freeman. pic.twitter.com/mJrtQB4Bhj— Los Angeles Dodgers (@Dodgers) September 9, 2023
“This franchise has been around for a very long time. A lot of winning seasons, a lot of great players have come through here,” Freeman told reporters at Nationals Park after the game, per SportsNet LA. “Just to be able to be mentioned with some of these guys, climbing the leaderboard, it’s pretty cool.”
140 games made Freeman the fastest to 53 doubles since Helton, who needed only 133 Rockies games in 2000.
Freeman lined a ball to right field in the first inning off Nationals right-hander Jake Irvin on September 9, Freeman’s third straight game with a double. He’s had six streaks of at least three games with a double in 2023, including four since August 1. His best streak this season was four straight games with a double, from May 1-4.
Fifty-four doubles is tied for 12th-most in a season in National League history.
On his 34th birthday, Freeman had four hits, including a home run against the Padres at Dodger Stadium on September 12. The final hit was a double down the right field line in the eighth inning against Rich Hill. Freeman in his career has played on his birthday 14 times, and has done quite well, hitting .415/.448/.698 with four home runs, three doubles, 12 RBI, and 11 runs scored in 58 plate appearances.
Fifty-five doubles is tied for ninth-most in a season in National League history.
Freeman had a relative slump, going five full games without a double. But in the bottom of the first inning against opener Miguel Díaz of the Tigers on September 19, Freeman doubled to the wall in right center field. Since the last 60-double season in 1936, Freeman and Helton (2000) are the only players with 56 doubles through their team’s first 150 games.
Freeman has 38 doubles against right-handed pitchers alone, which through September 19 would still be tied for the lead in the National League using everyone else’s full-season numbers.
Freeman doubled into the right center field gap on September 23 against the Giants, in the fourth inning against Ross Stripling to score Austin Barnes. Freeman’s 57th double tied him for the 11th-most in a season in major league history.
Coupled with his 26 home runs and two triples to this point, Freeman’s 57th double was also his 85th extra-base hit, surpassing Shawn Green (2001) and Cody Bellinger (2019) for the most in Los Angeles Dodgers history in one season. The only Brooklyn seasons with more extra-base hits than Freeman’s 2023 were by Babe Herman (94 extra-base hits in 1930) and Duke Snider (89, in 1954).