Beyond the home run race, both leagues crowned first-time batting champions Sunday in battles that weren't decided until the final day.
Bernie Williams of the Yankees went 2-for-2 to beat out Boston's Mo Vaughn, and Colorado's Larry Walker was 2-for-4 to top the Mets' John Olerud.Williams finished at .339, two points higher than Vaughn but the lowest average for an AL champion since George Brett hit .329 in 1990.
"It feels great, absolutely, when you add your name to a list of players that have accomplished this feat," Williams said. "Coming into this season, I would have never imagined it with all the distractions, trying to get my game going, missing six weeks with an injury. It's just very satisfying."
Walker wound up at .363, stopping Tony Gwynn's streak of four straight titles and finishing nine points ahead of Olerud.
"I've got the same feeling as I did last year when I won the MVP," Walker said. "But I'm not greedy on all this individual stuff. The bottom line for me is to win a championship."
Mark McGwire, whose 70 homers shattered Roger Maris' mark of 61, and Sammy Sosa, who has 66 going into his final regular-season game Monday, also set other records.
Sosa, who will lead the NL in RBIs, has 158 for the Cubs, the highest NL total since the Cubs' Hack Wilson set the major league record with 190 in 1930. Sosa's 414 total bases are the most in the majors since Stan Musial had 429 in 1948.
McGwire walked 162 times for the Cardinals, tying Ted Williams (1947, 1949) for the second-highest total in major league history behind Babe Ruth's 170 in 1923.
Juan Gonzalez of the Rangers had 157 RBIs, the most in the AL since Ted Williams and Vern Stephens of the Boston Red Sox had 159 in 1949.
There were three 50-homer players in one season for the first time ever. McGwire won his first NL home run title. (He led the AL twice and topped the majors with 58 last season for Oakland and St. Louis).
Ken Griffey Jr. won his third AL home run title, leading with 56 for the second straight season.
San Diego's Greg Vaughn entered the final day with 49, failing to homer in 37 at-bats since Sept. 14.
Thirteen players hit 40 or more homers, one more than last year but four fewer than the record set in 1996. Thirty-three players hit 30 or more, 10 short of the record set two years ago.
Forty-two players had 100 RBIs, up seven from last year but eight short of the '96 record.
With 114 wins, the Yankees set an AL record and finished with the second-most ever, trailing only the 1906 Cubs, who went 116-36. New York (114-48) had a .704 winning percentage, the highest in the majors since the 1954 Cleveland Indians went 111-43 (.721).
Boston's Tom Gordon led the AL with 45 saves. Trevor Hoffman, the NL leader, had 52 going into Sunday night's game.
Oakland's Rickey Henderson won his record 12th stolen base title, swiping 66 to lead the AL for the first time since 1991. Tony Womack topped the NL with 58 and became the first Pittsburgh player to lead the league since Omar Moreno in 1979.