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George Howard Brett was born May 15, 1953 in Glendale, West Virginia, and grew up in El Segundo, California.The four boys in his family all played professional baseball. John and Bobby played in the minor leagues. Ken was a pitcher for the Red Sox, Brewers, Phillies, Pirates, Yankees, White Sox, California Angels, Minnesota Twins, LA Dodgers and Kansas City Royals.
George was drafted by the Kansas City Royals after he finished high school. He played in the minor leagues from 1971-1973 and was called up to the major leagues in 1974. George played at third base and first base, and he was the designated hitter for the Kansas City Royals from 1973-1993. He batted left-handed and threw right-handed. George faced his brother Ken, who was a pitcher, 20 times in his career. George got 6 hits, 2 doubles and an RBI against him. They both played for the Royals in 1980 and 1981.
George is widely considered the greatest Kansas City Royals player of all-time. He became the first player in Major League Baseball history to have 3,000 hits, 300 home runs, 600 doubles, 100 triples, 1,500 RBIs and 200 stolen bases. He made the all-star team 13 times. In 1980, he led the Major Leagues with a .390 batting average! In 1985, he led them to a World Series championship. He is the only Kansas City Royals player in the Major League Baseball Hall-of-Fame and the only player in baseball history to win batting titles in three decades.
Brett is known for the "pine tar incident" of 1983. The Royals were playing the New York Yankees, and George hit a home run to put the Royals ahead 5–4. The manager for the Yankees, Billy Martin, convinced the umpire that Brett had too much pine tar on his bat. Pine tar helps give batters a better grip on the bat. The rule was that players were allowed to have some pine tar on their bats, but it was determined the bat George used against the Yankees had too much pine tar. The umpire agreed that the rule had been broken and took away the home run. This meant that the Yankees would win 4-3. The decision was later reversed by the American League President who said the bat should have been removed from the game, but the run allowed. The teams later completed the game, and the Royals won. When his home run was taken away during the game, Brett sprinted from the dugout and began ranting and raving at the officials. He had to be restrained by several teammates in what would become an embarrassing and infamous meltdown.
Today, George and his brothers are part owners of the Spokane Chiefs of the Western Hockey League and several minor league baseball teams: the Spokane Indians, High Desert Mavericks and Bellingham Bells. George also enjoys playing golf and playing cards. He also helps raise money for ALS.