Remember when we argued about pine tar?

The baseball season started Thursday night in Washington, D.C., from Dr. Fauci missing home plate by a mile to Stanton hitting a monster H.R. for the Yankees and MLB giving us their version of the "Black Lives Matter" meme.

It left me yearning for the good old days of baseball, or that July 1983 afternoon in the old Yankee Stadium when George Brett's game-winning run ran into pine tar.

We didn't have the internet, and most people still read the sports pages to get the news.

Back in July 1983, I was working in Mexico and on the phone with a colleague from New York City.  As we finished our business call, he teased me by saying to catch the sports highlights about the Yankees-Royals game that afternoon.  He had watched the game in the office on local TV.

So I made it a point to catch the sports news and couldn't believe what I was watching.  This is how the legendary Murray Chass reported it in The New York Times:

Baseball games often end with home runs, but until today the team that hit the home run always won.  At Yankee Stadium today, the team that hit the home run lost.  If that unusual development produced a sticky situation, blame it on pine tar.  With two out in the ninth inning, George Brett of the Kansas City Royals hit a two-run home run against Rich Gossage that for several minutes gave the Royals a 5‚4 lead over the Yankees.  But Brett was called out by the umpires for using an illegal bat — one with an excessive amount of pine tar.  The ruling, after a protest by Billy Martin, the Yankees' manager, enabled the Yankees to wind up with a 4‚3 victory.

What followed was one of the greatest arguments in baseball history.  Brett ran from the dugout and nearly (but thankfully didn't) killed the umpire.  Benches emptied, and there were arguments all around home plate.  Last, but not least, the umpires ruled by placing the bat across home plate and determining that there was too much pine tar.

The league reversed the umpires, and the two teams returned to New York to literally play the rest of the game.  K.C. won.

The "pine tar" game was the last chapter in the Yankees-Royals rivalry.  It started with very intense postseason series that saw New York beat Kansas City in 1976, 1977, and 1978.  K.C. finally beat N.Y. in 1980, and most of the players were still around when the "pine tar game" happened in 1983.  And as they say, these two teams did not like each other.

I don't know about you, but I'd rather hear about pine tar than all of these political messages in sports.

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