Because a hit only counts as a triple without a fielding error or a fielder's choice, triples have become somewhat rare in Major League Baseball. It often requires a hit to an unoccupied part of the ballpark (as in an opposite-field hit) or the ball taking an unusual bounce in the outfield. It also requires that the batter be able to hit the ball solidly but also that he be able to run quickly. This combination of power and speed is rare, and combined with the trend for modern ballparks to have smaller outfields (to increase the number of home runs hit), it has ensured that the career and season triples leaders mostly consist of players who played earlier in the sport's history.
Because the hit is so rare, a triple is considered one of the most exciting plays in baseball.
Triples were much more common in the dead ball era of baseball.