George Brett and Graig Nettles ALCS Gm 5 fight

I remember watching this when it happened. Game 5 of the 1977 ALCS between the Royals and the Yankees. In the bottom of the first Brett hit a triple with Hal McRae on first. It went over the head of Mickey Rivers and Brett slid in at 3rd base and got in tangled with Graig Nettles…Nettles did a dirty kick to the face of Brett and George came up swinging.

Everyone got in on the action including pitcher Ron Guidry and then Thurman Munson came over. Thurman had seen Nettles kick Brett in the face and although Nettles was a teammate…Munson’s sense of fair play took over.

Thurman gets into the pile and covers Brett and sticks his glove over Brett’s head to avoid any cheap shots. George Brett said Munson told him:  “Don’t worry, George, I won’t let anybody hit you when you’re down.” And they didn’t. “Thurman is my hero.” This quote surprised me quite a bit since Thurman was known to be crusty at the best of times.

Yankee manager Billy Martin, no stranger to fights, wrapped an arm around the 5’5″ Royal shortstop Freddie Patek and pulled him from the fracas. Billy said to him, “Stay with me over here and we won’t get hurt. Let those guys sort it out.

The reason this fight stuck with me all of these years is because no one got ejected… there were no warnings. Everyone brushed themselves off and played the rest of the game like nothing happened…the Yankees won 5-3 and advanced to the World Series where they beat the Dodgers.


Author: Badfinger (Max)

Power Pop fan, Baseball fan, old movie and tv show fan... and a songwriter, bass and guitar player.

4 thoughts on “George Brett and Graig Nettles ALCS Gm 5 fight”

  1. I don’t remember that, although there’s a reasonable chance I saw it at the time. I remember those players though – forgot how tiny Patek was!
    well George had reason to be annoyed, but he was a feisty one wasn’t he? I remember when he introduced “pine tar” into the common lexicon quite well!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Billy Martin just being in the ballpark- tended to make tensions a little higher. Worst idea anyone may have ever had the 10 cent Beernight In Cleveland- terrible idea doubled in insanity when you schedule it when Billy and his Texas Rangers were in town….. I remember arriving at home just as Pete Rose and Bud Harrelson were rolling around near second base fighting in that playoff game in 1972.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. 10 cent beer night was the worse ever…more than the disco demolition. What surprised me was what Thurman did…if Brett would not have said it…I wouldn’t have believed it.

      Rose seems to have been in many. The term Cocky seems to have his picture beside it. Great player though.

      Liked by 1 person

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