This Day in Sports History: George Brett Loses his Mind
On this day 35 years ago today it was a game between the New York Yankees and the Kansas City Royals from Yankee Stadium in 1983.
The rivalry between these two clubs in the 1980's was great and this incident only added to it. The game situation was top of the ninth, runner on first, two outs, Goose Gossage on the mound, and George Brett in the batters box. The Yankees led the game 4-3 until George Brett delivered a dagger to the Yankees with a two-run home run to give Kansas City a 5-4 lead.
From there, the Manager of the New York Yankees Billy Martin emerged from the dugout to bring up a potential infraction made by the Royals star third baseman. After the umpires had a conference, they determined that the issue was that George Brett's pine tar was too far up his bat, and ruled Brett out effectively ending the game and giving the Yanks the 4-3 victory.
George Brett was not a happy camper, to say the least...
As you saw he vigorously charged at home-plate umpire Tim McClelland and had to be physically restrained by the other umpires and teammates.
The Royals would go onto protest the game to the American League President Lee MacPhail. During the process of the protest MacPhail held a press conference four days later and ruled that the bat was in fact illegal. However, it was not illegal to the extent that gave Brett an advantage that caused him to hit that home run.
This ruling reinstated the home run and gave the Royals the lead back 5-4 in the top of the ninth. The game resumed August 18th and Kansas City would go onto win 5-4.
This game will always be remembered as the "pine tar game" but most people don't remember that the Royals would actually go onto win the game.