By Blaidd Drwg
Occasionally, you will get a guy leading the majors in some statistical category without actually leading either league in that category.
It happened in 1997, when Mark McGwire smashed 58 home runs to lead the majors, but didn’t lead either league due to his trade from the A’s to the Cardinals during the season.
It also happened in 1990, when Eddie Murray lead the majors in Batting Average, but did not lead in NL (he was with the Dodgers at the time) in BA. Murray got traded to the Dodgers in the 1988 off season (for Juan Bell, Brian Horton and Ken Howell – how is that for a bad trade), so it wasn’t that he split his season between two teams. How did it happen then? Well, Willie McGee was leading the NL with a .335 on August 29th with enough plate appearances to qualify for the batting title. McGee then got traded to Oakland, but batted just .274 the rest of the season, dropping his season average to .324, giving the MLB lead to Murray without him actually leading the NL in AVG. In case you were wondering who the 1990 AL batting leader was, it was 37 year old George Brett, who paced the junior circuit with a .329 AVG.
Rick Sutcliffe almost pulled off a similar feat in 1984 after getting traded to the Cubs from the Indians – he won 20 games without leading either league in wins, but ended up tied for the MLB lead with Mike Boddicker and Joaquin Andujar.