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Sports Then and Now



Miguel Cabrera Posts A Season For The Ages, But Is It MVP Worthy? 2

Posted on October 04, 2012 by Dean Hybl

Miguel Cabrera is the first player in 45 years to win baseball’s Triple Crown.

With his impressive late season surge, Miguel Cabrera has become the first major league player since Carl Yastrzemski in 1967 to win the Triple Crown as the league leader in home runs, batting average and RBI. However, it is also likely that Cabrera will join another former Red Sox star on an even more amazing list.

All-time great Ted Williams won the Triple Crown twice, but interestingly, he finished second in the AL MVP Award voting in both of those seasons. In 1942, Williams finished 21 votes behind Joe Gordon of the New York Yankees. In 1947 the Splendid Splinter lost the MVP to Joltin’ Joe DiMaggio by a single vote.

Others who won the Triple Crown without being named MVP of their league include Lou Gehrig in 1934 and Chuck Klein in 1933.

Despite his amazing statistical year and hot final month that helped push the Detroit Tigers into the playoffs, many expect Cabrera to finish second in the MVP voting to Los Angeles Angels rookie outfielder Mike Trout.

In both of the seasons when Williams finished second, his team did not make the playoffs. The 1942 Red Sox finished second, nine games behind Gordon and the Yankees. In 1947, the Red Sox placed third in the American League, 14 games behind DiMaggio and the Yankees.

Though the 2012 Tigers actually finished with two fewer wins than Trout and the Angels, because of the current division format, Cabrera will be advancing into the playoffs while Trout starts his offseason.

Given the amazing statistics of Cabrera, .330 batting average, 44 home runs and 139 RBI, you would think there would be little discussion about the MVP Award. Especially when compared to the numbers of Trout in those same categories (.326 average, 30 home runs and 83 RBI). However, because Trout served as a leadoff hitter, he out-performed Cabrera in several non-power categories that helped illustrate the rookies all-around value including runs scored (129 to 109), on base percentage (.399 to .393) and stolen bases (49 to 4). Read the rest of this entry →

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