Taylor Hawkins Sports EditorIf you aren’t watching baseball during this slow early season stretch of the season, you are missing one of the greatest batting performances of our lifetime.
Last year Detroit Tigers first baseman Miguel Cabrera became the sixteenth player in MLB history to win the coveted Triple Crown title.
The Triple Crown is achieved when a single player leads the league in batting average, RBIs and home runs. Players cannot simply get on base to win this award. They must have meaningful, and powerful, at bats.
Cabrera’s final numbers for the season included a .330 batting average, 44 home runs and 139 RBIs.
Just how rare is this statistical feat?
The previous Triple Crown winner was Boston’s Carl Yastrzemski.....in 1967. Cabrera was the first Triple Crown winner in 45 years.
Through only 42 games this year, Cabrera is batting .387 with 11 home runs and 47 RBIs. What were his numbers through 42 games during his Triple Crown winning year?
A .304 batting average with eight home runs and 34 RBIs.
While it is a premature to start talking about back to back Triple Crowns, it is impossible to ignore the possibility. Cabrera’s dominance with a bat is not a fluke. His career batting average is .320. The only current players with higher averages are Joe Mauer with .324 and Albert Pujols with .323, both perennial all-stars.
Besides his Triple Crown, Cabrera has won the Silver Slugger Award four times and the MVP and Hank Aaron Award once.
At his current pace, he will approximately match his home run total from the previous year and increase his RBIs to 188.
A repeat performance,however, does seem unlikely given the fact that there are only two players in MLB history with two Triple Crown accomplishments. Those two players are Rodger Hornsby and Ted Williams, both Hall of Famers. No player has ever done so in back-to-back seasons.
If anyone was going to repeat in back-to-back seasons, however, it would most likely be Cabrera. His nine straight 100 RBI and seven seasons batting above .320 almost ensure that he will be among the league’s leaders at the season’s end, and he is on pace to keep the home run totals close. If he can stay competitive with the rest of the league, he can make a push at the end of the season and create history.
Don’t miss out on greatness. Take the time to sit back and watch a game. The box scores and highlights are nice, but nothing beats watching something amazing happen in real time. You won’t miss the three hours you spend watching a game. We as Americans have become focused on becoming too efficient with our time. Five minutes of watching Sportscenter is not equivalent to watching a game. You miss the story that each game has, no matter how big or small.