Since nobody’s managed to win baseball’s Triple Crown in 45 years, it’s probably right to assume that it’s not that easy to do.
However, third baseman Miguel Cabrera of the Detroit Tigers pulled it off on Oct. 3 when he finished the season by leading the American League in home runs with 44. RBIs with 139 and in batting with an average of .330. The last time the feat was achieved was back in the 1967 season when Carl Yastrzemski did it as a member of the Boston Red Sox.
Cabrera said he can’t believe he pulled it off as the thought three weeks ago that he didn’t think he’s be able to do it. He said he dreamed about winning the Triple Crown and he’s thankful to his teammates and fans that it has come true.
Cabrera also became the first Tiger to win two straight batting titles since Ty Cobb took three in a row between 1917 and 1919 as he also led the American League last season. Cabrera is the 12th player in MLB history to win the Triple Crown
Bud Selig, the Commissioner of the MLB, said the league wants to congratulate Cabrera for his feat since it’s quite a remarkable accomplishment and has been achieved only a few times in the history of the game. He added that Cabrera has proved to be one of the game’s best hitters and this is something that he can cherish and be proud of for the rest of his baseball career and life.
Cabrera managed the feat in the middle of a playoff race as the Tigers clinched a postseason position. He had to deal with intense media coverage for the past couple of weeks, but never faltered. Yastrzemski was also impressed by the feat and congratulated Cabrera on it.
He released a statement which said he was glad that Cabrera’s batting heroics also led his team to the title in the American League Central Division. The 45 years between Triple Crown winners is the biggest gap in MLB history.
The 29-year-old Cabrera said manager Jim Leyland had a lot to do with his career year as he pushed him to work hard every day. He said that Leyland urged him to bear down and not throw away any of his plate appearances.
Leyland said he’s managed a lot of great ball players during his long career, but he’s never seen anything like the season that Cabrera just had. He added that Cabrera has shown that he can handle the pressure and attention and is a true professional in every sense of the word.
Tigers pitcher Justin Verlander said the great players thrive under pressure and Cabrera did just that by batting .429 over the final month of the season. He said he’s amazed at how Cabrera just keeps on getting better year after year. Cabrera had previously won all three Triple Crown categories, but obviously never in the same season until this year.
The only other active players to do so, without winning the Triple Crown are Albert Pujols and Alex Rodriguez. There’s no doubt that Cabrera will get quite a lot of attention when the MVP voting takes place and could very well win it.