Winning multiple batting titles is not an easy feat to accomplish. This KC Royals Hall of Famer did it in three different decades.
In October of 1990, I was in my first month of high school, songs by Nelson, Phil Collins and Bell Biv DeVoe were at the top of the charts. Ghost, Goodfellas, and Marked for Death were box office hits. On the 3rd day of that month, George Brett was wrapping up his third and final batting title for the KC Royals. The 2020 season is the 30th anniversary of this historic accomplishment.
Several players have won more titles overall than Brett including those you would expect like Tony Gwynn, Ty Cobb, Rod Carew, and Ted Williams. But he did join a club with only two other players who won three or more batting championships without doing it consecutively.
A list of all-time Royals batting leaders is dominated by Brett as he put in 21 seasons with the Kansas City franchise. Some of those include games played, doubles, triples, home runs, base on balls and for us Sabermetric nerds, offensive wins above replacement (WAR), and win probability added (WPA).
Much had changed for the Royals from 1976 to 1990. In the late ’70s through the mid-80s Kansas City was a consistent winner and earned multiple trips to the playoffs including trips to the World Series in 1980 and 1985, winning the latter. Sadly the team had finished 19 1/2 and seven games behind the division leader the previous two years and would fall a depressing 27 1/2 behind first in ’90. But one consistent was that Brett was always in the lineup creating havoc with his bat.
We will take a look at all three seasons in which Brett led the American League in hitting as we celebrate the 30th anniversary of his last one.