George Brett discusses the Pine Tar Game, 30 years later
Today marks the 30th Anniversary of the infamous “Pine Tar Incident” at Yankee Stadium, which involved Royals Hall of Famer George Brett. Yesterday Brett sat down with the media to discuss the game, and the life-long connection that has since been created.
When Brett was asked if he every gets tired of discussing the incident he responded very candidly.
“Not at all, it’s a positive thing, it was something that I did good, I hit a home run off one of the toughest relief pitchers in baseball, and a Hall of Fame guy, and if I was not suspected of using an illegal bat we wouldn’t be doing this. It would have been a July 24th game thirty years ago that no one would have remembered. But when the umpires called me out and my protest kind of made it famous. All in all I’m very proud of my actions during the time, and after the time. It showed the kind of player I was.”
As for his reaction?
“I couldn’t believe it. I had no clue that I did that. I knew that I had ran out on to the field, but I didn’t know I was….That was just the type of player I was, I wore my emotions on my sleeve, and I played hard, and when call like that goes against you you’re going to react. I think I totally blacked because when I saw the video, I was amazed by my reaction.”
The incident has become infamous not just in baseball, but American sports as well. For Brett, he doesn’t mind being the “pine-tar guy” because it could have been much worse. “Every time I went in the on-deck circle from 1980 to July 24, 1983, I heard every hemorrhoid joke in the world and I was the ‘Hemorrhoid Guy.” And, all of a sudden, after July 24, 1983, until now I have to remind people I had hemorrhoids. So how would you rather be remembered? Let’s be realistic — the slippery stuff or the sticky stuff?”
By Henry Wear