Miguel Cabrera did just that last week, winning baseball’s Triple Crown, joining an exclusive group of players that have won it, such as Lou Gehrig, Ted Williams, Rogers Hornsby and Frank Robinson. Cabrera is the first one to win the Triple Crown sinceBoston’s Carl Yastrzemski in 1967.
The Detroit Tigers third baseman is just the 16th player to win the Triple Crown, an achievement that involves leading a league in home runs, runs batted in and batting average. Cabrera led the American League with a .330 average, and the major leagues with 44 homers and 139 RBIs.
“It’s an unbelievable feeling,” Cabrera said after the Tigers last regular-season game atKansas City. “I can’t describe the feeling right now.”
Cabrera beat outTexas’ Josh Hamilton (128 RBIs) for most runs driven in;Hamiltonand the New York Yankees’ Curtis Granderson (43 HRs), for most homers, and the Los Angeles Angels’ Mike Trout (.326) for highest average. Overall, only San Francisco Giants catcher Buster Posey (.336 AVG.) beat Cabrera out in any of the three major categories in both leagues.
“I am glad that he accomplished this while leading his team to the American League Central title,” Yastrzemski said in a statement.
The Triple Crown was won 11 times by nine different players from the 1920s through the 1960s, with Hornsby and Williams winning it twice. Four decades passed before Cabrera did it.
Pressure mounted as Cabrera got close to the Triple Crown.
“It was hard the last two days because everybody talked about it,” Cabrera said. “I just had to focus. I had to go out there and do the job.”
Commissioner Bud Selig said:
“It’s a remarkable achievement that places him amongst an elite few in all of baseball history. 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.”
StatsWatch: Here are the major league leaders this season —
- Batting Average: Buster Posey, Giants, .336
- Home Runs: Miguel Cabrera, Tigers, 44
- RBI: Miguel Cabrera, Tigers, 139
- On-Base-Percentage: Joey Votto, Reds, .474
- Steals: Mike Trout, Angels, 49
- ERA: Clayton Kershaw, Dodgers, 2.53
- Wins: Gio Gonzalez, Nationals, 21
- Complete Games: Justin Verlander, Tigers, 6
- Shutouts: Felix Hernandez, Mariners, 5
- Strikeouts: Justin Verlander, Tigers, 239
- Saves: Jim Johnson, Orioles, 51
Diamond Notes: Former Red Sox manager Terry Francona was introduced as the new manager of the Cleveland Indians on Monday. Francona, who ledBoston to two World Series titles, was selected over Sandy Alomar Jr., who served as the team’s bench coach and then interim manager after Manny Acta was fired on Sept. 27. “I don’t want to be a rental manager,” Francona said. “I didn’t want to come in worried. I want to be part of the solution. I want to stick around. I didn’t come here to go to pasture.”
Copyright © 2012 Bob Hurst. All Rights Reserved. Distributed by Hurst Sports Media.