The move from Schaal to Brett
1971: The same year the George Brett is drafted by the Royals, Paul Schaal has his best season as the Royals’ regular third baseman. He hits .274 with 11 homers and 63 RBIs, all career-best numbers.
1972: Schaal is limited to 127 gamers, and he hits just .228 with six homers and 41 RBIs.
1973: Schaal has his best season averagewise, hitting .288, but there isn’t much production. He has just eight homers and 42 RBIs in 121 games. Brett is called up to the majors for the first time after Schaal suffers an ankle injury, but Brett struggles at the plate and spends more time in the minors. Brett finishes the year with a .125 batting average in 40 major-league at-bats.
1974: Schaal gets off to a slow start, hitting .176 in 12 games. In May, he is traded back to the California Angels, who he played before joining the Royals in 1969, to make room for Brett at third base. In 133 games, Brett hits .282 with two homers and 47 RBIs. Brett never had a lower season average until 1991.