October 3rd, 2012
12:01 PM ET

Detroit's Miguel Cabrera claims triple crown

Detroit Tigers third baseman Miguel Cabrera has become baseball's first triple crown winner in 45 years, leading the American League in batting average, home runs and runs batted in.

Cabrera locked up the home run and RBI titles in the afternoon Wednesday as Texas' Josh Hamilton failed to produce either in the Rangers' loss to Oakland. Cabrera finished with 44 home runs to Hamilton's 43 (matched by the New York Yankees' Curtis Granderson with a late surge), and 139 RBI to Hamilton's 128.

Cabrera's batting title race against Los Angeles Angels rookie Mike Trout hinged on both men's performances in their respective games Wednesday. Trout got two hits in three at-bats to finish the season at .326, according to mlb.com. Detroit manager Jim Leyland pulled Cabrera from the lineup in the fourth inning in Kansas City after he went 0 for 2, leaving him with a .330 season average.

Baseball season's final day brings drama

One person who said he wouldn't be shocked if Cabrera nabbed the triple crown was the Boston Red Sox's Carl Yastrzemski, who hit .326 with 44 homers and 121 RBI as the last person to win the crown in 1967.

“I’m surprised it’s gone on this long, to be perfectly honest. When (Pete) Rose broke (Ty) Cobb’s hit record and when (Cal) Ripken broke (Lou) Gehrig’s consecutive game record, I never thought that would happen either, so it’s going to happen,” the Hall of Fame outfielder told the Boston Globe last week.

“There’s so much more publicity nowadays, people call a report in every day,” the Globe quoted Yastrzemski as saying. “In ’67, the Triple Crown wasn’t even mentioned. We were so involved I didn’t know I’d won it until the next day when I read it in the paper.”

That the length of his reign surprises Yastrzemski is, well, not surprising. The Baltimore Orioles' Frank Robinson had done it the year before Yastrzemski. Eleven others have done it also, dating back to Paul Hines of the Providence Grays in 1878. The Red Sox's Ted Williams and the St. Louis Cardinals' Rogers Hornsby each won it twice.

Of course, Major League Baseball was much different 45 years ago than it is today. There were only 20 teams (there are 30 today) and the only playoff was the World Series, which the Red Sox lost to the Cardinals in Yastrzemski’s triple crown year.

But Yastrzemski said batters of his era had one obstacle to face that today’s hitters don’t, a pitching mound that was 5 inches higher. The higher mounds gave pitchers an edge on velocity.

“I’d like to see what some of the pitchers would throw today, what their speeds would be, if they came off a higher mound. I could see (Justin) Verlander probably throwing 100 mph or more on every pitch,” Yastrzemski told Boston radio station WEEI.

With Cabrera winning  the triple crown, one historic baseball streak is still standing: Joe DiMaggio's 56-game hitting streak in 1941. No one has come closer than 12 games from that mark since.

And one question will still be outstanding on Cabrera's season: Should he be the league's most valuable player? Yastrzemski was in 1967.

TBS MLB analyst Dennis Eckersley thinks Cabrera deserves the MVP honor.

"I think Cabrera's focus has been on his team and winning, not concerns for himself.  Playing for your team and having great numbers is an incredible feat,” Eckersley said.

MVP or not, it won't reduce what Cabrera has accomplished this year, says his manager.

"No matter what happens, there are absolutely no flaws in Miguel Cabrera's season. None. Period. End of story,"  Leyland said in a CBS Sports report.

TBS will have exclusive coverage of the first-ever Wild Card games on Friday, October 5. The network will also be the exclusive home of up to 18 Division Series games and the entire ALCS.

soundoff (106 Responses)
  1. larry5

    Proof that it's possible to do great things without any government help.

    October 4, 2012 at 12:50 am | Report abuse |
    • sam stone

      how did this become about making a political statement?

      October 4, 2012 at 4:37 am | Report abuse |
    • Ken

      Because it's political season, Sam. And because people can say whatever they want to in this country.

      October 4, 2012 at 10:28 am | Report abuse |
    • Ncanon

      Posts like this are why I hate A) election season, B) people

      October 4, 2012 at 11:18 am | Report abuse |
    • bigot

      " And because people can say whatever they want to in this country"

      Thats hardly the case but believe what you want

      October 4, 2012 at 12:29 pm | Report abuse |
    • sam stone

      ken: i am not denying larry5 the right to make whatever statement he wants. i am just wondering what it has to do with the article.

      October 4, 2012 at 1:47 pm | Report abuse |
    • Dan

      63% of Comerica Park was paid for through Public Funds (as is the case with most Sports Venures).

      However ... Who cares ... Miguel won the triple crown

      October 5, 2012 at 12:48 am | Report abuse |
  2. fats84

    i guess thats what steroids will get you...

    October 4, 2012 at 1:12 am | Report abuse |
    • John Vergowven

      There have been absolutely zero accusations against Miguel Cabrera for taking steroids. I assume you are just confusing Miguel with Melky Cabrera who was suspended this year for using steroids!

