Bonds combines record 232 walks with NL batting title
Monday, October 4, 2004
Barry Bonds won his second National League batting title in three seasons and shattered the on-base percentage and walks records he set two years ago.
The 40-year-old outfielder hit .362 for the San Francisco Giants and finished with a .609 on-base percentage, topping his old mark of .582. Bonds walked 232 times, 34 more than the previous record, and his 120 intentional walks obliterated the old mark of 68, also set by Bonds in 2002.
Bonds' .812 slugging percentage led the major leagues for the fourth straight season but fell short of the record he set at .863 in 2001. With 45 homers this season, Bonds raised his career total to 703, trailing only Hank Aaron (755) and Babe Ruth (714). Bonds matched Aaron's NL record of eight 40-homer seasons, trailing only Ruth's major league mark of 11. He also became the first player in major league history with 13 consecutive 30-homer seasons.
Cincinnati's Adam Dunn struck out 195 times, breaking the previous record of 189 set in 1970 by Bonds' father, Bobby.
Seattle's Ichiro Suzuki won his second AL batting title in four years with a .372 average, and his 262 hits broke the old record of 257, set by George Sisler with the 1920 St. Louis Browns. Suzuki had 80 mulithit games, topping the Yankees' Don Mattingly (79 in 1986) for the most since divisional play began in 1969, according to the Elias Sports Bureau. Suzuki also set major league records for singles in a season (225) and hits (924) in his first four major league seasons.
Adrian Beltre of the Los Angeles Dodgers led the major leagues in home runs with 48, winning his first NL home run title. Boston's Manny Ramirez won his first AL crown with 43, the lowest total for an AL leader in a non-strike season since Juan Gonzalez had 43 for Texas in 1992.
Ramirez led the AL in slugging percentage at .613, and Baltimore's Melvin Mora led in on-base percentage at .419.
Baltimore's Miguel Tejada had 150 RBIs, the highest total in the AL since Gonzalez had 157 in 1998. Colorado's Vinny Castilla led the NL at 131. Milwaukee's Scott Podsednik led the NL with 70 stolen bases, and Tampa Bay's Carl Crawford topped the AL with 59.
Boston's Curt Schilling (21-6) led the AL in wins, Houston's Roy Oswalt (20-10) topped the NL and the Chicago Cubs' Greg Maddux (16-11) extended his major league record with his 17th straight season of 15 or more wins. San Diego's Jake Peavy (2.27) and Minnesota's Johan Santana (2.61) won ERA titles for the first time.
Arizona's Randy Johnson (290), who turned 41 last month, led the major leagues in strikeouts for the 10th time, topping the NL for the fifth time in six seasons. Santana won his first AL strikeout title with 265.
The Yankees' Mariano Rivera led the AL for the third time in saves with 53. Armando Benitez of Florida and Jason Isringhausen of St. Louis shared the NL lead with 47 each.
Milwaukee (67-94) and Pittsburgh (72-89) had their 12th straight losing seasons, four shy of the record set by the Philadelphia Phillies from 1933-48. Detroit had its 11th losing season in a row.