It took 45 years, and thousands of baseball moments, but on last night on regular season baseball for the 2012 , Miguel Cabrera of the Detriot Tigers won the Triple Crown leading the American League in homeruns, RBI's, and batting average. The last player to win the coveted honor was Carl Yastrzemski in 1967 while leading the Boston Red Sox to the World Series in the same year. Cabrera lead his Tigers to the playoffs winning the American League Central Division, then the ALCS, only to lose to the Giants in the World Series.
Cabrera is only the 15th player in baseball history to hit for the Triple Crown. His name will forever be listed to the likes of Ted Williams, Mickey Mantle, and Lou Gehrig to name a few. That's pretty good company. In a quote from Cabrera he thanked GOD for giving him the chance to complete this, and sited it as a “dream come true.”
Why has it taken 45 years for anybody to complete this task? Good question. With some of the biggest names in baseball coming close, but never quite reaching the milestone. As we already know close is only good in horseshoes and hand grenades. Even during the “Steroid Era” when baseball's offensive number we at all-time high in all categories, not one player could hit for the Triple Crown. That makes what Cabrera did this season even more memorable.
The closest player to the crown was Albert Pujols in 2009 whose batting average and RBI's tapered off at the end of the season. The moment was so special that even the opposing team, the home team in this case the Kansas City Royals, gave Miggy (Cabrera's nickname) a standing ovation. Keep in mind this is the same crowd that booed Robinson Cano during the All-Star game's Homerun Derby. Again, that explains the magnitude of Miggy's accomplishment.
Now a couple of questions come into play. The first being will Cabrera's terrific season lead the Tigers to the World Series or better yet to win the big show? Okay that was two questions. Secondly, will Cabrera be named the American League Most Valuable Player (MVP) over rookie Mike Trout of the Los Angeles Angels? And finally, even if all the above happens or not, will this be Cabrera's legacy? It very well could be, and there is nothing wrong with that.
* This was meant to come out a few months ago, sorry for the delay!