Legends Robinson, Aaron hand it to Cabrera, Posey
BY CHRIS DE LUCA email@example.com October 27, 2012 11:30PM
Tigers slugger Miguel Cabrera hits a single to left off Giants righty Ryan Vogelsong in the first inning Saturday. | Ezra Shaw~Getty Images
Updated: November 29, 2012 6:29AM
DETROIT — Standing just steps from home plate at Comerica Park, Frank Robinson presented Miguel Cabrera with a navy crown — complete with a gold-plated, old-English ‘‘D’’ for Detroit and topped with a golden baseball — to honor the Tigers slugger for winning baseball’s first triple crown since 1967 before Game 3 of the World Series on Saturday.
So that’s what a triple crown looks like.
‘‘I’m very proud, my biggest day in baseball,’’ said Cabrera, who led the American League in batting average (.330), home runs (44) and RBI (139).
Robinson was a triple-crown winner in 1966, hitting .316 with 49 home runs and 122 RBI for the Baltimore Orioles.
Cabrera and San Francisco Giants catcher Buster Posey were also honored for winning the Hank Aaron Award, presented each World Series the last 14 years to the top offensive players in each league.
This is the first time the winners for each league were playing in the World Series.
Posey led the majors with a .336 batting average and led the NL with a .408 on-base percentage. Hank Aaron presented the award to both players.
‘‘I’m humbled that Hank Aaron knows who I am,’’ Posey said. ‘‘Growing up in Georgia, he’s a legend everywhere. It’s a great honor.’’
Former Cub Ryan Theriot was on the bubble for a starting assignment for Game 3, when the designated hitter was needed with the Series moving to the AL city.
But Giants manager Bruce Bochy picked backup catcher Hector Sanchez instead. Despite going 1-for-7 this postseason before Game 3, Sanchez got the nod because he’s a switch hitter. Theriot was 2-for-6 with three RBI this postseason entering Game 3.
‘‘I just remember so many clutch hits that Hector has given us, so I just felt like he’s earned this, and he gets the first shot at DH-ing,’’ Bochy said of Sanchez, who hit .280 in 74 games as a rookie.
Described as a ‘‘Tigers legend,’’ former White Sox right fielder Magglio Ordonez was scheduled to deliver the ceremonial first pitch before Game 3, but the honor went to Hall of Famer Al Kaline.
Ordonez, who retired after the 2011 season, left the Sox and signed as a free agent with the Tigers in February 2005. He is expected to throw out the ceremonial first pitch before Game 4 on Sunday night, a Tigers official said.
Before Game 3, members of the Baseball Writers’ Association of America voted Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle as its national president. Slusser becomes the first woman to head the BBWAA since it was founded in 1908.
Slusser, 46, succeeds Bill Shaikin of the Los Angeles Times.