The idea seems preposterous these days. A player builds a Hall of Fame career — and never leaves his original, small-market team. In other words, a George Brett career. When Brett stepped down as the Royals’ interim hitting coach last week, he addressed the notion of longevity and loyalty to a franchise with a question. “Where was I going to go?”
Paul Schaal was selected by the Royals in the 1969 expansion draft and he enjoyed success as the team’s starting third baseman. But after a slow start in 1974, he was traded to the Angels and the job became George Brett’s
When George Brett incurred some nuisance back problems in the late stages of his career with the Royals, he sought relief from a chiropractor in Overland Park. It turned out to be the man whose job Brett took in 1973. Paul Schaal laughs as he remembers what he said back then: “You took my job from me at third base, remember that? Here’s what I’m going to do to get even.”
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The Royals’ selection of George Brett in the 1971 baseball draft went on to become a franchise-defining move. But Brett wasn’t the team’s first-round pick. Here are the 28 players who were chosen ahead of him.
George Brett is walking his dogs on a recent summer morning as he talks about his surprise call to the big leagues — 40 years ago this week — and the legendary career that followed. So many memories are coming back to him. Like that June day back in 1971, when he just wanted to see a map. “I’m going, ‘Where the (hell) is Kansas City?’” he says. “And ‘Who the (hell) are the Kansas City Royals?’”
Today marks 31 years since the Pine Tar Game at Yankee Stadium - that indelible baseball moment that took place on a remarkably pleasant Sunday afternoon. Brett hit a dramatic two-run homer with two outs in the ninth inning against Yankees closer Goose Gossage that was ruled out after a dispute about pine tar on his bat.
George Brett says he never tires, even after 30 years, of discussing that indelible baseball moment that took place on a remarkably pleasant Sunday afternoon — temperatures in the mid-70s — for late July in the Bronx. That’s right. Wednesday will mark 30 years since the Pine Tar Game at Yankee Stadium.