Miguel Cabrera of the Detroit Tigers and the San Francisco Giants’ Buster Posey were given the 2012 Hank Aaron Awards, the first time both winners were meeting in the World Series.
The Giants lead the Tigers three games to none in the best-of-seven World Series following last night’s 2-0 victory at Comerica Park in Detroit.
The award recognizes the outstanding offensive players in each league. It was created in 1999 to honor the 25th anniversary of Aaron breaking Babe Ruth’s all-time home run record.
Fans and a Hall of Fame panel of Aaron, who hit his 715th home run to break Ruth’s record on April 8, 1974, Tony Gwynn, Paul Molitor, Joe Morgan and Robin Yount voted for the winners.
“Miguel joined historic company this year by winning the game’s first Triple Crown in 45 years, and Buster was a consistent force in returning to the field triumphantly this year,” Baseball Commissioner Bud Selig said in a statement.
Cabrera, 29, ended the longest gap between Triple Crown winners in baseball history. He led the American League with a .330 batting average, 44 home runs and 139 runs batted in.
Cabrera is the fourth consecutive Triple Crown winner to lead his club to the World Series, following Hall of Famers Mickey Mantle (1956), Frank Robinson (1966) and Carl Yastrzemski (1967).
Posey, 25, whose .336 batting average led all of Major League Baseball, became the first National League catcher to win the batting title since Ernie Lombardi of the Boston Braves in 1942. He led the Giants in home runs (24), RBI (103), doubles (39), walks (69), on-base percentage (.408) and slugging (.549).
Posey, the 2010 National League Rookie of the Year, played in 45 games in 2011 before breaking his leg in a home-plate collision on May 25, 2011, against the Florida Marlins.
Previous Aaron winners include Jose Bautista and Matt Kemp (2011), Bautista and Joey Votto (2010), Derek Jeter and Albert Pujols (2009), Aramis Ramirez and Kevin Youkilis (2008), Alex Rodriguez and Prince Fielder (2007), Jeter and Ryan Howard (2006), David Ortiz and Andruw Jones (2005), Manny Ramirez and Barry Bonds (2004), Rodriguez and Pujols (2003), Rodriguez and Bonds (2001-02), Carlos Delgado and Todd Helton (2000) and Manny Ramirez and Sammy Sosa (1999).