George Brett and the Pine Tar Game

One of the wonderful charms of YouTube is the old footage being made available again, often to brand-new audiences. Below is video of a crazed George Brett charging the umpire during the "Pine Tar Game" on July 24, 1983. Brett had just put the Kansas City Royals ahead with a two-out, ninth-inning home run off Yankees closer Rich Gossage. Yankees manager Billy Martin approached the home plate umpire to ask that the spread of sticky pine tar on Brett's bat be measured to see if it violated Rule 1.10(b), which forbids any substance more than eighteen inches up the handle. Martin had known for weeks that Brett's pine tar was illegal. but waited until the right moment to use his knowledge. When the umpire nullified the home run and called Brett out, the game ended with the Yankees winning.

American League President Lee MacPhail later overruled the umpire, restored the home run and had the teams replay the end of the game a month later. Both teams traveled to Yankee Stadium on an off-day. The replay took twelve minutes (and sixteen pitches) and was delayed by Martin's appeal that Brett had not touched all the bases. A different umpire crew was on hand, but they possessed a signed affidavit from the earlier umpires saying that Brett had indeed stepped on every base. Martin was ejected from the replay, and Brett wasn't there either. He stayed on the team plane playing cards. Brett later told the Hall of Fame that the pine tar incident "was the greatest thing that ever happened in my career."

Hat tip to Blue Notes

August 26, 2006 10:39 AM • Native Intelligence • Email the editor
 

© 2003-2014   •  About LA Observed  •  Contact the editor
LA Biz Observed
2:07 PM Sat | The funeral for Mark Lacter will be held Sunday, Nov. 24 at 12 noon at Hillside Memorial Park, 6001 W. Centinela Avenue, Los Angeles 90045. Reception to follow.
Native Intelligence
Gary Leonard | Take My Picture Gary Leonard runs weekly at LA Observed.
Jon Christensen | A lively multispecies gathering at the infamous Mountain Mermaid Inn in Topanga Canyon raised the question: What happens when we are the owner of animals and all wildlife are pets? This is what we are learning now.
Don Shirley | Have you seen any alfresco theater yet this summer? Our columnist has.
Bill Boyarsky
Two proposed commuter rail lines explain much about race, economic class and political clout in Los Angeles County.
Jenny Burman
Before I lived in Echo Park, there was a tiny 1920s bungalow-cottage-standalone house on N. Occidental in Silver Lake. I...
Here in Malibu
My favorite part of this photo is realizing there's a beautiful dog in the back seat....