Skip to main content

The Greatness of George Brett



One of my all time favorite non-Red Sox players is George Brett. He is in that class of guys like Chipper Jones, Willie Mays, and Pete Rose. Guys who never played for the Red Sox but I wish they had.

I have always liked Brett and I even got to see him play 6 games in Fenway Park in 1990 and 1991. I recently went down a George Brett rabbit hole on the internet and I was reminded why I really liked him as a player.

The first thing I loved about him is that he hated the Yankees and still hates the Yankees. The Royals and the Yankees had some battles during the 70s and 80s and Brett was right in the middle of it all.

Brett was also a Yankee Killer, especially in the playoffs. Brett played in 17 postseason games against the Yankees and had 24 hits, 6 homers and 14 RBI. Not bad.

Here he is going deep three times in Game 3 of the 1978 ALCS



We all know what a prick Goose Gossage has become, here is Brett turning on a Gossage fastball in 1980 and sending it into the third deck of Yankee Stadium. Goose still has whiplash.





That hatred of the Yankees was on display in the 1977 ALCS when he was involved in one of the great fights in postseason history. Look out Graig Nettles!




George Brett was also smart . He broke into the big leagues at the age of 20 years old. He was single and stayed single until he turned 39 years of age in the final years of his career. It is safe to say he had fun. Chipper Jones should have used Brett as a role model. Chipper got married as he debuted in the majors and before long was caught up in a paternity suit with a girl that wasn't his wife. My wife, a Braves fan, still holds that against him.

 Brett didn't have the infidelity issues but in the 80s if you were single and over 30 the thought was you must be gay. George Brett talks about that in this great interview with Dan Patrick in 2014. Brett touches on his very fun personal life along with those gay rumors and how he dealt with them.




Last but not least is Brett's Hall of Fame speech in 1999. The entire speech was great but one part in particular stood out to me. He acknowledges how still hates the Yankees and then he addresses his brothers. Brett is the youngest of three. Ken Brett played in the majors but never became a superstar let alone a Hall of Famer. The oldest Brett brother didn't make the majors at all. Brett asks why he was the one that made it and through tears explains all he ever wanted to be was as good as them. I am a father of a son and two step-sons. All three love sports and are very competitive with each other. The youngest wants so badly to be like his older brothers. Is someone cutting onions in here?


Comments

  1. As someone who grew up with the Royals, this was a real treat, especially with interview and induction speech. Makes me realize now fortunate Royals fans are. Red Sox fans have their Ted, the Yankees their Babe, the Giants their Willie ... and the Royals their George.

    ReplyDelete

Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

A Homer and a Suicide: The Life of a Gay Red Sox Outfielder?

Ted Williams homered in his last at bat off Jack Fisher of the Baltimore Orioles. Williams was supposedly the only player in the history of baseball to retire after sending one deep. The great John Thorn found that hard to believe and through research discovered others who homered in their final at-bat. You can read his piece on that right here. Ted Williams was not the only player to do it and he wasn't even the only Red Sox outfielder to do it. Chick Stahl did it first on October 6, 1906 off of Tom Hughes of the New York Highlanders (Yankees). It was Chick Stahl's 36th and final home-run of his very successful career. He was just 33 years old and had played in his final game. Nobody knew it at the time. Stahl hit .305 for his career, led the league in triples in 1904 and would be a key player in the Boston Americans (Red Sox) winning the 1903 World Series. A month after his last game Stahl would get married but in March of the next year he would kill himself by drinking carb…

Willie Mays Would Have Had It

"Willie would have had it." I heard it the first time I went to a baseball game and have heard it or thought about it at every game since. The words would come from my father as he tried to teach me about the greatness of Willie Mays. Fly balls that hit warning track or that would drop in front of or to the side of an outfielder would get the same comment from my Dad, "Willie would have had it".


My father grew up a Mays fan and was surrounded by Mickey Mantle fans. His neighborhood was just one of the many neighborhoods where fans of all ages debated over who was better. Mantle fans would talk about his ability to switch hit and when Mantle would struggle to match up with Willie they would argue it was only because of his bad knees. My father would respond accordingly, "fine, Mickey is the best centerfielder with bad knees and Willie is just the best centerfielder".

I was born in 1974, a year after Willie Mays played his final game. I never got to see hi…