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Miguel Cabrera wins first Triple Crown since 1967

Oct 3, 2012, 10:20 PM EDT

miguel cabrera triple crown getty Getty Images

Tigers slugger Miguel Cabrera entered tonight’s season finale against the Royals ranking first in the American League in batting average, homers and runs batted in. And that’s right where he’ll finish.

Cabrera went 0-for-2 with a strikeout on Wednesday night in Kansas City, but he walked off the field to a standing ovation from the Kauffman Stadium crowd when he was lifted as part of a double-switch in the bottom of the fourth inning. Because he had just locked up MLB’s first Triple Crown since 1967.

Cabrera winds up with a .330 batting average, 44 home runs and 139 RBI.

Carl Yastrzemski, the last Triple Crown winner, hit .326 with 44 homers and 121 RBI in his historical year.

The Angels’ Mike Trout will close out 2012 ranking second in batting at .326. Josh Hamilton and Curtis Granderson will wind up tied for second in dingers with 43. And Hamilton finishes second in RBI with 128.

Cabrera and the Tigers now advance to the ALDS, where they’ll take on the A’s beginning Saturday.

  1. proudlycanadian - Oct 3, 2012 at 10:14 PM

    Congratulations Miggy!

  2. channingtaintum - Oct 3, 2012 at 10:14 PM

    M.V.P

    • dondada10 - Oct 3, 2012 at 10:18 PM

      Out of curiosity, if Hamilton had hit 3 homers tonight, and Miggy didn’t win the “Triple Crown”, would you still think he’s the MVP?

      • channingtaintum - Oct 3, 2012 at 10:25 PM

        Yes. The triple crown, on top of the division title, is enough to seal it.

        No disrespect to Trout either, he quickly became one of my favorite players, and is more than deserving, but come on, the offensive numbers really speak for themselves, and considering the hell he took from writers and fans before the season about the move to third, he was pretty respectable with the glove.

      • dondada10 - Oct 3, 2012 at 10:28 PM

        The problem is that these numbers that you claim speak for themselves are faulty evaluators. Homers are great, but RBI and Batting Average are highly subjective.

      • dirtdawg54 - Oct 3, 2012 at 10:39 PM

        RBIs and BA are subjective? Ah, no they are not. You might want to look that word up in the dictionary. At least all the Sabermetric nerds are smart enough to make their claims. You? Well, I’d suggest something. But it would be subjective.

      • philliesblow - Oct 3, 2012 at 11:30 PM

        Yes.

        And that’s a longer answer than your question deserves.

      • sabatimus - Oct 3, 2012 at 11:51 PM

        I really don’t have much of a problem with Cabrera winning the MVP if he does, but Cabrera is not a 5-tool player, and cannot field to save his life.

    • historiophiliac - Oct 3, 2012 at 10:21 PM

      MVP

    • channingtaintum - Oct 3, 2012 at 10:34 PM

      Seriously? Give the man some props, the fact that you put Triple Crown in quotes really shows you have little respect for history.

      This is something that has NEVER happened in my lifetime. As a kid growing up, playing games, collecting cards, I can tell you that I never thought to myself “maybe someday I’ll be a big league slugger and have a WAR over 10.0″ No, it was “I hope I can win the Triple Crown”

      • dondada10 - Oct 3, 2012 at 10:40 PM

        I have plenty of respect for history. But Trout had the better year. Sorry if his RBI total isn’t higher than Miggy’s.

        Baseball is a game where the team with the most runs wins. Trout’s play did more to determine wins than Miggy’s play did.

        Trout was more valuable this year.

      • historiophiliac - Oct 3, 2012 at 10:43 PM

        Um, RBI’s help with runs…

      • sabatimus - Oct 3, 2012 at 11:55 PM

        I guess I really don’t care about the triple crown, purely as a designation. Why? Because it’s at least partially based on stats whose worth is outdated. OPS is a much better indicator of overall performance at the plate than BA is, and RBI depends largely upon having people in front of you get on base–hence it’s more of a team stat.

      • craggt - Oct 4, 2012 at 12:51 AM

        sabatimus you do realize that Miggy leads the league in OPS as well right? OPS is also a deeply flawed statistic for the simple reason that it treats OBP and SLG equally.

