Brett’s 300th career home run put him in rare company

Part of the INSIDE PITCH series
Written by: Craig Muder

With nearly every swing of the bat in his final big league season, George Brett entered the record books.

On May 13, 1993, Brett homered off the Indians’ Mark Clark in the sixth inning of the Royals’ 7-3 victory. When the ball cleared the right field fence at Cleveland’s Municipal Stadium, it marked the 300th home run of Brett’s career.

“I don’t think it’s any secret I’ve been struggling lately,” Brett told the Associated Press after his 3-for-4 performance boosted his batting average to .242. “Then I had a walk in my first at-bat, a hit in my second at-bat, a hit in my third at-bat.”

Brett had notched his 3,000th career hit at the end of the 1992 season, and with his 300th home run became the sixth member of the 300/3,000 club – joining Hank Aaron, Al Kaline, Willie Mays, Stan Musial and Carl Yastrzemski.

Brett hit his 300th home run 35 years to the day after Musial recorded his 3,000th hit.

“Any time they mention your name in the same sentence with Stan Musial, it’s quite an honor,” Brett said. “I never saw Stan play, but I know how hard it was for me to get there.”

The home run also tied Brett with Reggie Jackson for 12th place on the all-time extra base hits list with 1,075.

Brett would finish his career with 1,119 extra base hits, putting him 10th on that list at the time of his retirement.

“I’m more excited about the way he swung the bat today than I am about 300 home runs,” Royals manager Hal McRae told the AP. “I’m glad the 300th home run is behind him. He’s struggled some, and I think this is going to relax him.”

Brett finished the season with a .266 batting average to go with 19 home runs, 31 doubles and 75 RBI. Brett, who turned 40 years old two days after his 300th home run, also stole seven bases.

His sixth of the season – on Aug. 29 against the Red Sox – gave him 200 for his career, joining Aaron and Mays as the only players in history to that point with a .300 career batting average, 300 home runs and 200 steals.

For his career, Brett hit .305 with 665 doubles, 317 home runs and 1,596 RBI. A three-time AL batting champion and 13-time All-Star, Brett hit .337 in nine Postseason series, winning the 1985 ALCS MVP and leading Kansas City to its first World Series title that same year.

Brett was elected to the Hall of Fame in 1999.

Craig Muder is the director of communications for the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum

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Part of the INSIDE PITCH series