George Brett’s Pine Tar Incident, Celebrated And Reviewed [Video]
Today marks the 30 year anniversary of the pine tar incident with George Brett. Rookie umpire Tim McClelland incorrectly ruled the amount of pine tar on George Brett’s bat exceeded the allowable amount. This wiped off a two-out, two-run homer Brett hit off Yankees closer Goose Gossage that appeared to give the Kansas City Royals a 4-3 lead over New York. Nullifying the HR, and calling Brett out, gave the Yankees (home team) the win since Brett represented the third out.
What happened next is one of the most memorable and famous player tirades in MLB history.
At least baseball got it right. Kansas City protested the ruling and won. The game then restarted 25 days later, picked up after Brett’s HR, and Kansas City ended up earning the victory by the score of 5-4.
Some would argue that had Brett not come out of his skin with rage, the incident would not have become a national talking point, therefore not sparking national debate, and as a result, MLB wouldn’t have reversed the call.
To this day, it remains one of sports’ most memorable and talked about controversies. Happy 30th anniversary to the “pine tar incident.”