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George Brett Chases Batting Title

While on vacation in Kansas City.I took the kids to a couple of Royals games. This game the Royals beat the Rangers 5 to 3. Brett went 2 for 3 – as the season was nearing its end in 1990 we wanted to see George Brett chase his 3rd batting title. Having two terrible seasons from 1988 to 1989,  Brett was still in the chase. After he got off to a terrible start in 1990 and at one point even considered retirement, but his manager, former teammate John Wathan, encouraged him to stick it out.

Finally, in July, the slump ended and Brett batted .386 for the rest of the season. In September, he caught Rickey Henderson for the league lead, and in a battle down to the last day of the season, captured his third batting title with a .329 mark. This feat made Brett the only major league player to win batting titles in three different decades. Growing up In Kansas City, when the Athletics were in town before moving to Oakland, I’d go to the old ball park and saw a lot of the greats, Mantle and Maris, Brooks and Frank Robinson, Carl Yastrzemski, Tony Conigliaro, Jim Palmer, Frank Howard, Rod Carew & Tony Oliva.  But to me, Brett was the most exciting player to follow.

Brett is in second place in single season Batting Average – Ted Williams hit .406-in 1941, Brett hit .390 in 1980,  Rod Carew with a .388 Average in 1977. In 1980 when Brett was touching the .400 mark Sparky Anderson had him intentionally walked with the bases loaded, Saying he’d rather give up one run then George Brett Autograph Baseballfour. He’s not going to let one man beat his whole team. Brett joined the 3.000-hit club with a single on September 30,1992.

He was so overwhelmed with the Achievement, he got picked off 1st base taking too much of a lead, “Oh well”. Brett retired after 21 seasons with The Kansas City Royals, went into the Hall of Fame in 1999. While with the Royals,  Brett helped guide K.C. to 6 postseason appearances.won two pennants, and won the 1985 world series. In 1978  Brett hit three home runs off Catfish hunter in game 3 of the ALCS Championship series against the Yankees.

George Brett made a run at hitting .400 in the 1980 season. He finished at .390 and led the league in hitting, slugging, and on-base percentage. He also had 118 RBI in 117 games in winning the MVP. It remains the highest average for a full season since Ted Williams in .406 in 1941.

Royals: 4 Yankees: 2 (October 10, 1980): George Brett hit a dramatic third deck three-run home run off Goose Gossage at Yankee Stadium sending the Royals to their first World Series. The Royals finally slayed the dragon after three postseason defeats.

Comeback from 3-1 down to beat Toronto (1985): The Royals fell behind the Toronto Blue Jays 3 games to 1 in the 1985 American League Championship Series. Danny Jackson shut out the Jays in Game 5. George Brett’s homer helped beat Doyle Alexander in Game 6. The Royals closed out the Jays with a four run sixth inning against Dave Stieb winning their second pennant.

 

George Brett Batting Title

by Joseph Terrazas

2 Comments

  1. As I remember it, George Brett caught Rickey Henderson and like the coward he was, sat out the last three games of the season to guarantee winning the batting title rather than risk losing to Rickey Henderson. That instance will always color my feelings towards George Brett.

  2. Sir you were right. I still love him though, i was telliing my son last night that ted Williams homered his last at bat. but you are right and it does say that in that 22 years old article i saved, and boy Rickey henderson sure was a handfull wasn’t he??? He was incredible. And poor willie McGhee got traded to the Oakland A’s at the end of the season and hope that his national league batting mark would stay. he was a good player too. thank you for your time. J.T.

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