Tigers third baseman Miguel Cabrera wins first MLB Triple Crown in 45 years

Tigers third baseman Miguel Cabrera smiles in the dugout during a game against the Royals in Kansas...

Tigers third baseman Miguel Cabrera smiles in the dugout during a game against the Royals in Kansas City, Miss., Oct. 3, 2012. (DAVE KAUP/Reuters)

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, Last Updated: 3:26 AM ET

KANSAS CITY - Detroit Tigers third baseman Miguel Cabrera capped an incredible season on Wednesday, as he became baseball's first Triple Crown winner in 45 years.

With a batting average of .330 along with 44 home runs and 139 RBI, he led the American League in all three categories and finished tops in both leagues in homers and RBI. It's the 14th time in major league history that a player has accomplished the feat.

He went 0-for-2 in Wednesday's finale at Kansas City and exited after striking out in the fourth inning. He got a standing ovation from the Kauffman Stadium crowd as he departed and came out for a curtain call.

"It's really an unbelievable feeling right now," said Cabrera. "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 Carl Yastrzemski turned the trick in 1967 with the Boston Red Sox. The Hall of Famer hit .326 with 44 homers and 121 RBI that season and won his first and only AL MVP.

"I would like to extend my sincere congratulations to Miguel Cabrera on winning the Triple Crown," said Yastrzemski in a press release. "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."

Also sending his congratulations to Cabrera was Frank Robinson, who won the Triple Crown in 1966. Robinson is also MLB's vice president of baseball development and is the only living Triple Crown winner along with Yastrzemski.

"I congratulate Miguel Cabrera on winning the Triple Crown," said Robinson. "Miguel has been outstanding all year long by coming to play every day, showing his discipline at the plate and making the most of his great talent."

The 29-year-old Cabrera set career highs in homers and RBI and had the second- best batting average of his career, trailing his .344 mark from the 2011 season.

"It is an honor to congratulate Miguel Cabrera on earning the Triple Crown, a remarkable achievement that places him amongst an elite few in all of Baseball history," said MLB commissioner Bud Selig. "Miguel has long been one of the most accomplished hitters in the game, and this recognition is one that he will be able to cherish for the rest of his career in baseball and beyond."

The seven-time All Star passed both the 300-home run mark and 1,000 and 1,100 RBI marks during his remarkable season and now sits at 321 home runs, 1,123 RBI and a .318 average over his 10 seasons in the majors.

Ty Cobb was the only other Tiger to win the Triple Crown, as he accomplished it in 1909 with a .377 average, nine home runs and 107 RBI.


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