Thursday, July 24, 2008

The Pine Tar Incident turns 25

25 years ago Yankee manager and rascally rabble-rouser Billy Martin got the umpires to disallow a two-run, top-of-the ninth homer George Brett had hit to put the Royals up 5-4 because the pine-tar on his bat exceeded 18-inches and was in violation of baseball rules. (As one commentator stated, Brett became the first player in baseball history to hit a game losing home run.)

Called out, Brett then charged from of the dugout angrier than any man in the history of anger.

Upon protest by the Royals, the American League office reversed the umpire's decision, deciding "the spirit of the game" hadn't been violated. Three weeks later the ninth from the point of Brett's homer was replayed and the Royals won.

It was quite difficult to track the video of the incident down, but I finally found it in all of its glory.

Along the way I came across two funny dramatizations of the incident, one by a few guys in the snow and one by Johnny Bench. Both fitting tributes to one of the classic moments in baseball history.

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