Looking back at Miguel's Cabrera's Triple Crown season

Taking a look back at Miguel Cabrera's 2012 season in which he won the Triple Crown.
Detroit Tigers v Kansas City Royals
Detroit Tigers v Kansas City Royals / Ed Zurga/GettyImages

Miguel Cabrera has had numerous great seasons for the Detroit Tigers throughout his career. From the year he was acquired in 2008 through 2016, he was a force to be reckoned with.

But nothing will ever top his 2012 season in which he won the prestigious Triple Crown.

For those who may not know, a player wins the Triple Crown when they lead the league in home runs, RBIs, and batting average. Miggy did this in 2012 when he hit 44 bombs, knocked in 139 runs, and hit .330. It was the first triple crown season in MLB since Carl Yazstremski in 1967, and the first of back-to-back MVP seasons for the future hall-of-famer.

What made this season so impressive is that he did most of his damage in the second half of the season — in just 75 games compared to 86 in the first half.

Miggy hit 18 home runs, drove in 71 runs, and hit .324 before the 2012 All-Star break. That's obviously still really good, but the Triple Crown wasn't really in the conversation yet.

But the power really came on in the second half. After slugging .557 in the first half, he slugged an insane .667 in the second half, including 26 homers. Again, he did this in 11 fewer games in the second half.

The home run race was really the one Miggy was in a dogfight for. Josh Hamilton, Curtis Granderson, ans Edwin Encarnacion were some of the other top sluggers that year that Miggy had to pass to win the Triple Crown. He won the batting average race by four points, and RBI race by a somewhat comfortable 11.

Through Aug. 31, Miggy had 33 homers, which was five behind the American League leader at the time, Adam Dunn. He trailed Josh Hamilton in RBIs by three, and Mike Trout in batting average by six points.

Through Sept. 15, Miggy was up to 36 bombs, but trailed new home run leader Josh Hamilton by five. He trailed Hamilton by three RBIs, and trailed Trout by three points in batting average. It was starting to look a little bleak for his Triple Crown hopes.

The last two weeks of the season, Miggy went on an absolute tear. During that stretch from Sept. 15-30, he hit seven homers with an OPS well over 1.000. His ISO was a whopping .419.

Heading into the final series of the year in Kansas City, he was tied for the AL lead in homers, led by nine RBIs, and had the highest batting average thanks to a slight slump by Trout. It was starting to look real.

On Oct. 1, he hit his 44th home run to take the AL lead. If the season ended that day, he would have won the Triple Crown. However, there were still two days to go.

Curtis Granderson hit two home runs on Oct. 3 to give him 43 for the year and tie for second in the league with Hamilton. Later in the game, he pulled himself out.

Many people though it was to preserve Miggy's Triple Crown, but he revealed in an interview with Bally Sports Detroit earlier this year that it was actually to give a young player some playing time.

As soon as Jim Leyland got word of what had happened in New York, he pulled Miggy from the game, and he left to a standing ovation.

The top Tigers memory in Kansas City: Miguel Cabrera clinching the triple crown on October 3, 2012! #RepDetroit | Fieger Law

Posted by Bally Sports Detroit on Tuesday, May 23, 2023

It was a site and achievement that will be remembered by Tigers and baseballs fans alike, forever.

Vladimir Guerrero Jr. flirted with the Triple Crown in 2021, and Aaron Judge almost got it last year, but other than that, no one else has really come close to it since Miggy did it in 2012. Just another one-of-a-kind accomplishment for a one-of-a-kind player.

Next. Top 5 home runs of Miguel Cabrera's career with the Detroit Tigers. Top 5 home runs of Miguel Cabrera's career with the Detroit Tigers. dark