      October 4, 2012 at 2:08 am | Report abuse |
    • Dan

      Seriously are people really this stupid

      October 5, 2012 at 12:49 am | Report abuse |
  3. Adolf

    Josh Hamilton does deserve the MVP and soon the World Series MVP

    October 4, 2012 at 3:04 am | Report abuse |
    • Scott

      Hamilton doesn't have a chance, Cabrera will win MVP likely unanimously.

      October 4, 2012 at 5:17 am | Report abuse |
    • bigot

      yeah....especially after his team choked and let Oakland win the division.

      October 4, 2012 at 6:57 am | Report abuse |
    • John_H

      Mike Trout will win the MVP, as he is easily the best player in baseball.

      October 4, 2012 at 9:12 am | Report abuse |
    • bigot

      "Mike Trout will win the MVP, as he is easily the best player in baseball."

      LOL on a team that couldn't make the playoffs? Doubtful. Check out his second half numbers. Aweful

      October 4, 2012 at 12:30 pm | Report abuse |
  4. cakeneedles

    Yaz say ing it was more difficult in 67 because the pitching mound was higher is true. Although another argument seldom used is that there is more quality pitchers now because latin american players were scarce when he played.

    October 4, 2012 at 3:47 am | Report abuse |
    • sir

      the ya zis a class act.

      October 4, 2012 at 10:39 am | Report abuse |
    • Stevo

      but the pitching is more diluted now because of more teams

      October 4, 2012 at 1:15 pm | Report abuse |
    • Logic

      They didn't use relief pitchers like they do now, so it may have been easier collecting hits off a tiring starter back in the day.

      October 4, 2012 at 4:40 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Ventura

    Make no sense

    October 4, 2012 at 7:20 am | Report abuse |
  6. Jt_flyer

    Great work! I remember the last one! I think baseball can make a comeback.

    October 4, 2012 at 7:38 am | Report abuse |
  7. BigAl

    shouldn't have pulled him. Ted Williams played a double header on the last day and Carl didn't get pulled.

    October 4, 2012 at 8:09 am | Report abuse |
    • Scott

      They pulled him because they want to give him a little rest because he is in the playoffs. Trout, who is NOT in the playoffs, went 2 of 3. They only way Trout could have caught Cabrera is if he went 4 for 4 and Miguel went 0 for 4.

      October 4, 2012 at 8:56 am | Report abuse |
    • Dan

      Miguel played 161 or 162 games ... I hardly think you can argue that missing a few innings would have changed anything

      October 5, 2012 at 12:54 am | Report abuse |
  8. Lindalou

    He's turned his career around with the acquisition of Prince Fielder. Cabrera was going down a bad path and when Fielder joined the team it seemed he put more focus on the game. These two together make an awesome lineup even better. They're fun to watch and seem to genuinely like each other.

    October 4, 2012 at 8:11 am | Report abuse |
    • sir

      miggy likes to drinks a bits

      October 4, 2012 at 10:40 am | Report abuse |
  9. Holy Frijoles

    Woohoo! I hope he gets MVP too, although Trout and Hamilton would be deserving as well.

    October 4, 2012 at 8:20 am | Report abuse |
  10. Detroit_d

    He was pulled after Trout failed to hit in an at bat. Triple crown was his regardless. Good Job Miggy. MVP

    October 4, 2012 at 8:20 am | Report abuse |
  11. adam

    Way to go Cabrera....triple crown in the bag ......MVP will be zweet !

    October 4, 2012 at 8:43 am | Report abuse |
  12. ROMNEY2012

    A vote for MITT ROMNEY is a vote for the progressive future of our Godly Nation!

    A vote for Obama is worse than a vote for Hitler.

    October 4, 2012 at 9:25 am | Report abuse |
    • Lindalou

      Wow! thought of that all on your own? Comparing someone to Hitler shows your ignorance.

      October 4, 2012 at 11:20 am | Report abuse |
    • Bill

      Is that you Hank?

      October 4, 2012 at 11:27 am | Report abuse |
    • Carlos Lantigua

      ROMNEY IS A WORSE VERSION OF GEORGE W. BUSH.

      October 4, 2012 at 11:49 am | Report abuse |
    • Comeonman

      "Godly"....the sane people in this country fear you nutty Christians far more than any Muslim. Take your religion and politics and stick them in your George bush.

      October 4, 2012 at 5:32 pm | Report abuse |
    • Dan

      A black Hitler ... Is he going to send himself to a consentration camp???

      BTW I don't want a "Godly" President. They have those all over the Middle East ... not working to good for them

      October 5, 2012 at 12:57 am | Report abuse |
  13. Bill

    Not necessarily true. There were far fewer teams back in the day, and far fewer marginal players/pitchers.

    October 4, 2012 at 11:26 am | Report abuse |
  14. Mike

    I was at the game. Tremendous ovation by the Royals fans as well. What a great time to be a Tiger fan getting to watch Cabrera wrap it up!

    October 4, 2012 at 12:30 pm | Report abuse |
    • Dan

      I agree it's been an amazing season and having someone as like Miguel accomplish something so like this is just awesome

      October 5, 2012 at 12:59 am | Report abuse |
  15. Jay

    Well, I guess we know who's still roiding.

    October 4, 2012 at 12:35 pm | Report abuse |
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