Baseball was in the air on September 24 when Kansas City Royals legend and first-ballot Hall of Famer George Brett was the featured speaker at the 28th Annual Sports Night.
During an interview on stage with ESPN baseball analyst Kyle Peterson ‘94, he fondly recalled playing minor league ball for the Omaha Royals 35 years ago when he was paid just $800 a month.
“It was a wonderful experience. It really was,” he said. “I was 19 and played with a lot of guys that had major league experience. They taught me an awful lot about how to conduct my business.”
As one of only five players in Major League Baseball history with 3,000 hits, 300 home runs and a lifetime batting average of .300 or more, he spoke with an intensity that seemed as great as it did in his playing days. Like in the 1980 season, when he tried to become the first player since Ted Williams in 1941 to bat .400.
With two weeks to go, he was hitting .402. “Then I went out and did the one thing I shouldn’t have done: try to hit .400,” he noted. “I tried to pull the ball too much, hit it too hard, hit it too far where before I didn’t care where the hits went.” He finished just short at .390.
What stands out for him the most? Winning the 1985 championship. “When you walk in that locker room after the last game of the World Series and your team’s victorious, everybody in that locker room has the same feeling as everybody else: We did it. It’s a bond that we share forever.”