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The Pine-Tar Game: Yankees Bat Boy Who Says It Didn't Have To Happen

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Today marks the 30th anniversary of a game between the Kansas City Royals and the New York Yankees that made history. It would become known as the "Pine-Tar Game."

On July 24, 1983, in the top of the ninth, with the Royals trailing 4-3 and down to their last out, George Brett came to bat. Brett hit a 2-run homer that gave the Royals a lead in the game. But those runs were taken off the scoreboard when an umpire ruled that George Brett had too much pine tar -- a substance used to get a better grip -- on the bat.

In the last part of Wednesday's Up to Date, guest host Randy Mason talks with New York City Police officer Merritt Riley, who was a bat boy on the night of that infamous game.

Riley was the guy who was tasked with collecting the Royals’ bats and bringing them back to the dugout. But that didn’t happen as it should have that night.

Read more about Merritt Riley in this Wall Street Journal story.

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After growing up on the east coast and spending his first professional years in classical music, Stephen moved to Kansas City in 1995 expecting to leave after a few years. (Clearly that didn't happen.) More than two decades and three kids later, he doesn't regret his decision to stick around. Stephen began his career in public radio as a classical music host. As the founding producer of Up to Date with Steve Kraske, he received a number of local and national awards for his work on the program. Since 2014 he's overseen KCUR's broadcast operations. When Stephen isn't at KCUR's studios, he's probably adding more stamps to his passport with his KU professor wife and their three kids. His son almost made him cry during a drive through the Rockies when he said at age 8: "Dad, can we listen to public radio?" Sniff sniff.