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1983 "Pine Tar" Game Full Ticket Signed by George Brett and Billy Martin

  • Sold For: $1,778
  • Year: 1983
  • Auction: 2012 spring
  • Lot #: 1120
  • Auction Category: Post-1900 Baseball Memorabilia

Full ticket for the infamous "Pine Tar" game between the New York Yankees and Kansas City Royals on July 24, 1983, at Yankee Stadium, signed on the front in blue ink (grading "9/10) by both George Brett and Billy Martin. This is one of only a few full tickets from this game that we have seen, and the fact that it is signed by both Brett and Martin makes it one of the most desirable souvenirs imaginable from that historic contest. We do not recall ever seeing another example signed by George Brett and Billy Martin. Brett and Martin, of course, were the two central figures in what will forever be known as the "Pine Tar" game. On July 24, 1983, in a game against the New York Yankees at Yankee Stadium, George Brett hit a dramatic two-out, two-run homer in the top of the ninth off reliever Goose Gossage to give the Royals a 5-4 lead. Immediately afterwards, Yankees manager Billy Martin complained to home-plate umpire Tim McClelland that the pine tar on Brett's bat exceeded the maximum length by rule (seventeen inches from the handle) and that the home run should be disallowed and Brett called out. McClelland agreed and when he called Brett out it set off one of the wildest "rhubarbs" in baseball history. Brett charged from the dugout like a crazed lunatic and might have killed McClelland had the other umpires not physically restrained him. Today, that scene of Brett bolting out of the dugout is one of the most indelible images in baseball history. The Royals later protested the game and it was upheld by American League president Lee MacPhail. In the resumption of the game, twenty-five days later, the Yankees failed to score in the bottom of the ninth, thereby giving Brett, if not the most memorable game-winning home run in history, certainly the most controversial. The ticket (6 x 1.5 inches) is in Near Mint condition, and is accompanied by a "Z" first-day cover for the game (Nr-Mt). LOA from James Spence/JSA. Reserve $200. Estimate $400/$800. SOLD FOR $1,778

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