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. 2/8

    .....big deal. Someone gets even more rich for doing something that contributes next to nothing to society. Why is this even news?

    October 4, 2012 at 12:38 pm | Report abuse |
    • Charlie

      that was a stupid thing for you to say 2/8!! If you cant appreciate feats like this one, why even read the article?

      October 4, 2012 at 1:23 pm | Report abuse |
    • sam stone

      contributes nothing to society? it is entertainment. your jealousy is noted, though

      October 4, 2012 at 1:45 pm | Report abuse |
    • solex67

      First, it may not be news to you, but fortunately for us, you don't really matter.

      Second, why waste your time posting if it is not news

      Third, posting hollier or smarter-than-thous posts protected by anonymity only proves you are neither.

      October 4, 2012 at 2:52 pm | Report abuse |
    • Soldier

      Well, is n't that ignorant of you. With that logic, almost every job contributes nothing to society. It's entertainment, so therefore nothing entertaining is contributing anything so everyone who works at amusement parks, movie theaters, putt putt golf, or anything like that contributes anything to society.

      October 4, 2012 at 3:10 pm | Report abuse |
    • SJH

      If you do not think it is news then why did you read it?

      October 4, 2012 at 3:12 pm | Report abuse |
    • Hank

      Obama got smoked in the debate. How about that?

      October 4, 2012 at 3:18 pm | Report abuse |
    • Frank

      Actually sports generate tons of jobs and income to the cities that they are played in. When a sports team does very well in a local city then the entire community benefits economically. More people go out to the bars, resturaunts, and sporting events. This generates more need for more employee's, services, and goods. So my narrow sighted friend who clearly knows nothing you can now thank Miggy for his job doing something.

      October 4, 2012 at 4:17 pm | Report abuse |
    • David Gunkel

      This guy is a STAR.

      October 4, 2012 at 9:01 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Jeff

    Glad to see it finally wrapped up, and done by a home team guy noless! Tigers to the World Series!

    Also, judging by the steriod comments, I guess the ignorance and lack of user knowledge shown in the political story comments carries over into the sports stories as well. Wrong Cabrera, geniuses....

    October 4, 2012 at 12:53 pm | Report abuse |
    • tjp44

      look closer....not so much innocent.......

      October 4, 2012 at 3:01 pm | Report abuse |
  3. alex

    and here's to the Kansas City Fans who were great with their support towards this historic event!! Way to go!!

    October 4, 2012 at 1:26 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jean

      A class act indeed!

      October 4, 2012 at 5:52 pm | Report abuse |
  4. TexDoc

    Congrats. Great accomplishment in the post-steroid era.

    October 4, 2012 at 2:50 pm | Report abuse |
    • tjp44

      the post steroid era is yet to occur and GH isn't even being addressed nor can it be ........

      October 4, 2012 at 3:02 pm | Report abuse |
  5. solex67

    I cannot underscore enough how DIFFICULT it is to achieve this. Three completely separate stats – but all related to hitting – make it VERY hard to do. Hit for average, hit for power, and hit so that others may score.

    VERY impressive. If he is not the AL MVP it is rigged. This coming from an Angels fan who has watched Mike Trout have the season of a lifetime in his rookie year.

    October 4, 2012 at 2:55 pm | Report abuse |
    • Obama Sucks

      It's rigged all right, check his blood.

      October 4, 2012 at 3:44 pm | Report abuse |
  6. tjp44

    when is his positive drug test coming out.........................?

    October 4, 2012 at 2:59 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Magic God

    So will the hogs be destroyed or will they be sold to a butcher? the hogs bit him before and he was still going into the pen. Darwin Winner?

    October 4, 2012 at 3:39 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jack

      Wrong thread, dude.

      October 4, 2012 at 3:46 pm | Report abuse |
    • db

      The hogs will be relegated to relief duty and will be sent to the pen.

      October 4, 2012 at 7:26 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Obama Sucks

    Too bad it was not by someone who speaks english

    October 4, 2012 at 3:43 pm | Report abuse |
    • Frank

      You realize he does actually speak english right? Also why does it matter if he speaks english or not. This is about watching an athelete play and play in such a manner that we havent seen in quite some time.

      October 4, 2012 at 4:19 pm | Report abuse |
    • JohnK

      The name you chose for this forum says it all. As Dean Wormer said, "Drunk and stupid is no way to go through life, son"!

      October 4, 2012 at 8:28 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Dana

    Congraulations, you've made my hometown and home team Detroit Tigers VERY proud! I don't live there anymore, but its where I was born and raised and I'll only always wear DETROT!

    October 4, 2012 at 4:03 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Sussay

    Congratulations to Miguel Cabrera and (my) Detroit Tigers! Fear the D!

    October 4, 2012 at 4:20 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Rob

    Congrat's to Cabrera, "el Bambiño"! Even the Babe Ruth never accomplished the Triple Crown. Cabrera has that same charisma and energy as the Babe. It is a shame Miggy doesn't like the spotlight or speak English very well.

    The guy kills the ball, and unlike Bonds and other great recent power hitters, he routinely hits the ball to the opposite field. However they teach kids to hit in Venezuala is the right way. Magglio, Edgar Martinez, and Cabrera all use(d) the whole field.

    October 4, 2012 at 4:36 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Comeonman

    It's funny how the media has not started on how he is juiced up. They figure we are sick of hearing about it (we are). Cabrera is doing crazy drugs but I think we all agree that most top players do it – like in the nfl.

    October 4, 2012 at 5:08 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Rob

    You can't please everybody apparently. I'm disappointed you need to find flaw in everything.

    Cabby missed one game all year. Played half of the last one. His BA would have held up to two more empty at bats. He could have played the whole game but there was no point. No point. Teddy ballgame missed multiple games in 1941 but nobody holds that against him.

    Cabrera earned the Triple-Crown plain and simple. He's the most balanced power hitter in the game.

    October 4, 2012 at 5:29 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Hollywood

    Congrats on a job well done! The MLBA should give him an award.

    October 4, 2012 at 6:10 pm | Report abuse |
  15. donna

    Tsk! Grown men playing a children's game. They should all be ashamed of themselves.

    October 4, 2012 at 7:31 pm | Report abuse |
    • David Gunkel

      It's only because you don't keep our interest.

      October 4, 2012 at 9:06 pm | Report abuse |
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