You can add a batting title to Justin Morneau's list of impressive baseball accomplishments, which already includes an MVP award and four all-star selections.
Morneau, 33, hit an NL-best .319 in 134 games in his first season with the Colorado Rockies. He was kept out of Colorado's last two games in part to ensure he would finish with the league's best batting average.
— Thomas Harding (@harding_at_mlb) September 28, 2014
The New Westminster, B.C., native is the third Canadian to win a batting title. Fellow British Columbian and long-time Rockies star Larry Walker was the NL's top hitter in 1998, 1999, and 2001. Tip O'Neill, Canada's 19th century baseball superstar, led the NL in average in 1887 and 1888 while playing for the St. Louis Browns.
Morneau signed a two-year deal with the Rockies in the offseason after splitting the 2013 season between Minnesota and Pittsburgh.From 2006-09 he was one of the best hitters in the majors, winning the AL MVP with the Twins in 2006, but a string of injuries have slowed him down in recent years.
He sustained a concussion midway through the 2010 season and did not play again that year. Injuries, including more concussion issues, limited him to 69 games in 2011.
Morneau managed to stay relatively healthy in 2012 and 2013 but his numbers did not match up to those he posted earlier in his career.
This year with the Rockies, Morneau rediscovered the sweet stroke that made him such a threat at the plate.
"It's great. I think he's finally feeling pretty good," Joe Mauer, Morneau's good friend and a three-time AL batting champ, told the St. Paul Pioneer Press. "He's had to deal with a lot over the last few years injury-wise and with concussions, so it's good to see him back to swinging it well."
To go with his .319 average, Morneau finishes a strong 2014 campaign with 17 home runs, 32 doubles, and a .364 OBP.