In what could have been his final game in a New York Mets uniform, Jose Reyes became the first player in team's half-century history to win a National League batting title – but was still booed off the field by the hometown fans.
Going into Wednesday's game Reyes led Milwaukee's Ryan Braun .336 to .335, and by the end of the day the shortstop edged out Braun by five percentage points. But fans were enraged after their homegrown shortstop bunted for a hit in the first inning of New York's game against Cincinnati and then left the game.
He finished the season sporting a .337 average. That left Braun needing to go 3 for 4 or better in Milwaukee's regular-season finale against Pittsburgh.
The All-Star outfielder went 0-for-4, and finished at .332.
"I'm humbled and honored," Reyes said in a statement issued by the Mets. "It means so much to my family and my country, the Dominican Republic. I have been through a lot over the past few years, so this really means a lot to me. It's also very special to be the first Mets player to win a batting title. There have been so many great players throughout our history."
The Citi Field faithful, however, showed Reyes their displeasure.
"It was kind of tough," said Reyes, who can become a free agent after the World Series. "I want to stay in the game. They have to understand, too, what's going on. They have to feel happy about it if I win the battling title."
Mets' Manager Terry Collins spoke emotionally about the decision after the game.
"If I don't follow [Reyes' request], I could possibly lose the one thing I helped create all summer long in one instance, and I wasn't going to let that happen today," Collins said to the New York Post. "I can understand anybody in this room or in the stands being upset or being offended by it, I truly understand it."
Cabrera Wins AL Title
Detroit's Miguel Cabrera, meanwhile, won his first AL batting title, giving both leagues new batting champions for the second straight year. Cabrera finished at .344, with Boston's Adrian Gonzalez and the Texas Rangers' Michael Young at .338.
"It feels great," Cabrera told the Detroit News. "I got a couple hits. The only thing I haven't had in my career — a batting title."
Cabrera is the first Tigers player to claim the batting title since Magglio Ordonez in 2007, and the 10th in franchise history.
Jose Bautista Home Run Title
Toronto's Jose Bautista won his second straight major league home run title with 43. Bautista led the league in slugging, too, with a .608 percentage; Braun led the senior circuit with .597.
Based on reporting by the Associated Press.