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11/22/11 6:08 PM EST

Tigers trio honored for outstanding 2011

DETROIT -- The Tigers finished the regular season with their first American League pitching Triple Crown winner since 1945, their second batting champion since 1961, and the closer with the third-best perfect season in save opportunities since the stat was first recognized and tracked.

That followed their first player voted into the starting lineup at an All-Star Game since 2007. It seemed likely they were going to get some recognition during the awards season.

A trio of Tigers have taken team honors, with ace Justin Verlander earning Pitcher of the Year, Miguel Cabrera the Player of the Year and Alex Avila earning Breakout Player of the Year honors. As selected by MLB.com, awards have been designated in the three categories for each of the 30 teams.

Verlander also became the first pitcher in nearly 20 years to earn a Most Valuable Player Award, earning that honor in voting by the Baseball Writers' Association of America. He also claimed the AL's Cy Young Award, making him only the second player in baseball history to win an MVP, Cy Young and Rookie of the Year Award in his career.

"Not even in my wildest dreams had I thought of this," Verlander said. "I want to say this is a dream come true. I can't say that, because my dream had already come true -- to win the Cy Young. The next dream is to win a World Series. This wasn't even on my radar."

Verlander also became just the second pitcher to capture Player of the Year honors as part of the MLB Players Association's annual Players Choice Awards, a recognition by his peers of just how much of an impact he had on the Tigers and their fortunes. He paired that up with AL Pitcher of the Year honors as well, pulling off the same twin killing he had with the Sporting News' annual awards -- also decided by player balloting -- in October.

Team Awards 2011

"Coming from your peers makes it all the more special," Verlander said. "I think with all the talk about, 'Should a pitcher be able to win MVP or a top player award?' -- I think it shows a lot of support for my fellow players to be able to vote me for that. I think it means a lot. When it comes from your peers, the guys you're playing with, the guys you're playing against, it's special."

Verlander topped all AL pitchers with 24 wins, a 2.40 ERA and 250 strikeouts, becoming the first AL hurler to do that since Johan Santana in 2006, and the first Tigers pitcher since Hal Newhouser in 1945. No AL pitcher had won that many games in a season since Bob Welch notched 27 victories for the 1990 powerhouse Oakland Athletics. No Major League pitcher had posted that combination of strong Triple Crown stats in the same season since Randy Johnson in 2002, and no AL pitcher since Vida Blue in 1971.

Verlander also led AL pitchers with 251 innings, a .192 opponents' batting average and a 0.92 WHIP ratio.

The Tigers were 25-9 in games Verlander started, including five wins when scoring three runs or fewer. They were 70-58 in games started by everyone else, and won 14 of those games scoring fewer than three runs.

Verlander might have won Player of the Year honors from MLB.com in its first team awards, but the rules delineate pitchers from hitters. Instead, that went to Cabrera, whose MVP-caliber season unfolded rather quietly before a late charge gave him a .344 average, 30 home runs, 105 RBIs and 1.033 OPS. He was again the heart of the Tigers' offense, as he has been since his arrival in 2008.

Cabrera finished fifth in MVP voting.

While Verlander was the obvious choice to capture the club's Pitcher of the Year honors, his battery mate, All-Star catcher Avila, took the Tigers' Breakout Player of the Year honors -- a testament to the production he assembled in his first season as an everyday player.

Avila was the best young catcher in the AL, as evidenced by his spot on The Sporting News AL All-Star team in October, as voted on by players.

Tigers manager Jim Leyland finished second to Rays skipper Joe Maddon in balloting for the AL Manager of the Year.

