George Brett (1999)
George Brett played for the Kansas City Royals for his entire twenty-one year major league career. He was drafted by the Royals at the age of just eighteen in 1971. After two years in the minor leagues, he was called up to the Royals in August, 1973, for thirteen games. In 1974, his first full season in the major leagues, Brett batted .282 with 129 hits and 21 doubles in 133 games.
In 1975, Brett led the American League in hits with 195 and in triples with 13. The following year he won the American League batting title and led the league in hits, singles, and triples. That season he batted .333 with a career high 215 hits, 34 doubles, and 14 triples in 159 games. In 1978, Brett led the American League in doubles with 45 and in 1979, he led the league in hits with 212 and in triples with a career high of 20.
Brett won the American League MVP award, the batting title, and the first of three Silver Slugger awards in 1980. That season he batted a career high .390 with 175 hits, 33 doubles, 24 home runs, 118 RBIs, and 15 stolen bases in 117 games. He won a second Silver Slugger award in 1985, batting .335 with 184 hits, 38 doubles, 30 home runs, and 112 RBIs. That year he also won the American League Championship Series MVP award.
Brett won his third Silver Slugger award in 1988 with a batting average of .306. Two years later, in 1990, he again won the American League batting title and he led the league in doubles. That season, he batted .329 with 179 hits and 45 doubles in 142 games. Brett retired after the 1993 season.
Brett started as a shortstop but he was quickly moved to third base for defensive purposes. He became the Royals regular third baseman in 1974, a position he held until he was moved to first base in 1988. He was the Royal's designated hitter for most of his last three seasons (1991-1993). A good defensive third baseman, Brett won a Gold Glove in 1985. Career fielding statistics for Brett at third base include:
- 1,692 games played
- 261 errors
- 3,674 assists
- 307 double plays
- 1,372 putouts
- .951 fielding percentage
Brett holds several major league records. He had the most career hits by any major league third baseman with 3,154. He is one of only four major league players to have 3,000 hits, 300 home runs, and a batting average of .300 or better (the others are Hank Aaron, Willie Mays, and Stan Musial). Brett is number six on the career doubles list, behind Tris Speaker, Pete Rose, Stan Musial, Ty Cobb, and Craig Biggio.
Brett has remained a part of the Kansas City Royals as both their vice president and as a coach and instructor for the team. He also owns a minor league team.
Batting statistics for Brett in 21 seasons (1973-1993) in the major leagues include:
- 11 seasons with 150 or more hits, with a high of 215 in 1976
- 14 seasons with over 30 doubles, with a high of 45 in 1978 and 1990
- 4 seasons with over 10 triples, with a high of 20 in 1979
- 8 seasons with over 20 home runs, with a high of 30 in 1985
- 4 seasons with over 100 RBIs, with a high of 118 in 1980
- 11 seasons with a batting average over .300, with a high of .390 in 1980
Career batting statistics for Brett include:
- 2,707 games played
- 3,154 hits
- 665 doubles
- 137 triples
- 317 home runs
- 1,596 RBIs
- 201 stolen bases
- .305 batting average