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Sports Then and Now



30 Years Ago: George Brett Erupts During “Pine Tar Game” (VIDEO) 6

Posted on July 24, 2013 by Dean Hybl
After having his home run reversed, George Brett had to be physically restrained from umpire Tim McClelland.

After having his home run reversed, George Brett had to be physically restrained from umpire Tim McClelland.


It is hard to believe that it was 30 years ago, July 24, 1983, when New York Yankees manager Billy Martin set off “Volcano Brett” after Kansas City Royals star George Brett launched what appeared to be a two-run home run in the top of the ninth inning of the final game of a four-game series between the two teams at Yankee Stadium.

The scene of a totally unhinged Brett erupting out of the dugout and having to be restrained from home plate umpire Tim McClelland by the other umpires and his teammates is a familiar one that has been replayed extensively over the last three decades.

However, the entire incident is an amazingly interesting time capsule for baseball from an era before steroids, corked bats and other unlawful tricks to get an edge completely changed the game of baseball.

In re-watching the video, it is almost comical to think anyone would take Martin’s argument seriously and legitimately consider that having a little pine tar more than 18 inches up the handle of the bat would play any role in Brett’s home run off Goose Gossage.

However, after Martin spent time pointing out the indiscretion to McClelland and the other umpires, they actually measured the bat against the plate and then McClelland famously signaled that Brett was out, thus launching one of the most famous tirades in baseball history.

Of course while the Yankees technically “won” the game on that afternoon with Brett being the third out, the victory was overruled by American League President Lee MacPhail. He ordered the game to continue following the Brett home run with the Royals now leading 5-4.
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Sticky Memories of Protests Pasts 1

Posted on May 19, 2010 by Don Spieles

In the fifth inning of Tuesday night’s Red Sox/Yankees game, his team down 5-1, Josh Beckett’s plant foot slipped a bit on the wet mound of Yankee Stadium.  That pitch resulted in a pop up for Alex Rodriguez, and Beckett faced the next batter.  Once that batter, Robinson Canoe, had hit a two-run double, Beckett was pulled for an injury.  The Yankees bench, stating that he was not hurt but that the injury was being faked so that a reliever would be given ample time to warm-up, played the remainder of the game under protest.

MLB: Yankees vs Tigers MAY 13

Joe Girardi protested Josh Beckett's 5th inning exit from Tuesday night's game stating he did not really have an injury.

Given the fact that Josh Beckett was placed on the 15 day disabled list, it seems unlikely that the umpires decision to allow time for Manny Delcarmen to warm-up would be questioned seriously by the league, even considering that the Yankees went on to lose the game, 7-6.

So what exactly is the deal with protests in baseball? Read the rest of this entry →

  • Vintage Athlete of the Month

    • Rusty Staub: A Man For All Ages
      April 8, 2024 | 1:26 pm
      Rusty Staub

      The Sports Then and Now Vintage Athlete of the Month is a former major league baseball player who came into the game as a teenager and stayed until he was in his 40s. In between, Rusty Staub put up a solid career that was primarily spent on expansion or rebuilding teams.

      Originally signed by the Colt .45s at age 17, he made his major league debut as a 19-year old rookie and became only the second player in the modern era to play in more than 150 games as a teenager.

      Though he hit only .224 splitting time between first base and rightfield, Staub did start building a foundation that would turn him into an All-Star by 1967 when he finished fifth in the league with a .333 batting average.

      Read more »

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