    • rmfields - Oct 4, 2012 at 10:56 AM

      dondada10, RBI and BA are highly subjective? Well then you probably think HRs are subjective, too, since every park has different dimensions, and home runs in some parks would not be home runs in others, and vice versa.

  3. dwrek5 - Oct 3, 2012 at 10:15 PM

    There goes 1 question at your next trivia night…

  4. boredfriday - Oct 3, 2012 at 10:16 PM

    What an incredible accomplishment, sullied by weeks of MVP debate lunacy.

    • raysfan1 - Oct 3, 2012 at 10:58 PM

      Incredible accomplishment, absolutely. However, I’ve rather enjoyed the debate about “most valuable” and don’t feel it sullied the accomplishment at all. In many other years, there would not be two players having seasons as phenomenal as both Trout and Cabrera. Being able to watch both all year has been a lot of fun. I’ve no doubt Cabrera will finally win the MVP, and I won’t feel sorry for Trout, who will no doubt win the Rookie of theYear Award in a landslide.

      Again, congratulations to Miguel Cabrera.

    • nothanksimdriving123 - Oct 3, 2012 at 11:35 PM

      For what it’s worth, 11 guys won the Triple Crown in the 20th century. All 11 are in the Hall of Fame.

      • raysfan1 - Oct 4, 2012 at 12:04 AM

        Every one of them would be HoF members even without the feat. I’ve no doubt that Cabrera will one day join them.

  5. normcash - Oct 3, 2012 at 10:17 PM

    Congrats to MIggy!!!! What a fabulous year!!! Interesting the the Yankees lifted Granderson
    for a pinch-hitter in the 8th…he’d already hit 2 homers to get to 43—one behind Miguel.
    Even if he’d batted and homered again, Cabrera would be the triple croiwn winner, but this way
    it’s a clean sweep, without ties, in all three categories. I wonder if that factored into the decision to
    pinch-hit Granderson? Joe Girardi’s a classy guy and it wouldn’t surprise me. And Grandy still has
    affection for the Tigers…

    • yankeesfanlen - Oct 3, 2012 at 11:11 PM

      I’ll bet you’re right. Anyway, Universe had already set team record for HRs.

  6. hardballtalkusername - Oct 3, 2012 at 10:17 PM

    With this he probably won the MVP too, not saying that is right or wrong, but it is most likely true.

  7. loungefly74 - Oct 3, 2012 at 10:30 PM

    …just in awe. first time since Yaz…wow.

    • bozosforall - Oct 4, 2012 at 12:25 AM

      And now we don’t have to hear about how Yaz was the last one to win it anymore. Can’t wait until Jeter passes Yaz in hits next year as well.

  8. dawgpoundmember - Oct 3, 2012 at 10:36 PM

    And to think it all started with stitches to the eye. Si! MotherF*cker!

  9. 1943mrmojorisin1971 - Oct 3, 2012 at 10:37 PM

    Cool cool cool.

  10. theawesomersfranchise - Oct 3, 2012 at 10:37 PM

    Miggy won the triple crowd because he had Fielder protecting him, Trout had nobody

    (watch this)

    • theawesomersfranchise - Oct 3, 2012 at 10:38 PM

      Crown*

    • historiophiliac - Oct 3, 2012 at 11:01 PM

      You don’t have to insult Torii Hunter. He’s a great player who I have enjoyed watching for years. He also hit .313 this year.

    • adm272012 - Oct 3, 2012 at 11:38 PM

      I bet a lot of guys would like to have nobodies in the lineup with them like Hunter .313 with 16 homers and Pujols .285 with 30 homers (with a 20 for 92 and 0 homer April).

      • theawesomersfranchise - Oct 4, 2012 at 1:09 AM

        Puljol doesn’t matter, cause you know, protection in the lineup is what made the difference and got him that Triple Crown.

        Myth Confirmed

    • hardballtalkusername - Oct 3, 2012 at 11:46 PM

      You got a couple people to bite, I thought it would be more though.

      • theawesomersfranchise - Oct 4, 2012 at 1:01 AM

        Ya me too

      • historiophiliac - Oct 4, 2012 at 11:21 AM

        ha ha I thought the bait was to defend Miggy — couldn’t resist standing up for Hunter though.

