A footprint on a generation
Each generation has that special athlete and those special moments that they believe signify their era, and they use it to justify that their time is better than another.While our era has been jam-packed with athletes that have excelled and accomplished plenty of their own feats, last week we witnessed a pretty special moment when Miguel Cabrera won Major League Baseball’s Triple Crown — the illustrious Triple Crown that some believed may never be seen again, in baseball and horse racing alike.
Cabrera’s numbers were astronomical, with a .330 batting average, 44 homers and 139 RBI’s. This year, they were good enough to earn the accolades. Many years they wouldn’t have, but he faced the same guys as everybody else. It’s a moment we should celebrate and hold in the highest of regards.
Then why aren’t we?
Cabrera may not even win the American League MVP this year because of Mike Trout, one of the game’s rising stars. Trout’s season has been impressive, but giving him the award over Cabrera is nonsense. Not because of the Triple Crown, but rather because one guy was sitting at home when the playoffs started and another guy wasn’t.
We wouldn’t even be having the MVP debate if Cabrera did all those other little things baseball players are supposed to do — you know, like defense and running well. Cabrera is a hitter and this is a hitter’s award.
In fact, Cabrera winning the award makes him only the 12th baseball player to ever accomplish the feat. Simply looking at the names on the list is enough to realize the magnitude of the feat. Cabrera, native of Venezuela, is also the first non-American winner of the award.
Cabrera will forever be remembered with his Triple Crown peers: Ted Williams, Ty Cobb and Lou Gehrig. It’s a collective who’s who of Major League Baseball history, but in this day and age does it matter?
Cabrera is being overshadowed by other teams, his team, his past—you name it, it means more to baseball right now then this monumental accomplishment.
This baseball season has seen the rise of the Washington Nationals, and their rise to success going into the postseason has caught the heart of baseball fans everywhere. The Tigers clawed and fought their way back into the playoff hunt. When Cabrera should have been able to take a moment and reflect on his own personal accolades, he couldn’t because baseball is the ultimate team sport.
The truth is maybe Cabrera just isn’t the big name we want for an award like this. At the age of 29, Cabrera’s career has had some hills and valleys, but his numbers have remained solid. He has had some issues with alcohol, but look at the list of Triple Crown winners and you will realize he isn’t the only one.
When Cabrera became the first Triple Crown winner since Carl Yastrzemski accomplished the same feat in 1967, there should have been parades and a menagerie of over the top antics that ignore the fact that the playoffs are more important and we should be concentrating on them because, as Americans, we love celebrating personal successes that take place on the field.
Cabrera’s feat should bring the nation’s interest back to Detroit, a city that was devastated by the economy. This moment should live in infamy. This is our chance to tell ‘old timers’ this is our moment.
Jacob Dyer can be reached at email@example.com