The lack of coverage of the Triple Crown in the American League this year is total proof that baseball is no longer America’s Pastime. Instead baseball has been relegated to American history.

The only Triple Crown most anyone knows about outside of baseball aficionados is that involving the Kentucky Derby, Preakness and Belmont.

The king of the hill is now clearly the juggernaut known as football. American’s crave the gladiator style, fast paced action that only football can bring. Baseball in comparison is slow with action, the fielders stand around the entire time except when the ball is put into play. The antics of the batter box and the pitchers have delayed the games even more. Also baseball has gotten too specialized, no longer do players pitch complete games nor play double headers that often. No, baseball is no longer the game of a by-gone radio era, it is now made for TV entertainment, although not many are watching.

It Was a Very Good Year……

The last Triple Crown winner was Carl Yastrzemski in 1967. Yaz’s meteoric climb to popularity was due to a number of factors.

First he played for the Boston Red Sox. Not that the Beantowners were as popular back in the 50’s and 60’s as they are today, but remember baseball had much fewer teams then, and Boston was one of the more popular teams, mainly due to the heavily populated Northeast.

Second, Yaz also followed Ted Williams, arguably the best hitter of all time and surely on everyone’s list as a starter on any All-Time baseball team you want to put together. Williams left an irreplaceable hole in the hearts of Boston fans. After all he had won the MVP twice, was a two time triple crown winner and 19 time all-star. Yaz would never be able to replace Williams, but he did his best to try.

Thirdly Yaz played his entire career with the Red Sox, and was an 18 time all-star, won the MVP and Triple Crown in 1967 and is a member of the 3000 hit club. The 1967 season is the main reason he is still revered in Massachusetts. 1967 was a magical season for the normally down-trodden Sox, and added to the allure of Yastrzemski popularity.

The Red Sox finished 9th place in the division the year before, and were in a tight race with the Minnesota Twins and the Detroit Tigers as the season came to a close. He hit an amazing .521 with 5 homers and 16 rbi in the last two weeks of the season propelling the Sox to the World Series where they eventually lost to the St. Louis Cardinals. Yaz was the main that almost single handedly carried Boston all the way to the title, and the fans never forgot that.

Pride or Prejudice?

Cabrera faces a slug of uphill factors in his chance to cash in on this monumental accomplishment. The media is not giving it much coverage because, let’s face it, Detroit is not a sexy baseball town, and he does not speak English as his primary language. I am surprised that no sports reporters have mentioned this fact. We all like to claim that things such as race and prejudice no longer have a place in sports or society today, but the reality is they still do. It will be interesting to see how the people who vote on the MVP will choose this year. They have a tough decision.

Mike Trout, of the Angels is getting just as much if not more media attention this year in the face of the biggest accomplishments in the Major Leagues in almost 5 decades. Mike Trout is 21 years old, is an American and looks to have a bright future ahead of him. He has done some things this year that put him on the list of all-time greatest seasons. Will he get the nod for the MVP vote, or will it be Cabrera?

Only 12 people have ever won a triple crown. That is less than the number of 500 Home Run club members, 3000 hit listers, 300 game winners and pitchers that have thrown perfect games.

Four times the Triple Crown Winner has not also won the MVP award. The last time that happened, Ted Williams lost out to Joe DiMaggio in 1947.

Only the votes remain, it will be an interest ballot to be cast by the Baseball Writers Association of America.

Until next time, stay classy Millville, Ohio

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Johnny Goodman writes a weekly sports column for The Soap Boxers. His articles can be found in The Goodman File.

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