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Miguel Cabrera wins baseball's Triple Crown

For the first time since Sgt. Pepper's was released, we have a Triple Crown winner.

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Should a Triple Crown guarantee an MVP Award?

It seems that Miguel Cabrera's Triple Crown, the majors' first since 1967, might be enough to carry him past Mike Trout in the MVP balloting. But should it?

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Miguel Cabrera finds himself in elite company

On Wednesday, Miguel Cabrera became the 16th major-league hitter to complete a Triple Crown and the first since Carl Yastrzemski in 1967. Cabrera ended the 2012 campaign with a .330 batting average, 44 home runs and 139 RBI, leading the AL in all three categories. He lead the league in OPS, too, for what it's worth.

Cabrera joins an exclusive club in baseball that includes 11 Hall of Famers (asterisk denotes HoF standing):

  • 1967: Carl Yastrzemski*
  • 1966: Frank Robinson*
  • 1956: Mickey Mantle*
  • 1947: Ted Williams*
  • 1942: Ted Williams
  • 1937: Joe Medwick*
  • 1934: Lou Gehrig*
  • 1933: Jimmie Foxx*
  • 1933: Chuck Klein*
  • 1925: Rogers Hornsby*
  • 1922: Rogers Hornsby
  • 1909: Ty Cobb*
  • 1901: Nap Lajoie*
  • 1887: Tip O'Neill
  • 1878: Paul Hines
A few interesting notes about previous Triple Crown winners:
  • Cabrera's title was, by far, the longest drought between Triple Crowns (45 years). The previous largest gap was 14 years (1887 to 1901).
  • Only five players who won a Triple Crown won the MVP in the same season (Cobb, Foxx, Medwick, Mantle, and Robinson).
  • Only two players (Mantle and Robinson) were on teams that won the World Series in their Triple Crown year.
  • Hornsby and Williams are the only players to accomplish the feat twice.
  • St. Louis has played host to four Triple Crown winners (O'Neill, Hornsby twice, and Medwick).
  • All players who accomplished the Triple Crown in the 20th century are in the Hall of Fame.
  • The highest batting average for a player in his Triple Crown year si .435 (O'Neill).
  • The highest homer total for a player in his Triple Crown year is 52 (Mantle).
  • The highest RBI total for a player in his Triple Crown year is 165 (Gehrig),
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Miguel Cabrera wins first Triple Crown since 1967

For the first time since Carl Yastrzemski accomplished the feat for the Boston Red Sox in 1967, baseball has a Triple Crown winner. The Detroit Tigers' Miguel Cabrera finished the 2012 season leading the American League with a .330 batting average, 44 home runs and 139 RBI.

He was pulled in the bottom of the fourth inning of the Tigers' game against the Kansas City Royals after going 0-for-2 Wednesday night, setting his season line in stone.

The only possible threats to Cabrera entering the evening were Mike Trout and Curtis Granderson, who had outside shots at challenging him for batting average and home runs, respectively. Trout finished the night 2-for-3, giving him a batting average of .326.

Granderson put on an impressive show in the New York Yankees' season finale against the Boston Red Sox, clobbering a pair of home runs to give him a total of 43 for the season. But he was lifted for a pinch-hitter in the seventh inning, leaving him one short of Cabrera.

Trout remains Cabrera's stiffest competition for the American League MVP Award.

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In Defense Of The Triple Crown

Miguel Cabrera might win the Triple Crown, which means he'll lead the league in a couple of statistics the discerning baseball fan doesn't care about. Should we care, though?

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