Tigers' Cabrera wins Triple Crown

Miguel Cabrera waves his cap to the crowd

Miguel Cabrera waves his cap to the crowd as he leaves a game against the Kansas City Royals in the fourth inning at Kauffman Stadium. (Oct. 3, 2012) (Credit: Getty)

KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- Miguel Cabrera became the 15th player to win baseball's Triple Crown last night, joining an elite list that includes Mickey Mantle, Ted Williams and Lou Gehrig.

The Detroit Tigers' slugger topped the American League with a .330 batting average, 44 home runs and 139 RBIs, becoming the first Triple Crown winner in the majors since Boston's Carl Yastrzemski in 1967.

Cabrera's achievement wasn't assured until the Yankees pinch hit for Curtis Granderson in their 14-2 rout of the Red Sox. Granderson had homered twice to reach 43 for the year, tied with the Rangers' Josh Hamilton and one shy of Cabrera. Granderson, a former Tiger, taped a video before the game congratulating Cabrera.

Cabrera went 0-for-2 against the Royals (in an eventual 1-0 Tigers victory) before leaving in the fourth inning to a standing ovation. He finished the regular season hitting four points higher than Angels rookie Mike Trout. Cabrera was the runaway leader in the RBIs category.

"I am glad that he accomplished this while leading his team to the American League Central title," Yastrzemski said in a statement. "I was fortunate enough to win this award in 1967 as part of the Red Sox Impossible Dream Team."

Commissioner Bud Selig also offered his congratulations, calling the Triple Crown "a remarkable achievement that places him amongst an elite few in all of baseball history."

The crowd at Kauffman Stadium gave Cabrera a standing ovation before he flied out in the first inning. He struck out in the fourth but remained in the game, allowing manager Jim Leyland to remove him with two outs to another standing ovation from thousands of appreciative fans.

With Erik Boland

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