Miguel Cabrera has tortured American League pitching in 2012, batting .333 with 40 home runs and 129 runs batted in through September 18 as he looks to lead the Detroit Tigers back to the playoffs.
Individually, Cabrera is putting together one of the greatest offensive seasons of our generation, and he currently sits atop the American League rankings in batting average and RBIs while sitting only two home runs behind Josh Hamilton. If the season ends with Cabrera leading the rankings in each of those three categories, he will have the first Triple Crown in Major League Baseball since 1967, and only the 12th since 1910.
Cabrera would join one of the most elite and exclusive lists in all of baseball, which currently includes the following luminaries:
Carl Yastrzemski, AL, Boston Red Sox, 1967: .326 batting average, 44 HRs, 121 RBIs.
Frank Robinson, AL, Baltimore Orioles, 1966: .316 batting average, 49 HRs, 122 RBIs.
Mickey Mantle, AL, New York Yankees, 1956: .353 batting average, 52 HRs, 130 RBIs.
Ted Williams, AL, Boston Red Sox, 1947: .343 batting average, 32 HRs, 114 RBIs.
Ted Williams, AL, Boston Red Sox, 1942: .356 batting average, 36 HRs, 137 RBIs.
Joe Medwick, NL, St. Louis Cardinals, 1937: .374 batting average, 31 HRs, 154 RBIs.
Lou Gehrig, AL, New York Yankees, 1934: .363 batting average, 49 HRs, 165 RBIs.
Jimmie Fox, AL, Philadelphia A's, 1933: .356 batting average, 48 HRs, 163 RBIs.
Chuck Klein, NL, Philadelphia Phillies, 1933: .368 batting average, 28 HRs, 120 RBIs.
Rogers Hornsby, NL, St. Louis Cardinals, 1925: .403 batting average, 39 HRs, 143 RBIs.
Rogers Hornsby, NL, St. Louis Cardinals, 1922: .401 batting average, 42 HRs, 152 RBIs.
Ty Cobb, AL, Detroit Tigers, 1909: .377 batting average, 9 HRs, 107 RBIs.
Nap Lajoie, AL, Philadelphia A's, 1901: .426 batting average, 14 HRs, 125 RBIs.
Tip O'Neill, American Association, St. Louis Browns, 1887: .435 batting average, 14 HRs, 123 RBIs.
Paul Hines, NL, Providence Grays, 1878: .358 batting average, 4 HRs, 50 RBIs.
Time will tell if Cabrera can add his name to the list. If he does, you can probably bet that the Detroit Tigers will be headed to the postseason, allowing him to continue his magical year in October.
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Del Pearson is a huge baseball fan and follows intently throughout the season. His favorite time of year is the fall when playoff chases heat up although, unfortunately, his Toronto Blue Jays are not much of a contender in 2012. You can follow Del on Twitter @DelPearson2.