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Posey, Cabrera earn baseball MVP honors

LOS ANGELES (AFP) –

San Francisco Giants catcher Buster Posey has been named baseball's National League Most Valuable Player

San Francisco Giants Buster Posey talks to the fans during the Giants’ victory parade and celebration on October 31, 2012 in San Francisco, California. Posey, who came back from devastating injury to help the Giants win the World Series, was named baseball’s National League Most Valuable Player on Thursday.

San Francisco catcher Buster Posey, who came back from devastating injury to help the Giants win the World Series, was named baseball’s National League Most Valuable Player on Thursday.

The American League MVP award went to Detroit slugger Miguel Cabrera, the first player in 45 years to win Major League Baseball’s Triple Crown of hitting.

Cabrera, 29, was listed first on 22 of 28 ballots in voting by members of the Baseball Writers’ Association of America.

He led the American League in batting average (.330), home runs (44) and runs batted in (139) to become the first Triple Crown winner since Boston Red Sox left fielder Carl Yastrzemski in 1967.

Venezuela’s Cabrera also topped the league in slugging percentage (.606) and on-base-plus-slugging (.999) for a Tigers club that won the American League Central division and eventually reached the World Series — where they were swept in four games by Posey’s Giants.

“I’m very excited. I don’t have any words to explain like how excited I am right now,” Cabrera said. “I never expected I’d end up winning because of Mike Trout, because he had an unbelievable season.”

Posey, 25, was listed first on 27 ballots, second on four and third on one of the 32.

Venezuela's Cabrera topped baseball's National League in slugging percentage (.606)

Miguel Cabrera of the Detroit Tigers prepares to bat on October 28, 2012 in Detroit, Michigan. The American League awarded Cabrera its Most Valuable Player status, the first player in 45 years to win Major League Baseball’s Triple Crown of hitting.

He was the National League batting champion with a .336 average, joining two-time winner Ernie Lombardi as the only catchers in the league’s history to win batting titles.

Posey’s season was all the more impressive after he missed most of the 2011 season due to a broken bone and torn ligaments in his left ankle as the result of a collision at the plate May 25 of that year. He drove in 103 runs, hit 24 home runs and caught Matt Cain’s perfect game June 13.

Milwaukee Brewers left fielder Ryan Braun, the 2011 National League MVP received three first-placed votes and was runner-up for the award after a season that saw him hit .319 with 41 home runs.

In the American League, Los Angeles Angels center fielder Mike Trout, the AL leader in runs with 129 and stolen bases with 49, received the other six first-place votes. He was second on 21 ballots and was runner-up in the voting.

Trout, who batted .326 with 30 home runs, is the first rookie to finish second in MVP balloting, although the award has been won by two first-year players — Red Sox center fielder Fred Lynn in 1975 and Seattle Mariners right fielder Ichiro Suzuki of Japan in 2001.

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