George Brett celebrates 60th birthday
Greatest Royal ever ushers in milestone anniversary
George Brett is many things. He is a Royals Hall of Famer, an inductee in the National Baseball Hall of Fame, one of the greatest hitters in the history of Major League Baseball and a very young 60-year-old.
A look back at Brett's career includes a list of interesting games, moments and accomplishments. On May 15, his 60th birthday, here are some notes from the greatest player in Royals history.
We'll start with his 60th career game, which happened on June 26, 1974, at Royals Stadium against the Chicago White Sox. Brett batted ninth in manager Jack McKeon's lineup and went 1-for-5 with a seventh-inning infield single off Jim Kaat. It was Hal McRae's 12th-inning RBI single off Goose Gossage that scored Frank White to make the Royals walk off 2-1 winners.
Brett's 60th career base hit came on July 27, 1974, at Anaheim Stadium. He batted eighth and went 2-for-5. His first hit of the game (No. 59 of his career) was a second-inning leadoff single against John Cumberland. Brett's 60th career hit was an eighth-inning leadoff single against Dave Sells. Three Royals who would later play for the Angels had multi-hit games -- Royals Hall of Famer Fred Patek was 4-for-5, first baseman Tony Solaita was 3-for-4 and DH Richie Scheinblum was 2-for-5. Royals starter Bruce Del Canton went the distance for the win with a five-hit complete game. The Royals won, 6-3.
The 60th RBI of Brett's career came on May 14, 1975, at Tigers Stadium. Brett batted second and went 1-for-4. His hit was a fifth-inning RBI double against Joe Coleman that scored Vada Pinson. It was Pinson from the leadoff spot that almost single-handedly won the game for the Royals, going 4-for-5 with two doubles, a home run, two runs scored and two RBIs. Royals starter Nelson Briles went the distance for the win with a five-hit complete game including 10 strikeouts. The Royals won, 4-1.
Brett collected his 60th career double on April 23, 1976, at Yankee Stadium. He batted third in manager Whitey Herzog's lineup and went 1-for-4 with a sixth-inning double against Catfish Hunter. Royals catcher Buck Martinez' sixth-inning leadoff home run against Hunter put the Royals in front to stay. Paul Splittorff got the 3-2 win.
Brett's 60th career triple came on May 28, 1979, at Royals Stadium against the Baltimore Orioles in a quintessential performance. He batted third and went 5-for-7. His first hit was a third-inning RBI triple against Dennis Martinez that scored Willie Wilson. Brett reached base six times with five hits and a walk, scored three runs and collected four RBIs. His eighth-inning two-run home run off Martinez briefly gave the Royals a 4-3 lead before Ken Singleton tied the game with a ninth-inning leadoff homer. Brett collected a 10th-inning single against Don Stanhouse, and a 14th-inning double against Tim Stoddard. He finally put an end to the four-hour, 58-minute game with a 16th-inning leadoff home run against Sammy Stewart to give the Royals a 5-4 win.
The 60th home run of Brett's career came on June 24, 1979, at Anaheim Stadium. He batted second and went 2-for-5. The first hit was a first-inning double against future teammate Dave Frost. Brett connected for a ninth-inning two-run home run against Frost, which extended the Royals lead and set the final score. Fellow Royals Hall of Famer Dennis Leonard went the distance for the win with a three-hit complete game including seven strikeouts. The Royals won, 5-2.
You might have noticed some fun symmetry with this list of games covering Brett's 60th career game, base hit, RBI, double, triple and home run. The Royals went a cool 6-0.
Happy 60th birthday to the one and only No. 5 -- George Brett.
This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.