Miguel Cabrera of the Detroit Tigers, the first player to win the Triple Crown in 45 years, won the American League's Most Valuable Player award on Thursday for the 2012 Major League Baseball season.
Cabrera became the first player since Carl Yastrzemski of the Boston Red Sox in 1967 to win the Triple Crown, leading the league in the three top traditional offensive categories with a .330 batting average, 44 home runs, and 139 runs batted in.
Combining the brute power of a slugger and the finesse of a leadoff hitter, Cabrera registered his historic season despite making a shift in position, moving from first base to third in order to make room for free agent Prince Fielder.
The 29-year-old Cabrera came on strong at the end of the season to help the Tigers overcome a sluggish start to overtake the Chicago White Sox and win the AL Central title on their way to a trip to the World Series.
Cabrera added another historical note with his victory, becoming the first Venezuelan to win the coveted MVP award, the most cherished individual honor in Major League Baseball.
The Tiger third baseman collected 22 of 28 first-place votes for a comfortable victory over Rookie of the Year, Mike Trout of the Los Angeles Angels, who got the other six first-place votes in balloting by members of the Baseball Writers' Association of America.
- Detroit's Miguel Cabrera has joined an exclusive club, as only 11 men before him since 1900 have won baseball's Triple Crown. What follows is a list of the men 'Miggy' joined Wednesday night. Photo: AP in English
- Two players preceded Nap Lajoie as Triple Crown winners in the 19th century, but the Philadelphia Athletic was the first man to do it in the 20th century. In 1901, Nap hit .426 with 14 HR and 145 RBI. Photo: AP in English
- In 1909, Detroit Tigers great Ty Cobb joined the club with a .377 average, 9 HR and 107 RBI. Photo: AP in English
- The St. Louis Cardinals' Rogers Hornsby was the first man to win the Triple Crown twice. In 1922, the 'Rajah' hit .401 with 42 HR and 152 RBI. Three years later, Hornsby batted .403 and swatted 39 HR to go with 143 RBI. Photo: AP in English
- Chuck Klein of the Philadelphia Phillies became the next member of the club in 1933, when he posted a .368 batting average, slugged 28 HR and drove in 120 runs to lead the National League. Photo: Getty Images
- In what was a unique occurrence, the American League also had a Triple Crown winner the same year, as Jimmie Foxx hit .356, bashed 48 HR and had 163 RBI. Photo: AP in English
- The 'Iron Horse,' Lou Gehrig, finally achieved something his more celebrated teammate Babe Ruth did not in 1934, when he batted .363 with 49 HR and 165 RBI. Photo: AP in English
- Joe 'Ducky' Medwick led the National League in 1937 with a .374 average, 31 HR and 154 RBI. The Cardinals player remains the last National Leaguer to win the Triple Crown. Photo: AP in English
- Ted Williams is the last man to win the Triple Crown twice, achieving the feat in 1942 and again in 1947. The 'Splendid Splinter' led the American League with a .356 average, 36 HR and 137 RBI in '42, and in '47 he batted .343 with 32 HR and 114 RBI. Photo: AP in English
- Mickey Mantle added his name to the list in 1956 when he led the American League with a .353 average, 52 HR and 130 RBI. Mantle remains the only player to hit more than 50 home runs in a season in which he won the Triple Crown. Photo: AP in English
- Frank Robinson won the Triple Crown in his very first year in the American League in 1966 with the Baltimore Orioles, leading the AL with a .316 average, 49 HR and 122 RBI. Photo: AP in English
- The last man before Cabrera to lead the league in hitting, home runs and RBIs was the great Carl Yastrzemski, who hit .326 with 44 HR and 121 RBI in the Red Sox's 'Impossible Dream' season of 1967. Photo: AP in English