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Pocketmags Digital Magazines
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Pocketmags Digital Magazines

SUMMER BLOCKBUSTER

GEORGE BRETT’S 1980 CAMPAIGN – MUCH OF IT PLAYED IN SWELTERING RECORD-BREAKING HEAT THAT ENGULFED KANSAS CITY - WASN’T JUST HIS GREATEST SEASON. IT WAS AMONG THE GREATEST EVER.

On May 21 of the 1980 season, George Brett went 0-for-6 against the Oakland A’s, dropping his batting average to a very un-Brett-like .247. To add to his misery, he also committed an error in the Kansas City Royals’ 4-2 loss to the A’s. It was a lost week for Brett, who hit just .192 over the course of six games and saw his batting average plummet 35 points from the .282 it had been six days earlier. Brett had always been a slow starter – “Always,” he says – but even then, this was unusual. June was less than two weeks away. That would be the low point. Although the mini-slump may have been minor news in Kansas City, it was another George that bailed him out from bigger headlines. Brett’s 0-fer was lost in the hoopla surrounding the opening of Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back, George Lucas’ follow-up to the box office bonanza Star Wars from 1977.

Brett, who had already won one American League batting title in his career by then, started swinging the bat like the feared slugger he was. On May 22, he began a streak that saw him collect hits in eight of nine games leading up to June 1, batting an eye-popping .425 over the final eight games of the month. In the last games of the month, Brett pounded out nine hits in 17 at-bats. He entered June with a .301 average. Brett’s cold start had officially disappeared with the cold weather. By then, the first returns of the All-Star Game balloting were released, and Brett carried a commanding lead at third base for the American League. Brett’s nearly 270,000 votes were close to double that of second-place Graig Nettles of the Yankees.

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About Vintage Collector

Vintage Collector Aug/Sept 2019, George Brett And The Sizzling Summer of '80, The $5.6 Million Jersey, And More....