    • cur68 - Oct 4, 2012 at 12:55 AM

      Not bad. Try this again during the day. Maybe on ATH and the sure-to-be subsequent post. The REAL lunatics come out to play then. Throw in an MVP opinion (either way, it won’t matter) and then grab the corn and hold on for the ride. I you have a Cy Young opinion (won’t matter who, so have fun) you might set the “Comment String Of The Season” record (that all-time honour is still held by ‘Cepts, though, but you might threaten it if you get in first on ATH). If you can manage all that, I promise to get on there and call you enough names and question your parentage etc to give the whole thing a huge boost (worth about 5 or six follow on comments at least). Good Luck.

    • themerlo - Oct 4, 2012 at 9:50 AM

      and Trout didn’t make a huge defensive move from 1st to 3rd and still put up the numbers…and quality defense.

  11. mtheparrothead - Oct 3, 2012 at 10:38 PM

    Actually batting average is simple math. The opposite of objective.

    • nothanksimdriving123 - Oct 3, 2012 at 11:30 PM

      Do you folks have a dictionary app? Batting avg. is about as objective as it gets, with the minor exception of a few close, debatable calls that might be a hit or an error. Perhaps you meant the opposite of subjective. Proofread before posting, always.

    • sabatimus - Oct 3, 2012 at 11:58 PM

      People actually thumbed this comment up? Man, schools must really suck these days.

  12. thefalcon123 - Oct 3, 2012 at 10:40 PM

    To use a Jack Buck quote: “Excuse me while I stand up and applaud”.

  13. lgwelsh1 - Oct 3, 2012 at 10:54 PM

    I never thought I would see Triple Crown winner, I remember as a kid in the 70′s how everyone talked about Yaz’s Triple Crown win and who would be the next one to get it… years went by…. more years… Now in 2012, 45 years later Miguel Cabrera accomplishes the feat.

    Will we ever see this again? If history has anything to say, not in my lifetime LOL.

    • nbjays - Oct 4, 2012 at 7:22 AM

      You might be surprised. I wonder if that’s what people said in 1966 when Frank Robinson won it…

  14. joerymi - Oct 3, 2012 at 10:56 PM

    The Trout crowd is really trying to downplay this, aren’t they?

  15. xmatt0926x - Oct 3, 2012 at 11:00 PM

    It’s true that RBI’s and BA have been shown to not be as important in judging a players worth as much as we may have thought 15 to 20 years ago. The problem I see is that now some people act like those two are totally meaningless. Yeah, RBI’s are a big part of a team function but in saying that do we have to totally diminish a players ability to knock those runs in? Cabrera and big RBI guys like him may benefit from his teammates being on base but his team also benefits from his ability to produce in those situations. These stats may not be all we thought they were cracked up to be years ago but they are still reflective of a players overall individual talent. I think his triple crown is awesome. We just never appreciate greatness as it’s happening. This won’t be truely appreciated until it’s been another 30 years before someone does it again.

  16. randygnyc - Oct 3, 2012 at 11:01 PM

    MVP

  17. ebrownwareagle - Oct 3, 2012 at 11:01 PM

    I think it is an absolute joke that Trout a man who will watch the remainder of the season from home or wherever is in the same conversation with Cabrera, a man whose team won the division an is headed to the Post season; an oh by the way HE WON THE TRIPLE CROWN!!! If it was easy it would have been done in my generation. And I’m 35.

    • hardballtalkusername - Oct 3, 2012 at 11:49 PM

      That’s fine and all, but the Angels did finish with a better record than the Tigers, its not like Detroit has the best record in the AL (in fact they have the 7th… out of 14 teams). And of course he’s in the same conversation, they both had excellent seasons. Just be happy with what Cabrera has done and not try and downplay what Trout has accomplished.

  18. bgmcc907 - Oct 3, 2012 at 11:05 PM

    MVP! MVP!

    The thinking behind the argument(s) otherwise is the same thinking that has changed the stock market from a mechanism for raising capital to fund economic activity to a glorified casino based on derivatives.

    Just because the sabermetricians have lost their grip on reality doesn’t mean the rest of us have.

    Good grief.

    • yankeesfanlen - Oct 3, 2012 at 11:14 PM

      Sounds like a Yankees fan comment to me- Not that there’s anything wrong with that!

