Most every team these days strives to have an Asdrubal Cabrera on the roster — a switch-hitting infielder with pop who can play small ball and man multiple positions when needed.
Now 34, the well-traveled Venezuela native is currently in his second season with the defending world champion Washington Nationals, where he’s found his niche as a valuable veteran who can play three positions.
But on this day in béisbol, Aug. 1, 2011, Cabrera was the 25-year-old starting shortstop for the Cleveland Indians who enjoyed one of his best days ever at the plate.
In a 9-6 victory over the Red Sox at Fenway Park, Cabrera hit a pair of two-run homers to key the Indians win.
The 2011 season turned out to be the high point of Cabrera’s career. He finished the year with 25 home runs and 92 RBI, earning the first of two All-Star game appearances and a Silver Slugger award.
Also on this day: Orioles first baseman Rafael Palmeiro, a member of the 500 Home Run Club who celebrated his 3,000th career hit just a few weeks prior, tainted his legacy when he was suspended for testing positive for steroids.
— Robert Dominguez
Robert Dominguez is co-author of “Bronx Bummers: The Unofficial History of the New York Yankees’ Bad Boys, Blunders and Brawls” and writer of the upcoming “El Salón: The Trials and Triumphs of Baseball’s Latino Hall of Famers.”
Photo: Erik Drost — Under Creative Commons License