Detroit Tigers third baseman Miguel Cabrera shocked the baseball world in 2012 by winning the first Triple Crown since 1967. He's followed that up with another monster year that has him in the running for a consecutive Triple Crown.
But one man stands in his way: Baltimore Orioles slugger Chris Davis.
If the season ended today, Cabrera would be the league leader in batting average (.363) and RBIs (92). But Davis leads Cabrera by four home runs (33-29).
There is still plenty of time left this season, but it’s tough to think either of these players will slow down their current pace. It might be a race to the finish to see if we’ll have another Triple Crown this year.
Just to put this potential feat into perspective, let’s take a look back at Triple Crown history. If Cabrera can win it this season, he’d become only the third player to win two Triple Crowns in his career. Hall of Famers Rogers Hornsby of the St. Louis Cardinals and Ted Williams of the Boston Red Sox each won two.
However, the same player has never won the Triple Crown in back-to-back seasons, which is what Cabrera would accomplish if he won.
A Triple Crown has been recorded in back-to-back years only twice: 1933-1934 and 1966-1967.
The 1933 season was the only time in history in which two players each won the Triple Crown in their respective leagues in the same season. What’s even more impressive is that I happened in the same city. Jimmie Foxx of the Philadelphia Athletics won the AL Triple Crown, while Chuck Klein of Philadelphia Phillies notched the NL Triple Crown.
Lou Gehrig followed up those performances by winning the Triple Crown the following year.
Frank Robinson in 1966 and Carl Yastrzemski in 1967 were the other two to win Triple Crowns in successive years. If either Cabrera or Davis can win this year, that feat would be matched.
A few things would have to happen for either Cabrera or Davis to win a Triple Crown this year. Cabrera’s average would have to slip to get Davis a bit closer, as he trails now in that category by nearly 50 percentage points.
Meanwhile, if Cabrera can have a power surge, he could catch Davis in the home run department. He’d then have to keep his batting average and RBI pace the same.
It’s very difficult to predict if a player can continue a hot streak. Both are obviously locked in right now and have been all season, but what will happen after the All-Star break or in a pennant race?
Either way, there’s a chance we are seeing history in the making, especially if Cabrera can accomplish the feat of being the only player to win back-to-back Triple Crowns.
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