Even before Miguel Cabrera made the major leagues, coaches and scouts in Venezuela were predicting he would be a big star.
They were proven right in a big way this year as the 29-year-old Detroit Tigers slugger became the first Triple Crown winner in 45 years, leading the majors in batting average, home runs and RBIs. Now, Cabrera is also the favorite on Thursday to be named the Most Valuable Player of the American League.
His achievements have made many proud in baseball-loving Venezuela, where he recently won the annual Luis Aparicio Prize, presented to the best Venezuelan major leaguer of the year.
''For as long as I can remember, playing baseball has been my life. That's why I don't lose sleep over winning prizes,'' Cabrera said last month after receiving the Venezuelan award.
''If I win them that's fine, but what I think about first of all is my responsibility. I value (prizes) as a nice memory to share with my family, with my grandchildren when I'm old, and for the happine...