  19. dawgpoundmember - Oct 3, 2012 at 11:20 PM

    Now that I have calm down, I would like to mention, this is the FIRST batting triple crown since the mound was lowered.

  20. frank433 - Oct 3, 2012 at 11:20 PM

    Did Trout won the defensive/base running triple crown?

  21. historiophiliac - Oct 3, 2012 at 11:27 PM

    This is my biggest fail as a Tigers fan: In August, I sat on the second row in Arlington and cheered while my Tigers beat the Rangers. I was talking to the players — and stood out as the only one in Tigers gear in my section (right behind the Tigers’ on deck circle). Why, why, why didn’t I take a ball and ask Miggy to sign it????? I could have a ball signed from his Triple Crown season. I’m kicking myself. At least I have the ticket…sigh. Dammit!

  22. metalhead65 - Oct 3, 2012 at 11:43 PM

    great accomplishment and fans should enjoy until craig and the saber metric police come on tom. to once again ruin it for real baseball fans by trying to down play it because it doesn’t fit their version of what a great player is.

  23. missingdiz - Oct 3, 2012 at 11:58 PM

    Let me admit right now that I’m a geezer. The rest of you who aren’t geezers yet will be soon enough, so a little respect please. I understand why wins for a pitcher don’t matter much these days. I think they did when pitchers normally pitched the whole ball game, but five innings and out really does change things. But I don’t see how the significance of batting average has changed at all. Now that we’re, I hope, off steroids, home runs are just as significant as they ever were. The combination of the two is special—not Ichiro on the one hand, not Dunn or Reynolds on the other. RBIs are just as significant and problematic as they ever were. Other people have to get on base. OK, so Trout batting leadoff is at a disadvantage. But, on the other hand, although Fielder is formidable, look who’s following Trout in the order. Pitchers are not likely to nibble when pitching to Trout. This is the first Triple Crown winner in 45 years. It should mean something. Nobody has come up with some other combination of statistics that would consistently mean so much. Miguel Cabrera should be MVP.

    • crackersnap - Oct 4, 2012 at 12:28 AM

      I’m a geezer, too. You know what else we have not seen since 1965? Any baseball player to hit 30 home runs (power), steal 45 bases (speed), and score 125 runs (cashing his own checks rather than checks written by others) in one season.

      Come to think of it, this accomplishment goes back further than 1965. It is even more rare. It goes back even further than our own geezer grandfathers. In fact, it has never, ever, been done before. Not by anyone, including everybody in the HoF already.

      Unprecedented power, speed, and scoring. Added to Best In Class defense. Yeah, that’s all pretty special, too.

      • cogitobaseballergosum - Oct 4, 2012 at 2:45 AM

        The problem with that argument is that you can pick slightly different, but just as valid, numbers for each category and find that it’s not so unprecedented:

        Rickey Henderson had 24/28 HRs, 80/87 stolen bases, and 146/130 runs scored in 1985/86, and several other seasons where he was close to those numbers. Nearly as much power, far more speed, and more runs scored.

        Eric Davis had 37/50/120 in 1987, so he had 7 more HR’s, 1 more SB and 9 fewer runs scored, does that him less of a speed/power/run scoring threat?

        There are other examples as well. I think it’s okay to point out that nobody’s had Trout’s exact combination of stat plateaus, but to call it an example of “unprecedented power, speed, and scoring” is stretching the point a bit.

  24. skinsfanwill - Oct 4, 2012 at 12:35 AM

    Trouts team will be watching from home while Miggy is in the playoffs. Nuff said. and he has also had similar numbers for years. Model of consistency. Trout had a monster year. See if he can repeat that.

    • crackersnap - Oct 4, 2012 at 1:34 AM

      7th best record in the league while feasting within the worst division in baseball, versus 6th best record in the league while competing in the toughest division in baseball.

      Nuff said.

  25. craggt - Oct 4, 2012 at 12:55 AM

    Instead of arguing about whether Trout or Miggy was better this season instead I’ll fantasize about how good they would be if they played together.

    • crackersnap - Oct 4, 2012 at 1:35 AM

      I’d be happier with a tie vote. Co-MVP. Old School meets The Future.

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