Miguel Cabrera of the Detroit Tigers limped his way to one of the best seasons in recorded history, with 44 homers, 137 RBI and a .348 batting average.
But it’s his final six at-bats that will mean the most to Superior manager Mike Renbarger, proud owner of the prolific slugger in the I-75 Strat-O-Matic League.
Those final six at-bats pushed Cabrera over the magic 550 mark, making him unlimited in the 2014 I-75 league season, enabling the Titans to potentially get even more mileage out of Cabrera. Cabrera played in 148 games for the Tigers, but you can bet he’ll be penciled in for 160 starts for the Titans.
Cabrera was hobbled down the stretch, missing four of five games during the span of Aug. 31 to Sept. 4. And he hit just one more homer the rest of the season. But the key stat for Superior was the Sept. 27 game in Miami, when three at-bats against the Marlins pushed Cabrera to 501 for the year. He added four more on the next-to-last day of the year, then sat out the Tigers’ finale.
Also pleased as punch must be English Pigdogs manager Mark Gergel, as his valuable first sacker, Freddie Freeman, cleared the 550 hurdle with just two ABs to spare, checking in at 551. Freeman had a fantastic season, with an .897 OPS, a .319 average, 23 homers and 109 RBIs. Had he not cleared 550, the Pigdogs still could have conserved ABs by sitting Freeman against lefties (just a .397 slugging average there), so the payoff is not quite as dramatic.
Other players were not as fortunate, falling just shy of the magic 550 at-bat level. To wit, we present our top 5 members of the ‘oh-so-close’ club for the 2014 season.