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Remember Controversial Yankees-Royals Pine Tar Game? [VIDEO]

putting pine tar on baseball bat
Marc Serota, Getty Images Sport

If you follow baseball like I do, you may recall the so-called “Pine Tar Game between the Kansas City Royals and the New York Yankees in 1983. A controversial call about too much pine tar on Royals’ George Brett’s bat caused umpires to throw out a two-run homer and cost KC the game. But, on this day in 1983, American League President Lee MacPhail overruled the umpires’ decision, and here’s what happened.

According to Wikipedia:

“The Pine Tar Game was a controversial incident during an American League game played between the Kansas City Royals and New York Yankees on July 24, 1983 at Yankee Stadium in New York City. With his team trailing 4–3 in the top half of the ninth inning, with two outs, George Brett of the Royals hit a 2-run home run to give his team the lead. However, Yankees manager Billy Martin, who had noticed a large amount of pine tar on Brett’s bat, requested that the umpires inspect his bat. The umpires ruled that the amount of pine tar on the bat exceeded the amount allowed by rule, nullified Brett’s home run, and called him out. As Brett was the third out in the ninth inning with the home team in the lead, the game ended with a Yankees win.

The Royals protested the game, and American League president Lee MacPhail upheld their protest and ordered that the game be restarted from the point of Brett’s home run.”

Watch this video showing the actual pine-tar game with George Brett going ballistic, the follow-up completed game and comments by Brett and Lee MacPhail.

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