With the Royals paying tribute to George Brett this weekend, here's a retrospective on the future Hall of Famer in quiz form. If you're correct on all 10, you earn a full expenses-paid by you trip to Cooperstown.
When George Brett first appeared for the Royals late in the 1973 season, he wore No. 25. Later Brett switched uniform numbers with an outfielder who wore No. 5. Who was that outfielder?
a) Joe Zdeb. b) Steve Hovley. c) Tom Poquette. d) Rusty Torres.
Answer: In 1974, Tom Poquette, now a Royals coach in Omaha, wore No. 25 after having No. 5 in 1973.
Brett's first major league hit came against a Chicago White Sox right-hander who had played collegiately at Nebraska. Who was the pitcher?
a) Bob Devaney. b) Stan Bahnsen. c) Bob Cerv. d) Tim Burke.
Answer: Stan Bahnsen was an All-Big Eight pitcher at Nebraska in 1965.
Brett's short minor-league career contained three stops. Which of the following stops didn't he make?
a) Memphis. b) San Jose. c) Billings. d) Omaha.
Answer: San Jose, Billings and Omaha were all KC farms in the early 70s. Memphis became a farm club in 1984.
Who was the Royals' third baseman prior to Brett's arrival in the big leagues for good on May 3, 1974?
a) Joe Foy. b) Richie Scheinblum. c) Bob Oliver. d) Paul Schaal.
Answer: Brett was recalled from Omaha when the Royals traded Paul Schaal to California for outfielder Richie Scheinblum.
Brett collected 34 of his career hits -- more than he had against any other pitcher -- against this hard-throwing right-hander.
a) Jim Clancy. b) Nolan Ryan. c) Jack Morris. d) Charlie Hough.
Answer: Brett had 29 hits off both Ryan and Morris, but he collected 34 against Jim Clancy.
Among Brett's obscure career records is the American League standard for games played on artificial turf. Name the only major leaguer who has played more games on plastic grass.
a) Dave Winfield. b) Carlton Fisk. c) Hank Aaron. d) Pete Rose.
Answer: Pete Rose played about 200 more games on artificial turf than Brett did.
Of baseball's most coveted awards, Brett won this one just once.
a) A gold glove. b) A silver bat. c) A stone glove. d) A bamboo bat.
Answer: Brett's earned his lone gold glove in 1985 after commiting just 15 errors in 152 games.
Brett slugged his famous Pine Tar home run against. . .
a) Dave Righetti. b) Sparky Lyle. c) Joe Brinkman. d) Goose Gossage.
Answer: Gossage surrendered the homer. Brinkman was the umpire who called Brett out because the pine tar was too high on his bat handle.
Brett collected three hits in the last game of the 1976 season to win his first American League batting title by .001 (.333 to .332). Who finished second?
a) Rod Carew. b) Hal McRae. c) Bobby Grich. d) Don Baylor.
Answer: Brett edged Hal McRae primarily because Minnesota Twins leftfielder Steve Brye let a routine Brett fly ball fall for a hit.
What was the first position Brett played as a professional baseball player?
a) Shortstop. b) Third base. c) Catcher. d) Designated hitter.
Answer: Brett played shortstop for the Royals' Rookie League team in Billings, Mont., in 1971.