Make us your home page
Instagram

Get the quickest, smartest news, analysis and photos from the Bucs game emailed to you shortly after the final whistle.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Rays' Zimmer part of pine tar lore

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Thursday was the 25th anniversary of the famous George Brett pine-tar incident at Yankee Stadium, and the memories are still vivid for Rays senior adviser Don Zimmer.

That's because he had such a good seat.

Zimmer was a coach on Billy Martin's staff in 1983 and sitting on the bench when the Yankees manager pointed out that the bat Brett used to hit a home run had more pine tar than was allowed.

"It was just a crazy thing," Zimmer said Thursday. "The way it happened was wild. I don't think I ever saw a ballplayer go much wilder than George did, and he was an easygoing guy. He came out of the dugout like a brahma bull."

Zimmer said he and Martin had noticed and "discussed" earlier in the game that Brett's bat was in violation of the rules, and Martin waited for the proper time — the homer in the ninth put the Royals up 5-4 — to point it out.

Zimmer said nobody thought it would be that big of a deal then, much less 25 years later.

"I wasn't really proud of it," Zimmer said. "And to this day I don't talk about it to many people."

The Royals' protest of the disallowed homer was upheld and they returned to Yankee Stadium on Aug. 18, 1983, to complete the inning and record the victory.

Marc Topkin, Times staff writer

Rays' Zimmer part of pine tar lore 07/24/08 [Last modified: Friday, July 25, 2008 7:30am]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Rays journal: Erasmo Ramirez ready to start a day after closing game

    The Heater

    MINNEAPOLIS — RHP Erasmo Ramirez was on the mound to finish Sunday's 15-inning marathon win over the Twins and will start tonight's game against the Rangers.

    The Rays’ Erasmo Ramirez throws 12 pitches in the 15th inning against the Twins to earn the save then says after the game that he’s ready to make his scheduled start against the Rangers: “My arm feels good.”
  2. Rays exhausted but happy after 15-inning win over Twins (w/video)

    The Heater

    MINNEAPOLIS — Before the Rays eventually won Sunday's 6½-hour, 15-inning marathon against the Twins 8-6, they did plenty to lose it. And we need to get that out of the way first.

    The Rays’ Evan Longoria enjoys a laugh after scoring, barely, to tie it in the ninth on Steven Souza Jr.’s two-out single.
  3. Tom Jones' Two Cents: ABC's Indy 500 coverage is stellar again

    TV and Radio

    Times columnist Tom Jones looks back at the best and worst from a weekend of televised sports.

    Best coverage

    Takuma Sato left, celebrates after winning the Indianapolis 500 as Helio Castroneves is a little late passing him. ABC’s coverage of the race is stellar throughout, with plenty of extras but no fake drama.
  4. Takuma Sato surprise winner of wreck-filled Indy 500

    Auto racing

    INDIANAPOLIS — Takuma Sato, a journeyman driver, became the first Japanese winner of the Indianapolis 500 on Sunday when he held off three-time champion Helio Castroneves in a 230-mph wheel-rubbing duel to the finish.

    Scott Dixon’s car goes over the top of Jay Howard, soaring so high that Helio Castroneves drove under it while it was airborne. Stunningly, there were no serious injuries.
  5. Marc Topkin's takeaways from Sunday's Rays-Twins game

    The Heater

    The Rays won because they got two innings of good relief from each of the two pitchers who contributed to them losing Saturday's game, Danny Farquhar (who again struck out Miguel Sano) and Tommy Hunter, who both posted zeroes.