Tigers Slugger Miguel Cabrera Wins Elusive Triple Crown
Kansas City, MO
After 45 years of waiting, Major League Baseball finally has another Triple Crown winner in Detroit Tigers slugger Miguel Cabrera.
Cabrera accomplished the rare feat when he finished the 162-game regular season leading the American League in batting average, home runs and RBIs. The last to achieve the elusive record was Boston Red Sox's Carl Yastrzemski in 1967.
He finished with a hitting average of .330, beating Los Angeles Angels' Mike Trout's .326 and led the AL and the Major League in homers with 44, one ahead of New York Yankees' Curtis Granderson and Josh Hamilton of the Texas Rangers.
Cabrera also posted an AL- and league-leading 139 RBIs, beating Hamilton by 11 and Toronto's Edwin Encarnacion by 29.
The Venezuelan slugger thus joined an elite list which includes Lou Gehrig, Ted Williams, Mickey Mantle, Ty Cobb and Frank Robinson. He also became the first Latino-born winner of the Triple Crown.
Along with it, Cabrera also became the first Tiger to win consecutive batting title since Ty Cobb won three from 1917-19.
After two hitless at-bats and with the Triple Crown in the bag, Detroit manager Jim Leyland pulled Cabrera in the fourth inning of the Tigers' 1-0 win over the Kansas City Royals Wednesday at Kauffmann Stadium amid a standing ovation.
Yastrzemski, who accomplished the feat a year after Robinson did it, led the parade of congratulations for Cabrera.
"I would like to extend my sincere congratulations to Miguel Cabrera on winning the Triple Crown. I am glad that he accomplished this while leading his team to the American League Central title," Yastrzemski said in a statement.
"Miguel has long been one of the most accomplished hitters in the game, and this recognition is one that he will be able to cherish for the rest of his career in baseball and beyond," Major League Baseball commissioner Bud Selig said.
Selig said Cabrera's rare accomplishment "will go down as one of the hallmarks of Major League Baseball's extraordinary 2012 regular season".
"Miguel has been outstanding all year long by coming to play every day, showing his discipline at the plate and making the most of his great talent," said Robinson, now MLB's Executive Vice President for Baseball Development.
"When he's at the plate, he can do anything," Trout said. "I mean, he's the best hitter in the game, I think. His approach, the way he battles with two strikes. You leave one pitch over the plate, he's going to hit it. He had an unbelievable year."
The Triple Crown is a rare achievement in baseball, so rare that it has been accomplished just 13 times with Rogers Hornsby and Ted Williams each doing it twice.
Compared to other baseball's feats, 23 players have pitched a perfect game while 26 players have bashed at least 50 homers in a season.
Even some league's superstars like Babe Ruth, Albert Pujols, Hank Aaron, Willie Mays, Stan Musial, Mike Schmidt, Alex Rodriguez, Barry Bonds, Joe DiMaggio, Al Kaline, George Brett or Cal Ripken Jr. never accomplished it.
Ken Rosenthal on Miguel Cabrera winning the Triple Crown
Tigers Slugger Miguel Cabrera Wins Elusive Triple Crown
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