Top Royals All-Star Performers: George Brett, 1978 and 1983
Of course, everybody knows George Brett. He was named an All-Star 13 times in his career, and every season from 1976 to 1988. He’s a Kansas City baseball icon. He’s the only Hall of Famer who played most of his career with the Royals.
In 1978, Brett was two years removed from his first batting title and the key bat in the Royals lineup. At the All-Star break, he was hitting .319/.366/.500 with just four homers, but 28 doubles. In 303 plate appearances, he’d struck out 13 times. Total.
He started the game at third base, batting second behind Rod Carew. Vida Blue was the National League starter.
The AL jumped on Blue right away. Carew led off with a triple and Brett drove him in with a double to left-center. He moved to third on a groundout and scored on a sac fly. In his second time at the plate, Carew had just tripled again off Blue and Brett hit a fly ball to deep left-center and drove him in again.
Steve Rogers faced Brett his third time up but Brett singled. A groundout concluded Brett’s day in his fourth at bat. The final line was 2-3 with a double, two RBI and a run scored. Not too bad.
In 1983, Brett again got the start at third base after starting the year off on a tear. He had missed three weeks in June, but his .364/.447/.701 line with 14 homers was enough to get the votes. He’d been back in action for about a week before the All-Star break, just in time to take part.
Brett came up in the first with the bases loaded after a single, walk and error put Carew, Fred Lynn and Jim Rice on base. Brett hit a sacrifice fly to get Carew home. In the third inning, Brett followed a Rice homer off Atlee Hammaker with a triple. He scored on a single by Dave Winfield.
He fouled out and struck out his next two times up, but doubled of Lee Smith in his last at bat and scored. The day ended with Brett going 2-4 with a double, triple, two runs scored and the RBI sac fly.
Neither game earned Brett MVP honors, but he was a key figure in both games. Brett never won an All-Star MVP award. That would go to another Royal…