KANSAS CITY -- To longtime Royals fans, it is simply known as The George Brett Game.
With his team trailing two games to none in the 1985 American League Championship Series against the Blue Jays, Brett showed in Game 3 once again why he would become a first-ballot Hall of Famer.
Brett went 4-for-4 with two home runs to lead the Royals to a crucial 6-5 victory, likely saving the series.
Kansas City lost Game 4 but rallied to win the series against Toronto, and then beat the Cardinals in the 1985 World Series.
That magical run to the Royals' first championship really started with Brett’s heroics in Game 3 against the Blue Jays.
Brett said often over the years that his performance against the Blue Jays was close to his best ever considering the circumstances, at least right up there with his dramatic three-run home run off the Yankees' Goose Gossage in 1980 that catapulted Kansas City to its first World Series.
Toronto entered the 1985 ALCS as the hottest team in baseball, winning 43 of its final 61 regular-season games.
"We thought we were the best team in baseball," Blue Jays outfielder Lloyd Moseby told the Toronto Sun in recent years. "Maybe fate was on their side."
But Brett hit three home runs in the series, batted .348, scored six runs and drove in five.
"When it was over, we looked back on it: George Brett beat us by himself," Blue Jays reliever Tom Henke told the Sun.
"And that domination started in Game 3."
Brett homered in the first inning, just missed a home run in the fourth (a double high off the wall), and tied the score at 5 with a two-run home run in the sixth.
Brett also made a spectacular defensive play at third base in the third inning that saved a run.
“If this isn’t the best game I’ve ever played,” Brett said after the game, “it has to be pretty close. Maybe the Goose game is No. 1 and this was No. 2.”