"He's the best right-handed hitter in the game, the best teammate, the most humble person I know," Fielder said. "Anyone who wins the Triple Crown, he's awesome, man. He's the best."
Commissioner Bud Selig offered his congratulations, calling the Triple Crown "a remarkable achievement that places him amongst an elite few in all of baseball history."
The crowd at Kauffman Stadium gave Cabrera a standing ovation before he flied out in the first inning. He struck out in the fourth but remained in the game, allowing Leyland to remove him with two outs in the bottom half of the inning to another standing ovation from thousands of appreciative fans.
Cabrera high-fived his teammates as he entered the Detroit dugout, and then walked back to the top step and waved his helmet, almost sheepishly acknowledging the crowd.
"It was like playing at home, having all the fans cheer for you," Cabrera said. "It was an unbelievable feeling, and I was very thankful for the fans in Kansas City."
Cabrera's pursuit of history has occurred largely in the dark, overshadowed by thrilling playoff races, the sheer enormity of the NFL — even the presidential election.
An event that in other years might dominate headlines has been mostly cast aside.
"The entire baseball world should be here right now," Verlander said.
Perhaps part of the void has to do with Cabrera's very nature.
He's not the boisterous sort, never one to crave attention. He would rather hang out with a couple of buddies than stand in front of a pack of TV cameras, answering the unending stream of questions about what makes him one of the game's most complete hitters.
"That's one of the main reasons we're still playing, because of how good he is and what he does for the ball club," Dombrowski said. "He doesn't like to talk about himself, as anyone who knows him is aware. I think our success helped him in that regard."