VIDEO: Remembering George Brett Losing His Mind in the Infamous Pine Tar Incident

Remembering George Brett's freakout during the 1983 pine tar incident.
Remembering George Brett's freakout during the 1983 pine tar incident. /

When looking back at the history of professional sports, you can talk about great moments and players all you want, but if you're a true completionist, you can't leave out the epic meltdowns that kept all our eyes glued to the television screen. Perhaps the greatest freakout in sports history belonged to Kansas City Royals third baseman George Brett. Back on July 24, 1983, Brett hit a two-run homer off New York Yankees closer Goose Gossage to give the Royals a 5-4 lead in the ninth inning. However, Yankees manager Billy Martin protested the dinger, saying that Brett's bat was smothered with pine tar. The umpiring crew came together for a discussion, wiping away the home run and ruling Brett out. The Royals star went on to lose his mind and sprint right for home plate umpire Tim McClelland.

Brett was a man possessed! That's an explosion for the ages.

According to the rules at the time, a player could have pine tar on his bat, but it can't be applied above the MLB logo. In Brett's case, the tar was high above that threshold, so the homer didn't count and he was ruled out to end the game.

The Yankees won the game 4-3.

Ultimately, however, the win didn't technically count. The Royals protested the game, and their grievance was upheld by then-American League president Lee MacPhail, who stated that while the bat would be banned from further use, Brett's home run shouldn't have been overturned. The game would resume a month later, with the Royals entering with a 5-4 lead. Kansas City went on to win the game and the controversial decision.

So Brett's meltdown was worth it, as his homer counted, pine tar and all.