Brett will retire, source says Royals star expected to take VP position AMERICAN LEAGUE

September 24, 1993|By Los Angeles Times

LOS ANGELES -- George Brett, considered the greatest player in Kansas City Royals history, decided last night that he will retire at the end of this season, according to sources close to Brett.

Brett is expected to publicly announce his decision tomorrow in Kansas City.

He will remain in the organization as a vice president, accepting a deal that will pay him in excess of $200,000 a year until the year 2000.

Brett, 40, was expected to inform Royals general manager Herk Robinson of his decision late last night or this morning.

"George knows there's nothing left for him to accomplish," a source said.

"I think he knew all along that this would be his last year, but he just wanted to make sure," the source said.

"The only doubts he has about the decision is the way he's been hitting lately."

Brett is batting .375 during his season-high, 10-game hitting streak. He hit his 17th home run last night, his highest total since 1988.

Little wonder manager Hal McRae has attempted to persuade Brett to play another year.

Brett, however, has told friends and family that a 20-year career is enough. He's ready to spend time with his family.

He was married for the first time last year, and the couple have a 6-month-old son.

Brett began making his final decision this week when he and agent Dennis Gilbert entered contract negotiations Monday with Robinson in Oakland, Calif.

Robinson proposed a one-year contract in 1994 if he remained a player, and a seven-year vice president's contract, which was modified as late as yesterday.

Brett discussed the options with his family and told his wife and brothers that he would retire.

Brett joined Willie Mays and Hank Aaron this season as the only players in baseball to obtain 3,000 hits, 300 homers and 200 stolen bases in their careers.

He is a 13-time All-Star and the only player in the major-league history to win batting titles in three decades.

"I have more admiration for him than any player in the game," said Gordon Lakey, veteran Toronto Blue Jay scout.

"There's no one I've enjoyed watching more in the last 15 years. His retirement will be the first one that has really affected me."

The game will miss Brett, California coach John Wathan said, more than Brett will miss the game.

"Sometimes, when you play alongside a buddy," Wathan said, "you don't appreciate his talent. That wasn't the case with George. I've always had a strong feeling that he'd be in the Hall of Fame."

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