Detroit Tigers third baseman Miguel Cabrera became just the 15th player to win baseball’s Triple Crown on Wednesday night (October 3) before a crowd at Kansas City’s Kauffman Stadium. The 29-year-old baseball pro received a standing ovation as he stepped into the batter’s box … and then, stepped into MLB history.
The Triple Crown is the MLB’s rarest feat, awarded to a player who leads the league in three specific statistical categories, usually batting average, home runs and RBIs. Cabrera led in all three, making him the first player who has earned the honor in 45 years, the last being legend Carl Yastrzemski, who earned it as a Boston Red Sox in 1967.
“Unbelievable,” Cabrera said, after finishing out the season. “I don’t believe this happened right now. I didn’t believe three weeks ago it was going to happen. I didn’t believe this was possible. But you always dream. Thank God I got an opportunity for this dream to come true.”
Although Cabrera went 0 for 2 Wednesday, he finished the regular season with a .330 average, four points better the Angels’ Mike Trout, his biggest competition, and was a runaway leader with 139 RBIs.
Additionally, he repeated his batting title, becoming the first Tigers player with consecutive batting crowns since Ty Cobb won three from 1917-19.
“It is an honor to congratulate Miguel Cabrera on earning the Triple Crown, a remarkable achievement that places him amongst an elite few in all of baseball history,” Commissioner Bud Selig 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. As the Tigers prepare for the postseason, we have a global stage to witness Miguel’s talent, which will go down as one of the hallmarks of Major League Baseball’s extraordinary 2012 regular season.”
Cabrera joins an elite list of baseball legends, including Mickey Mantle, Ted Williams, Frank Robinson, Ty Cobb, and Lou Gehrig.
With his performance this season, he led the Tigers to the AL Central Division title. Now, he hopes to take them all the way to the World Series.