Cabrera earned the honor after a committee of alumni deemed that he best represents the Indians by demonstrating "a passion for the game of baseball" while embodying "the values, spirit, and tradition of the game."
"It's special," Cabrera said of the award. "I'm happy."
The slick-fielding shortstop's work ethic and dedication have him on pace to establish new career highs in games played, hits, home runs and RBIs, all while performing his nightly routine of defensive wizardry. Cabrera entered the 2011 campaign with 18 career long balls over four Major League seasons. He already has 17 homers through 99 contests this year, leading all American League shortstops.
Cabrera became the first Tribe shortstop to start the All-Star Game since Lou Boudreau in 1948.
Vern Fuller, an infielder for the Indians from 1964-1970, presented Cabrera with his award. Fuller is now the Executive Director of the Baseball Heritage Museum in Cleveland.
The MLBPAA will recognize one player from each of the 30 Major League teams before selecting a final winner on Nov. 3 at the 12th Annual Legends for Youth Dinner in New York City. Tribe center fielder Grady Sizemore took home the top honor in 2008, the only Indians player to do so.