Regarded as one of the best hitters of all time, Triple Crown winner, two-time most valuable player and eight-time All-Star Miguel Cabrera is the epitome of an all-around ball player. Born in Venezuela, Cabrera was raised with baseball in his blood. Miguel’s parents even met on a baseball diamond. His father was a highly regarded amateur player, while his mother was the shortstop on the Venezuelan national softball team for 14 years. His childhood home was immediately next to the right field line at Maracay Stadium.
Miguel spent his early years hanging around the dugout with his mother or playing with his father and uncle David. Uncle David worked with Miguel almost every day, imparting him his baseball wisdom and warning him of the pitfalls a young man could expect to encounter in North American baseball. Even his father was wary when it came to Miguel’s baseball aspirations, encouraging him to focus on engineering as a backup plan so Miguel did not face the heartbreak of an unfulfilled baseball career.
Miguel focused on his studies and received his high school diploma. His true talent was undeniable and many teams from the Yankees to the Twins scouted him, but the Marlins were his favorite team after watching them win in 1997.
With the support of his family and his hard work, he signed with Florida, where he came up through the Marlins farm system in 1999. The Marlins saw his MVP caliber talent and maturity right away. Miguel’s exemplary hitting skills were matched with his expert fielding at first base, left field and right field before settling at third base. He spent 3 years in the minors and debuted in the major leagues for the Florida Marlins in 2003.
After four years with the Marlins, Miguel was traded to the Detroit Tigers, where, in 2012, he became the first player since Carl Yastrzemski in 1967 to win the Triple Crown in batting. Cabrera led the American League with a .330 batting average, 44 home runs, and 139 runs batted in. Cabrera was voted the AL MVP following the 2012 and 2013 seasons. He received the AL Silver Slugger award in 2010, 2012, and 2013. He was also named an AL All Star for 6 consecutive years (2010-2015).