The KC Royals' history cannot be built without third baseman George Brett. His name is peppered throughout the franchise's timeline. From championships to accolades to historic moments, Brett is often involved in one capacity or another. The Royals have existed for only five years without Brett being an active player or in the Royals ' front office. That is an unmatchable mark and impact from one person.
After a month of games, the best Royal ever saw his hitting streak end.
On Aug. 17, 1980, Brett saw his batting average exceed .400 against the Toronto Blue Jays. Then, two days later, his 30-game hitting streak ended against the Texas Rangers. Ranger starter Jon Matlack held Brett hitless in his four plate appearances, walking Brett in one.
The hitless game ended one of the most productive hitting streaks in MLB history. This streak was the 22nd to reach 30 games and the first in Royals history. Since then, infielder Whit Merrifield surpassed Brett when he had a hitting streak from Sept. 10, 2018, to April 10, 2019.
Brett's streak started on July 18, 1980, and covered 139 plate appearances. This was one of the most productive 30-plus-game hitting streaks in MLB history, too. In such streaks since 1969, Brett had the highest batting average (.467), most RBIs (42), and fewest strikeouts (3). His .504 on-base percentage and 1.249 OPS in that span rank second as well.
This 30-game hitting streak was not a one-off for Brett either. Looking through the Royals' history, there are a few players with a lone hitting streak above 15 games. The players range from franchise stalwarts like Salvador Perez and Alex Gordon to forgotten names like Alberto Callaspo and Jeff Francoeur. Brett reached that mark five times, the most in Royals history. Nearly 10 years separate Brett's first and final such hitting streaks as well, the franchise's longest time period between 15+-game hitting streaks.
All of this speaks to Brett's longevity at the plate and just how good he was in his prime. During the 1980 season, Brett won MVP honors and was the first in Royals' history to do so. He also led the league with a .390 BA, .664 slugging percentage, and a 1.118 OPS. The season did not end with a championship, but this was arguably the best individual season ever in Kansas City baseball.