Detroit Tigers third baseman Miguel Cabrera has won the 2012 King Tiger Award, given annually by the Mayo Smith Society. Cabrera received the award in 2008 and 2010 as well. The award is based on each player’s on-field accomplishments and off-field endeavors with voting conducted by the Mayo Smith Society members over a month-long period during the offseason.
Cabrera was named the American League Most Valuable Player in 2012 for the first time and became the first Tigers position player to win the award since Hang Greenberg in 1940 and just the fourth position player in franchise history to win, joining Greenberg, Charlie Gehringer and Mickey Cochrane.
He became the second player in Tigers history to win the Triple Crown, leading the American League with a .330 batting average, 44 home runs and 139 RBI. Cabrera was the first player to win the Triple Crown since Boston’s Carl Yastrzemski in 1967 and only the 14th time the Triple Crown has ever been achieved since 1900. This was the second consecutive season Cabrera has topped the American League batting average, making him the first Tigers player to win back-to-back batting titles since Ty Cobb did so for three consecutive seasons (1917-1919).
Cabrera also led the league with 377 total bases, 84 extra-base hits and 205 hits, fourth with a .393 on-base percentage and seventh with 40 doubles.
When he isn’t breaking records on the field, Cabrera is actively participating in various community groups, including Tigers Dreams Come True, the Detroit Tigers Autographed Memorabilia Donation Program and Autographs for a Cause. He also participated in Baseball Fantasy Camp for Kids, provided seed money to launch Play Baseball Detroit, he hosted “Keeping Kids in the Game” and raised over $200,000 to benefit the Children’s Hospital of Michigan Foundation, C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital, the Miguel Cabrera Foundation and the Detroit Tigers Foundation and launched “Cabrera’s Chamitos.” In addition, Cabrera was named the Tigers winners of the Roberto Clemente Award in 2012.
The Mayo Smith Society, founded in 1983 and named for the manager of the Tigers’ 1968 World Series championship club, is a nationwide organization of Tigers fans. Since 2004, the society has voted on King Tiger winners based on players’ on-field and off-field endeavors, picking up a tradition from 1964-80 when the presidents of individual Tigers’ fan clubs had voted for their own King Tiger awardees. Mayo Smith Society representatives plan to make the King Tiger presentation to Cabrera during the organization’s annual trip to Lakeland, Florida, for Spring Training.
Past King Tiger winners as voted on by the Mayo Smith Society:
2011: Justin Verlander
2010: Miguel Cabrera
2009: Justin Verlander
2008: Miguel Cabrera
2007: Magglio Ordonez
2006: Kenny Rogers
2005: Placido Polanco
2004: Carlos Guillen, Ivan Rodriguez (tie)