Justin Morneau wins National League batting championship


He who wears the crown is the king. Look above, that's former Minnesota Twins star Justin Morneau wearing a crown.

Why? Because he's the king of all National League hitters. Morneau, now with the Colorado Rockies, clinched the National League batting title on Sunday, finishing the season with a .319 average, 17 home runs, 32 doubles and 82 RBIs.

As the Denver Post put it, Morneau's "long, arduous climb back to his baseball mountaintop was completed Sunday."

"This is one of those things that's really hard to put into words. I'm not sure it's really sunk in yet," Morneau said. "I think when you go through rough times, it makes you appreciate the good times even more."

His career with the Twins was derailed by concussion-related issues, knocking him from a path that once led him to an MVP award in 2006.

NBC Sports notes that Morneau's .319 average is the lowest to win a batting title since Terry Pendleton of the Atlanta Braves won the title with a .319 average in 1991.

There is a bit of drama with Morneau winning the title because Rockies manager Walt Weiss elected to sit Morneau the final two games of the season to help secure the title, although he did pinch-hit on Sunday. Morneau finished four points ahead of Josh Harrison of the Pirates, who went a combined 1-for-8 on Saturday and Sunday.

Pirates manager Clint Hurdle told the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette that it doesn't bother him that Morneau sat out the final two games.

"It’s out of our control, so a waste of energy to care," he said. "We had to play a game and [Josh Harrison] needed to hit leadoff for us.”

The Rockies have been out of playoff contention for a long time while the Pirates will play in a wild-card game on Wednesday.

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