Team: Kansas City Royals, 1973-1993
In 1979, George Brett became the fifth
member of the 20-20-20 (doubles, triples,
Brett never batted even .300 in the minors. But when he got to Kansas City, he became the poster boy for batting coach Charlie Lau's theories of hitting. And to great success. From 1975 through '88, Brett batted over .300 10 times and was named to 13 All-Star teams.
In 1980, Brett became the first person to challenge the magical .400 mark since Ted Williams. Brett's .390 that season was only one point less than the best batting season by any third baseman ever and the closest anyone had come to .400 since Williams's 1941 year of .406. He started the season slowly (.247) before beginning a 30-game hit streak in May.
As an indication of how focused he was that year, Brett belted 24 homers while striking out only 22 times. Amazingly, he drove in 118 runs while playing in just 117 games. No one had totaled more RBI than games played since Joe DiMaggio in 1948. And Brett did it all while bothered by a string of nagging injuries. Not surprisingly, he landed the American League MVP Award.
Brett led the AL in hitting in three different decades -- 1976 (.333), 1980, and 1990 (.329). No one else ever did that. Brett ranks fifth all time with 665 doubles. Three times he led the American League in both hits and triples in the same season. Only Ty Cobb had ever achieved that before. In 1979, he became the fifth member of the 20-20-20 (doubles, triples, homers) club.
Unlike a long list of other great hitters, Brett was seldom bothered by postseason pressure. He hit .340 in six League Championship Series, with nine LCS homers and a .728 slugging average. He also batted .373 in two World Series.
In 1985, Brett went ballistic when the umpires apparently took a home run away from him that would have won the game in Yankee Stadium. Yankees manager Billy Martin pointed out that Brett's bat had too much pine tar on it. League president Lee MacPhail quickly overruled the decision. George was voted into the Hall of Fame on the first ballot in 1999.
Here are George Brett's major league totals:
|BA||G ||AB||R||H||2B ||3B||HR ||RBI ||SB |
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