Long before the insane Wild Card Game in 2014, Sept. 30 was already a special date in Kansas City Royals history. On that same date in 1992, club icon George Brett joined the 3000-hit club.
The hit came with just a handful of games remaining in the 1992 season. It happened on the road against the then-California Angels.
Brett came up in the seventh inning already 3 for 3 on the night. He lined a single up the middle off left-hander Tim Fortugno to reach the exclusive club.
Before the official scorekeeper had a chance to decide whether the hard-hit ball that got past second baseman Ken Oberkfell was a hit or an error, the Kansas City Royals had already poured out of the dugout. There were also fireworks set off at Anaheim Stadium to commemorate the moment, which came in a 4-0 victory for the road team.
The most memorable part of the historic moment came immediately after the celebration ended. That’s when Brett got a quick trip back to the dugout after being picked off at first base. It wasn’t particularly close, either. Even his wife was laughing in the stands.
Brett, who was 39 at the time, finished the ’92 season—the 20th of his incredible career—hitting .285/.330/.397. He had 47 extra-base hits and 61 RBI. The undisputed best player in Kansas City Royals history wrapped up his career at the end of the 1993 season.
All told, Brett slashed .305/.369/.487 in his illustrious career. He finished with 3,154 hits, 665 doubles, 137 triples, 317 home runs and 1,596 RBI. Brett landed just about every award he could during his Hall-of-Fame career.
The left-handed hitting Brett made 13 All-Star teams. He won three Silver Slugger honors, a Gold Glove and the 1980 MVP award. He won three batting titles—one each in the 70s, 80s and 90s.
There were many famous moments in Brett’s career. This one will always be remembered as one of the best and—thanks to the pickoff—one of the funniest.