National Awards
MVP Cy Young Rookie of the Year
Mickey Cochrane1934Denny McLain1968Harvey Kuenn1953
Hank Greenberg1935Denny McLain1969Mark Fidrych1976
Charlie Gehringer1937Willie Hernandez1984Lou Whitaker1978
Hank Greenberg1940Justin Verlander2006
Hal Newhauser1944
Hal Newhauser1945
Denny McLain1968
Willie Hernandez1984
Triple Crown Manager of the Year Relief Man
Ty Cobb1909Sparky Anderson1984Todd Jones2000
Hal Newhouser1945Sparky Anderson1987
Jim Leyland2006
ALCS MVP World Series MVP Roberto Clemente Award
Kirk Gibson1984Mickey Lolich1968Al Kaline1973
Alan Trammell1984
Rawlings Gold Glove Silver Slugger Hutch Award
Al Kaline, OF1957Lance Parrish, C1980Al Kaline1969
Al Kaline, OF1958Lance Parrish, C1982John Hiller1973
Frank Boling, 2B1958Lou Whitaker, 2B1982
Al Kaline, OF1959Lance Parrish, C1983
Al Kaline, OF1961Lou Whitaker, 2B1983
Frank Lary, P1961Lance Parrish, C1984
Al Kaline, OF1962Lou Whitaker, 2B1984
Al Kaline, OF1963Lou Whitaker, 2B1985
Al Kaline, OF1964Lance Parrish, C1986
Al Kaline, OF1965Lou Whitaker, 2B1987
Bill Freehan, C1965Matt Nokes, C1987
Al Kaline, OF1966Alan Trammell, SS1987
Bill Freehan, C1966Alan Trammell, SS1988
Al Kaline, OF1967Alan Trammell, SS1990
Bill Freehan, C1967Cecil Fielder, 1B1990
Bill Freehan, C1968Cecil Fielder, 1B1991
Mickey Stanley, OF1968Mickey Tettleton, C1991
Bill Freehan, C1969Mickey Tettleton, C1992
Mickey Stanley, OF1969Travis Fryman, SS1992
Mickey Stanley, OF1970Damion Easley, 2B1998
Ed Brinkman, SS1972Dean Palmer, 3B1999
Mickey Stanley, OF1973Ivan Rodriguez, C2004
Aurelio Rodriguez, 3B1976Placido Polanco, 2B2007
Alan Trammell, SS1980Magglio Ordonez, OF2007
Alan Trammell, SS1981
Lou Whitaker, 2B1982
Lance Parrish, C1983
Alan Trammell, SS1983
Alan Trammell, SS1984
Lou Whitaker, 2B1984
Lance Parrish, C1984
Lance Parrish, C1985
Gary Pettis, OF1988
Gary Pettis, OF1989
Ivan Rodriguez, C2004
Ivan Rodriguez, C2006
Kenny Rogers2006
Placido Polanco, 2B2007
Placido Polanco, 2B2009
Local Awards
Tiger of the Year
Selected by Detroit BBWAA chapter        
Don Wert1965
Denny McLain1966
Bill Freehan1967
Denny McLain1968
Denny McLain1969
Tom Timmerman1970
Mickey Lolich1971
Ed Brinkman1972
John Hiller1973
Al Kaline1974
Willie Horton1975
Mark Fidrych1976
Ron LeFlore1977
Ron LeFlore1978
Steve Kemp1979
Alan Trammell1980
Kirk Gibson1981
Lance Parrish1982
Lou Whitaker1983
Willie Hernandez1984
Darrell Evans1985
Jack Morris1986
Alan Trammell1987
Alan Trammell1988
Lou Whitaker1989
Cecil Fielder1990
Cecil Fielder1991
Cecil Fielder1992
Tony Phillips1993
Kirk Gibson1994
Travis Fryman1995
Travis Fryman1996
Tony Clark, Bobby Higginson1997
Damion Easley1998
Dean Palmer1999
Bobby Higginson2000
Steve Sparks2001
Randall Simon2002
Dmitri Young2003
Ivan Rodriguez2004
Placido Polanco2005
Carlos Guillen2006
Magglio Ordonez2007
Miguel Cabrera2008
Justin Verlander2009

Jason Beck is a reporter for MLB.com. Read Beck's Blog and follow him on Twitter @beckjason. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.