CARACAS, Venezuela (AP) - When the AL MVP award went to Miguel Cabrera on Thursday, it was a big hit back home.
Jose Torres, one of Cabrera's uncles in Venezuela, said he celebrated by setting off fireworks in the working-class neighborhood where the Detroit Tigers' slugger grew up in the city of Maracay.
``When the neighbors heard the fireworks, they came out of their house to celebrate with us,'' Torres told The Associated Press in a telephone interview.
Cabrera, baseball's first Triple Crown winner in 45 years, also became the first Venezuelan player to be chosen MVP in the major leagues.
Torres said he had fully expected his nephew to win, ``but baseball can bring surprises, so while waiting we were a little nervous.''
He said Cabrera's mother gave him the news after her son called her from Miami. Torres, who still coaches kids on the field where Cabrera once practiced, said: ``It was so exciting. We're very happy.''
At a baseball game in Caracas on Thursday night, a crowd of about 15,000 applauded enthusiastically and blew horns after Cabrera's selection was announced over the loudspeakers.
``It's very great joy for Miguel, for Venezuela,'' said Luisa Tunez, one of the fans at the game, which pitted top rivals Leones against Navegantes in the Venezuelan Professional Baseball League.
Tunez recalled Cabrera's struggles with alcohol, saying the award shows he's been able to overcome such troubles. She and other Venezuelans often refer to him affectionately as ``Cabrerita,'' or little Cabrera.
``Cabrerita showed that when we focus on something positive, we're capable of lifting ourselves up and winning,'' Tunez said.
In a message on his Twitter account, Cabrera said: ``This MVP was for the fans in Detroit and Venezuela. Support from God, my family, and teammates made it possible.''

Top MLB Public Bets

MLB Top Stories

Thumbnail Astros vs. Indians Pick Will the Cleveland Indians find a way to close out a series win over the Houston Astros when the two meet up tonight at 6:10PM...
Thumbnail Dodgers vs. Giants Prediction Will the series finale between the Dodgers and Giants be low-scoring for bettors at 3:45PM ET?
Thumbnail Nationals vs. Rockies Prediction Is the over a good bet in today's Nationals and Rockies game at 3:10PM ET?
Thumbnail Blue Jays vs. Cardinals Prediction Following a rainout on Wednesday, will the under cash today when the Cardinals host the Blue Jays at 1:45PM ET?
Thumbnail Braves vs. Mets Prediction Even with Noah Syndergaard toeing the rubber for the Mets, will the over cash when New York hosts the Braves at 1:10PM ET?

MLB Team Pages