Miguel Cabrera: Triple Crown Would Cement Tigers Star's Place in Cooperstown

Nicholas Goss@@NicholasGoss35Correspondent ISeptember 26, 2012

DETROIT, MI - SEPTEMBER 18: Miguel Cabrera #24 of the Detroit Tigers hits a fifth inning double in front of George Kottaras #14 of the Oakland Athletics at Comerica Park on September 18, 2012 in Detroit, Michigan. Detroit won the game 12-2.  (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)
Gregory Shamus/Getty Images

Capturing the American League Triple Crown this season would cement Miguel Cabrera's place in the baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown.

How close is the Detroit Tigers star from accomplishing something that hasn't been seen in the AL since 1967? According to ESPN Stats and Info, we haven't seen someone this close in over 30 years.

Miguel Cabrera = Triple Crown?.. Cabrera is 1st AL player since Jim Rice in 1979 to be 1st or 2nd in TC stats this late in the season.

— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) September 20, 2012

As of Wednesday morning, Cabrera is leading the AL in batting average and runs batted in. He is ranked second in home runs, just one behind Texas Rangers outfielder Josh Hamilton. He is nicely positioned to win the Triple Crown with just eight games remaining on the schedule.

Even without a Triple Crown on Cabrera's resume when his career finishes, it's likely that he will still make the Hall of Fame because he is one of the most consistent sluggers we have seen for the last decade.

In nine of his 10 seasons at the MLB level, he has played in more than 90 games. In that span, Cabrera has failed to hit 30 home runs, reach 100 or more RBI and bat .300 or better in the same season just twice.

To put these last nine seasons in perspective, ESPN's Tim Kurkjian provides us with an interesting stat.

Miguel Cabrera has 1,051 RBIs over the last nine seasons. Hank Aaron's best nine-year RBI total was 1,052. He is the all-time RBI leader.

— Tim Kurkjian (@Kurkjian_ESPN) September 19, 2012

Cabrera has been the model of consistency throughout his career. Los Angeles Angels star Albert Pujols has received a ton of recognition for his brilliant performance at the plate over the last decade, and rightfully so, but Cabrera has been almost as productive during that same time.

His career averages include 38.6 home runs, 111.7 RBI and a .318 batting average per season. Those are incredible numbers.

Having a Triple Crown winner would be great for baseball and would give the sport some nice excitement and publicity going into the postseason in October.

With the NFL replacement refs getting most of the national spotlight from a sports perspective, baseball could really benefit if Cabrera makes history.

Cabrera is one of the best players of our generation, and a phenomenal talent. He will get to Cooperstown at some point, but a Triple Crown in 2012 would book his ticket to baseball's Hall of Fame by the end of this season.