Brett goes back 30 years

In this July 24, 1983 file photo, Kansas City Royals' George Brett, second from right, is restrained by umpire Joe Brinkman after his bat was ruled illegal because of pine tar beyond the legal limit on the handle during a baseball game against the New York Yankees at Yankee Stadium in New York. Brett hit a home run that would have won the game against the Yankees, but was instead called out. Third from left is umpire Tim McClelland, It's hard for Brett to imagine that his infamous "pine tar game" happened 30 years ago this week. (AP Photo/Rockland Journal News, Robert F. Rodriguez, File)


KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — The image of George Brett racing out of the dugout at old Yankee Stadium and jabbing his finger in the face of umpire Tim McClelland remains one of the most iconic in baseball history.

Indeed, it’s hard for Brett to imagine it will be 30 years ago on Wednesday.

The eventual Hall of Famer had just hit a go-ahead homer for the Royals in the ninth inning, and Yankees manager Billy Martin ambled out of the home dugout. He asked McClelland to check the pine tar on the bat, and sure enough, the umpire decided the bat was illegal.

Brett raced onto the field and the legend of the “pine tar game” was born.

American League president Lee MacPhail overturned the umpire’s ruling four days later, and the game resumed nearly a month after that with the Royals closing out a 5-4 win.


Copyright 2013 The Associated Press.


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