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The Pine Tar Game: The Kansas City Royals, the New York Yankees, and Baseball's Most Absurd and Entertaining Controversy
On July 24, 1983, during the finale of a heated four-game series between the dynastic New York Yankees and small-town Kansas City Royals, umpires nullified a go-ahead home run based on an obscure rule, when Yankees manager Billy Martin pointed out an illegal amount of pine tar — the sticky substance used for a better grip — on Royals third baseman George Brett‘s bat.
In ‘The Pine Tar Game’, acclaimed sports writer Filip Bondy paints a portrait of the Yankees and Royals of that era, replete with bad actors, phenomenal athletes, and plenty of yelling. Players and club officials, like Brett, Goose Gossage, Willie Randolph, Ron Guidry, Sparky Lyle, David Cone, and John Schuerholz, offer fresh commentary on the events and their take on the subsequent postseason rivalry.
The Pine Tar Game examines a more innocent time in professional sports, and the shifting tide that resulted in today’s modern iteration of baseball.