This day in sports: George Brett denied homer due to pine tar

Royals slugger George Brett through he hit a two-out, two-run home run against the Yankees on July 24, 1983. Then they checked the bat and it was determined the pine tar on the handle was above the limit.

George Brett of the Kansas City Royals thought he hit a two-out, two-run home run in the ninth inning against the New York Yankees on this date in 1983, but the shot into the right-field seats at Yankee Stadium was nullified when the pine tar on his bat was determined to be higher than the legal limit.

After Brett had crossed home plate to give the Royals a 5-4 lead, Yankees manager Billy Martin claimed that the pine tar was above the legal limit of 18 inches from the handle.

The umpires measured it and Tim McClelland shot his right hand into the air to signal that Brett was out, and the game was over.

The Royals third baseman had to be restrained by umpire Joe Brinkman after he charged McClelland from the dugout.

Later in the clubhouse, Brett, in a trembling voice and tears in his eyes, announced, “I quit. Why go on playing anymore? You quit after you’ve seen everything, isn’t that right? I’ve seen everything now.”


Other memorable games and outstanding sports performances on this date:

1908 — John Hayes of the United States wins the Olympic marathon in a record time of 2 hours, 55 minutes, 18.4 seconds at the Summer Games in London. Dorando Pietri of Italy was the first runner to enter the Olympic stadium, but he collapsed several times on the final lap and was disqualified when officials helped him across the line.

1966 — At the Times International Games at the Coliseum, a crowd of 34,150 watches the U.S. 1,600-meter relay team of Bob Frey, Lee Evans, Tommie Smith and Theron Lewis break the three-minute mark when it finishes in a world-record time of 2 minutes, 59.6 seconds. Smith ran the fastest 400-meter leg in history in 43.8 seconds.

1967 — Don January wins an 18-hole playoff by two strokes over Don Massengale in the PGA Championship at Columbine Country Club in suburban Denver. January and Massengale finished tied after 72 holes at seven-under-par 281, and in the playoff January shot a 69 to secure his only major title. In 1961, he lost the PGA Championship in a playoff to Jerry Barber.

1976 — John Naber of the United States wins his fourth gold medal of the Summer Olympics in Montreal when he becomes the first swimmer to break the two-minute barrier in the 200-meter backstroke. Naber led an American sweep in 1:59.19 seconds, with Peter Rocca finishing second in 2:00.55 and Dan Harrigan third in 2:01.35.

1976 — Mac Wilkins of the United States sets an Olympic record in the discus with a toss of 224 feet during a qualifying round at the Montreal Games. Wilkins went on to beat his international rival Wolfgang Schmidt of East Germany with a throw of 221 feet for the gold medal.

1977 — Hollis Stacy wins the U.S. Women’s Open golf championship by two strokes over Nancy Lopez at Hazeltine Golf Club in Chaska, Minn. Stacy led wire to wire although Lopez tied her after six holes of the final round. But she wilted in the heat and humidity, and Stacy held on to shoot a 74 for a winning total of four-over-par 292.

2008 — Nancy Lieberman, 50, makes a one-game appearance in a WNBA game after the basketball Hall of Famer signed a seven-day contract with the Detroit Shock. Lieberman finished with two assists and two turnovers against the Houston Comets, and surpassed her own record as the oldest player in league history. In 1977, she set the mark at age 39 while playing for the Phoenix Mercury.

2009 — Ron Hornaday Jr. holds off a late challenge from Mike Skinner to win the AAA Insurance 200 at O’Reilly Race Park in Clermont, Ind., making him the first driver in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series to win four straight races. Hornaday led coming out of a caution with 10 laps to go but Skinner made it a two-car race to the finish.

2011 — Cadel Evans, 34, riding for the BMC team, is the first Australian to win the Tour de France. Evans had virtually secured the victory a day earlier in a time trial at Grenoble. He finished 1:34 ahead of Andy Schleck of Luxembourg and 2:30 ahead of Schleck’s brother Frank, who finished third.

2014 — NFL commissioner Roger Goodell suspends Baltimore Ravens running back Ray Rice for two games without pay for his offseason arrest on an assault charge. The six-year veteran was arrested following a Feb. 15 altercation in Atlantic City, N.J., with then-fiancee Janay Palmer in which he allegedly struck her in an elevator, knocking her unconscious.

SOURCES: The Times, Associated Press