NEW YORK, OCT. 3 -- Willie McGee became the first to win a batting title in a major league he left, and George Brett became the first to win batting titles in three decades.
McGee, who had a .335 average when St. Louis traded him to Oakland on Aug. 28, won his second National League crown when Dave Magadan of the New York Mets failed to catch him today, the season's last day. Magadan, who needed to go five for five, flied out in his first at-bat and left the game.
"He earned it," A's Manager Tony La Russa said of McGee. "He didn't ask to come over here to protect his average. I'm sure he's proud of it."
McGee left the clubhouse today without speaking with reporters.
Brett went one for one in Kansas City's game in Cleveland to win the American League title with a .329 average. Rickey Henderson of Oakland, his closest pursuer, went one for three and finished at .325. Brett also won AL batting titles in 1976 and 1980.
Bob Welch, 27-6 for Oakland, won the most games in a season since Steve Carlton of Philadelphia also won 27 in 1972. It was the most victories in the AL since Denny McLain of Detroit won 31 in 1968.
Doug Drabek of Pittsburgh went 22-6 and became the first Pittsburgh Pirate to lead the NL in victories since Bob Friend tied Warren Spahn at 22 in 1958.
Bobby Thigpen of the Chicago White Sox set a major league record with 57 saves while John Franco of the Mets led the NL with 33.
Nolan Ryan of Texas, 43, led the AL in strikeouts with 232, breaking his own record as the oldest strikeout champion. Ryan, who has eight AL strikeout crowns, led the NL in 1987 and 1988 with Houston and the AL in 1989 and 1990. David Cone of the Mets led the NL this year with 233.
Ryne Sandberg of the Chicago Cubs hit 40 home runs and became the first second baseman to win the NL home run title since Rogers Hornsby of the St. Louis Cardinals in 1925. Vince Coleman of the Cardinals stole 77 bases and became the first NL player to win six straight stolen base titles since Maury Wills of the Los Angeles Dodgers in 1960-65.
Cecil Fielder of Detroit won the major league home run title with 51.