The Pine Tar Incident: July 24th, 1983
The Pine Tar Incident was a controversial incident during an American League Baseball 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 two-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. The game was restarted on August 18 and officially ended with the Royals winning 5–4.
The bat is currently on display in the Baseball Hall of Fame, where it has been since 1987. During a broadcast of Mike & Mike in the Morning, ESPN analyst Tim Kurkjianstated that Brett used the bat for a few games after the incident until being cautioned that the bat would be worthless if broken. Brett sold the bat to famed collector and then partial owner of the Yankees, Barry Halper, for $25,000, had second thoughts, repurchased the bat for the same amount from the collector and then donated the bat to the Hall of Fame.