Skip to: Content
Skip to: Site Navigation
Skip to: Search


Tigers' Cabrera earns baseball's first Triple Crown in 45 years

Detroit's Miguel Cabrera became the 15th player in Major League history to capture the American League batting title, plus compile the top home run and RBI totals this season.

By Dave SkrettaAssociated Press / October 4, 2012

Detroit Tigers' Miguel Cabrera waves to the crowd after being replaced during the fourth inning of a baseball game against the Kansas City Royals at Kauffman Stadium in Kansas City, Mo., Wednesday, Oct. 3, 2012. Cabrera achieved baseball's first Triple Crown since 1967 by leading the league with a .330 average, 44 home runs and 139 RBIs in the regular season.

Orlin Wagner/AP

Enlarge

Kansas City, Missouri

Miguel Cabrera had just achieved baseball immortality, and everyone around him knew it.

Skip to next paragraph

Tigers manager Jim Leyland had tears welling in his eyes. General manager Dave Dombrowski kept trying to remind people to stop and enjoy the moment. Prince Fielder simply shook his head in disbelief at the history that had unfolded.

Less than an hour earlier, in the midst of Detroit's otherwise meaningless 1-0 victory over Kansas City, it had finally become official: Cabrera had won the Triple Crown.

"Everybody said to me it was unbelievable. They were all excited to see this, enjoy this, be a part of something big," he said, taking the rare feat in stride better than anyone.

Cabrera finished the regular-season hitting .330 with 44 homers and 139 RBIs, leading the American League in all three statistical categories, making him just the 15th player to achieve the Triple Crown and the first since Boston's Carl Yastrzemski in 1967.

"I've managed a lot of players, managed some great ones, but I've never seen anything like this," Leyland said. "When you're sitting back and it's over with, people are talking about Miguel Cabrera, the rest of the world will have no idea who his manager was, but I will."

Among those in one of baseball's most exclusive clubs are Lou Gehrig, Ted Williams, Mickey Mantle and Frank Robinson, who called it "an incredible accomplishment for a gifted young man, and Miguel should be proud of his all-around excellence and consistency throughout the season."

Cabrera's achievement wasn't assured until the Yankees pinch-hit for Curtis Granderson in their 14-2 rout of the Boston Red Sox. Granderson had homered twice to reach 43 for the year, tied with the Rangers' Josh Hamilton and one shy of the Tigers' third baseman.

The closest competition in the race for the batting title was Angels rookie Mike Trout, who remains Cabrera's toughest competition for the AL MVP. Cabrera was the runaway leader in RBIs.

  • Weekly review of global news and ideas
  • Balanced, insightful and trustworthy
  • Subscribe in print or digital

Special Offer