Detroit Tigers third baseman Miguel Cabrera became Major League Baseball’s first Triple Crown winner in 45 years on Wednesday, capping a brilliant season in which he hit 44 home runs.
The 29-year-old Cabrera also finished with a batting average of .330 and 139 RBIs as he led the American League in all three categories and placed first in both leagues in home runs and RBIs.
It is just the 14th time in US baseball history a player has accomplished the feat.
“It’s really an unbelievable feeling right now,” Cabrera said. “To be out here everyday and do my job is great, but winning this feels good. I don’t know how to explain it, all I wanted to do was focus on winning games and doing the best I could.”
Cabrera became the first player to take home the Triple Crown since the Boston Red Sox’s Carl Yastrzemski in 1967.
Hall of Famer Yastrzemski hit .326 with 44 homers and 121 RBIs that season.
“I would like to extend my sincere congratulations to Miguel Cabrera on winning the Triple Crown,” Yastrzemski said. “I am glad that he accomplished this while leading his team to the American League Central title. I was fortunate enough to win this award in 1967 as part of the Red Sox Impossible Dream Team.”
Seven-time All-Star Cabrera went none-for-two in Wednesday’s game at Kansas City. He left the game after striking out in the fourth.
Cabrera established career highs in home runs and RBIs and had the second-best batting average. Last year he had a career-best .344.
Cabrera passed both the 300-homer mark and the 1,000 and 1,100 RBI marks during his superb season. In 10 major league seasons, he has 321 home runs, 1,123 RBIs and a .318 batting average.