Don Mattingly had four hits in five at bats to capture the American League batting title over teammate Dave Winfield and help the New York Yankees to a 9-2 victory today over the Detroit Tigers.
Mattingly, who trailed Winfield by two percentage points before the final game of the season, finished at .343. Winfield had an infield hit in four at bats to finish at .340.
In Mattingly's final at bat, he got a bad-hop single over the glove of second baseman Scott Earl. Winfield then grounded to third, forcing Mattingly at second base. After Winfield was lifted for a pinch runner, he and Mattingly shook hands and left the field to a standing ovation.
"I never thought it would be decided in the last at bat," Mattingly said. "Before the inning, they told me if I didn't get a hit and David got a hit, he'd win by .002 of a point or something like that."
Mattingly, 23, became the seventh player since 1900 to lead a league in batting in his first full season.
Mattingly also had league-leading totals of 207 hits and 44 doubles, the most for any Yankee since Red Rolfe's 46 doubles in 1939.