Cabrera uses Sam Bat to win triple crown
* Alfred Maione, project manager of The Original Maple Bat Corporation, makers of Sam Bat, showed at Comeria Park Sunday bringing Miguel Cabrera luck, not so much for the Detroit Tigers ….
By Bob Elliott
DETROIT _ Arlene Anderson wasn’t kidding.
“We’re sending our secret weapon,” said Anderson, president of The Original Maple Bat Corporation, makers of Sam Bat, from Ottawa Sunday afternoon before Game 4 of the 108th World Series, hoping Miguel Cabrera would break out of his homerless slump.
Cabrera’s made in Canada weapon of choice was used to become the majors’ first triple crown winner since 1967, while Sam Bat’s secret weapon is project manager Alfred Maione, who was baptized in the Vatican, attended his first Series game Sunday night.
Maione, his daughter Katie, a St. Francis Xavier University student and 42,150 others cheered as Cabrera hit a two-run homer to right off Matt Cain to give the Detroit Tigers a 2-1 lead in the third inning … their first lead of the Series, ending a 20-inning scoreless string.
The secret weapon brought Cabrera good luck at the plate, but the Tigers were not as successful, as pesky Marco Scutaro blooped a single to score the winner and give the San Francisco Giants a 4-3 win in 10 innings and a Series sweep.
And all but Giants fans left unhappy when Sergio Romo struck out Cabrera to end it.
Maione’s parents were born in Canada and his father was president of the Young Christian workers union based in Italy for six years. Alfred was born in Rome and baptized in the Vatican.
“My mother says I howled like a baby throughout, that was 55 years ago,” said Maione, arriving with hopes to see his No. 1 client drive in some runs with his Sam Bat.
Maione oversees the Carleton Place factory, which churns out 18,000 bats a year, including Cabrera’s 34-inch, 32-ounce, MC-1 model.
President Anderson no longer watches games.
“I watch highlights, I’ve become superstitious,” said Anderson Sunday afternoon, hoping that there would be some Cabrera highlights to watch from Game 4.
Anderson’s Maple Bat Corporation, made Cabrera’s made in Canada weapon of choice which he used to become the majors’ first triple crown winner since 1967.
Ryan Braun won the National League MVP a year ago with a Sam Bat. Troy Tulowitzki, Justin Upton, Alfonso Soriano, Andre Either, Nick Swisher and Kendry Morales are among the more than 100 Sam Bat clients. Jose Bautista used to use Sam Bat.
Anderson said it was a hectic the few final days of the season. Cabrera had a healthy lead with 139 RBIs, 11 more than Texas Rangers’ Josh Hamilton. His .330 batting average was four points more than Los Angeles Angels Mike Trout. He only beat Hamilton in homers by one (44-43).
“For him to be that close, for so long it would have been an shame not to win the triple crown,” said Anderson.
Behind home plate during batting practice were Maione and daughter, Katie.
“We haven’t spoken to Miguel, he has more important things on his mind,” said Maione, who goes to Arizona each spring to see clients, never Florida, where the Tigers train. “We were all ecstatic when he won the triple crown, we were caught up in it the final few days.”
Jim Anderson, a Sam Bat co-owner with wife, Arlene and minority owners Paul Balharrie and founder Sam Holman, came up with the idea of sending their own trophy to Cabrera.
“I carved three bats, one with his average on it, one with his RBI total and the third with the average,” said Maione.
The trophy has a plaque recognizing Cabrera’s triple crown win and on the bottom signatures “through the wizardry of computers,” were laser engraved.
Scott Smith, Darrell Philion, Paul Gauvin, Robert Trudel, Dan Barbeau, Matt Tripp, Alisa Luoma, Lee Carswell, Dominique Trudel, John Fish, Holman, Balharrie, Arlene and Jim Anderson, plus Maione’s autographs are Ottawa Valley names on the Ottawa Valley version of their triple crown trophy.