You don’t have to be a Detroit Tiger fan to appreciate the season that Miguel Cabrera has had. There have been a lot of moments that people will remember for years to come. The Triple Crown and American League Most Valuable Player are at the top of the list but let’s not forget these other moments that have provided baseball fans everywhere with goose bumps that will last a lifetime.
On April eighth, in a 26 run series, the Tigers began their season by sweeping the Boston Red Sox at home. In game three, the Tigers trailed 7-10 in the bottom of the ninth. Cabrera came up to bat with Brennan Boesch and Austin Jackson on base. He launched a modest 393 foot homer to tie the game. The Tigers eventually won when Alex Avila hit a three run walk-off homerun in the 11th.
On April 27th, Cabrera picked up his 1000th career RBI in New York when he knocked in Jackson with a single to right field. There may not have been any standing ovations at Yankee Stadium but Cabrera joined a short list of players who have accomplished this feat under the age of thirty. He now accompanies Hank Aaron and Lou Gehrig to name two.
When Cabrera took the field at Comerica Park on July 22nd he had 298 home runs. He led his team to a Chicago White Sox sweep with two home runs to become only the second Venezuelan player to reach 300. In the first inning, he and Quintin Berry had back to back jacks. In the third, he hit a towering 457 foot monster to collect number 300.
August first the Tigers were trying to avoid a sweep in Boston. Cabrera came up with one on in the fifth inning. Rumor has it that there had been some Boston banter aimed at Cabrera, having gone a meager 1-6 in the first two games of the series. Miguel must have been paying attention because he answered with a moon shot, a mammoth home run that sailed over the green monster seats and landed in the parking lot. He hit it out of Fenway Park earning the last laugh. Boston pitcher, Aaron Cook said, “The biggest problem was hanging a breaking ball to one of the best hitters in the game, he had a long at bat and I tried to do something a little different.” Better luck next time Mr. Cook.
On August fifth, the Tigers were trailing the Indians 4-5 at home. Prince Fielder managed to tie the game up in the seventh inning. The score remained tied until Cleveland pulled ahead three runs in the tenth. Things looked bleak for the Tigers needing a two out rally to avoid a loss. Jackson and Omar Infante started things up collecting an RBI each to tie the game. Cabrera stepped into the batter’s box with the winning run on second base. In true Cabrera form, he catapulted a 403 foot bomb to center, winning the game walk-off style. Detroit scored five runs with two outs to steal the win from the Indians.
Miguel Cabrera was on a terror in the month of August and for the second time was voted Player of the Month. In 26 games he hit for a .357 average. He collected six doubles, eight home runs, and 24 RBIs. He crossed the plate 19 times. Alan Trammell is the only other Tiger to win Player of the Month more than once.
The Tigers were playing the Oakland A’s at home on September 18th. Cabrera was still pushing for the Triple Crown and that game would prove to be a lucrative outing. Cabrera contributed six runs to the Tigers’ 12-2 victory. In the third inning, he jacked a 446 foot solo shot to left field. Going into the eighth Detroit had an 8-2 lead, going out of the eighth the score was 12-2. Miggy hit the first and only grand slam of the season.
Last but certainly not least, on October third the Tigers were playing the Royals in their last regular game of the season. They had already clinched the AL Central Division but all eyes were on Miguel Cabrera. He went 0 for 2 with a strikeout, sounds unimpressive but when he came out of the game in the fourth inning it was to an opposing team’s crowd giving him a well-deserved standing ovation. Finishing a magical season with a .330 average, 44 home runs and 139 RBIs, Cabrera had won the Triple Crown becoming only the 15th player in the history of baseball to accomplish this masterpiece.
A novel could be written to describe Miguel Cabrera’s 2012 season. In case you missed out on the awards and honors that he has racked up, here’s a quick recap:
7th All-star appearance
2012 Louisville Slugger Award
Sporting News Player of the Year
Silver Slugger Award (fourth time)
Hank Aaron Award
Players Choice for AL Outstanding Player and Player of the Year
BBWAA AL Most Valuable Player
The Triple Crown Award
After a season long debate between baseball minds from the old school and minds from the new, Miguel Cabrera was given his due and earned the AL Most Valuable Player award and Detroit fans could not be any more proud of their Big Cat. For baseball fans everywhere Cabrera brought excitement to the game that is unmatched by any other player. Congratulations and thank you Miggy for a history making season.