1976 AL Batting Champ Controversy

From BR Bullpen

Entering the final day of the 1976 AL season, Hal McRae of the Royals led teammate George Brett in the race for the batting title, .33078 to .33073. Two Twins were also in contention for the crown. Rod Carew was third at .32945. All three were involved in a final-day Royals-Twins game that would become highly controversial.

Carew went 2 for 4 to finish at .331; McRae and Brett both began 2 for 3 and McRae led Brett, .3326 to .3322 entering the 9th inning. In that frame, Brett hit a fly to left field, where Twins outfielder Steve Brye stopped running while chasing the ball. The ball dropped about 10-15 feet in front of Brye and bounced over his head for an inside-the-park home run. Against Jim Hughes, McRae then grounded out.

McRae said that Twins manager Gene Mauch told his players to let Brett win over McRae because Brett was white and McRae black. Mauch said he would "never do anything to harm the integrity of baseball." Brye said he had been playing deeper than he should have.

Source: The Sporting News Baseball Trivia 2