Detroit TIgers third baseman Miguel Cabrera was confirmed as baseball's first Triple Crown winner since 1967 Wednesday night with an 0-for-2 performance that dropped his batting average a point to .330 to go with 44 home runs and 139 RBI.
He got a standing ovation from the Kansas City crowd and Royals players when he came up to bat in the first inning, and he received a loud standing ovation when Ramon Santiago replaced him on the field with two out in the fourth.
"It was like playing at home, having all the fans cheer for you," the surprised Cabrera said. "It was an unbelievable feeling. I was very thankful for the fans in Kansas City. It was a great moment in my life."
"It was a great scene. Kudos to Kansas City fans that they gave Miguel the kind applause they did," manager Jim Leyland said. It was just a great night for baseball. I talked to commissioner (Bud) Selig afterwards."
Before the game was over, Cabrera had received congratulatory messages from the last two Triple Crown winners, Carl Yastrzemski of Boston (1967) and Frank Robinson (Baltimore, 1966) plus Selig.
"It's an unbelievable feeling," Cabrera said. "I can't describe how I feel right now. It was hard the last two weeks. Everybody talked about that. It was hard to focus. Kind of hard to go out and do the job. I think the mental part helped me a lot. Going out there and focus on winning games, trying to win the division, helped me a lot. I don't know when I'm going to believe it."