Baseball Hall of Famer George Brett earned a shoutout from President Donald Trump in Kansas City.
In a speech at the Veterans of Foreign Wars convention in Kansas City on Tuesday, Trump thanked the veterans before acknowledging the career statistics of Brett, the Royals legend who was in the crowd.
“That’s pretty good — .305, 20 years,” said Trump. “Special guy.”
Brett produced a .305 batting average over a 21-year career for the Royals that included 13 All-Star selections, three American League batting titles, the 1980 AL MVP award and a 1985 World Series title.
George Brett was in Donald Trump’s Kansas City inner circle
Brett joined Attorney General of Missouri Josh Hawley among those who greeted Trump as he exited Air Force One at Kansas City International Airport. They rode in the president’s limousine to the rally.
AG Josh Hawley and George Brett are among those greeting President Trump after his arrival at KCI pic.twitter.com/qG7irftsM5
— Nicole DiAntonio (@WDAFndiantonio) July 24, 2018
Trump again shouted out Brett in a diatribe about his 2016 presidential election victory in Missouri:
"We won you guys by 20 points…I'm not going to bring that up…I'm not going to say that to George Brett…We won by 20 points" #TrumpInKC talking about his 2016 win.
— Caroline Sweeney (@CarolineKCTV5) July 24, 2018
Trump earned 56.77 percent of the vote in Missouri, 18.63 percentage points more than Hillary Clinton.
Tuesday marked the 35th anniversary of the Pine Tar Incident in 1983, when Brett’s go-ahead home run in the ninth inning of a game against the New York Yankees was nullified when umpires ruled his bat had too much pine tar on it. That coincidental anniversary escaped the president’s speech.
George Brett is a longtime Donald Trump supporter
Brett has been an ardent Trump supporter. During the 2016 campaign, he posted pictures of his dogs in “Make America Great Again” hats with the captions “What a good dog” and “Only if dogs could vote”:
He also endorsed Trump during an appearance on a Royals telecast in May 2016:
George Brett's Trump comments from last night's telecast. pic.twitter.com/TNzUOhok9q
— Royals Review (@royalsreview) May 18, 2016
Brett was a guest of the 2015 World Series champion Royals when they made their visit to the White House during Barack Obama’s presidency. Obama called him one “of the greatest Royals of all time.”
Trump considers himself a New York baseball legend
Likewise, Trump is a longtime baseball fan. He played as a youth and once called himself “the best baseball player in New York when I was young.” While he was scouted by the Philadelphia Phillies, according to a former New York Military Academy teacher, Trump did not play beyond high school.
“I was captain of the baseball team,” Trump told MTV’s “When I Was 17” in 2010. “I was supposed to be a professional baseball player. Fortunately, I decided to go into real estate instead.”
After going into real estate, Trump repeatedly tried to get into professional baseball. He failed in reported bids to purchase the Cleveland Indians, Minnesota Twins, Seattle Mariners, San Francisco Giants, Pittsburgh Pirates and San Diego Padres. Brett’s Royals apparently weren’t on the table.
During Brett’s 17th season in Kansas City, Trump promised a professional league that would rival Major League Baseball, complete with “a long-term contract with a major television network” and minimum $100,000 salaries — higher than the MLB’s average payday at the time — all set to launch in April 1990.
The league never came to fruition.
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