originally Ken and I," he says, relaxing at home. His arms are draped on
the back of a modular couch; sunlight streams in through the sliding glass
doors to his deck. "Then it was one-third each, with George in it." He
waves a hand to take in the building, including Ken's condo next door.
"This little piece of sand is worth $900,000."
Bobby lives in
the present tense. The temptation with Ken or George—with any ballplayer—is to
dwell on his grand and poignant moments, to apply the sepia tones of myth to
his life. Bobby won't stand for that.
"Bobby is a
salesman," George says, signifying by a stern look that this is an
understatement. "He's always making deals. His great line is 'Look, if you
don't buy it, I will. I'm giving you the first chance!' "
only one my parents put through college," Ken says.
remember him as a brash child capable of insinuating himself into any desired
position. If he had cheap seats to see the Lakers at The Forum, he inevitably
ended up courtside. If he went to Dodger Stadium with his dad and brothers, he
somehow lied his way into the press box and copped free food and press
well organized," Jack says. "When he was 13, he would allocate his
time—to sports or to studies. One Saturday morning while we were waiting for
breakfast, he was diagraming football plays. I said, 'What are you doing, Bob?'
And he said, 'I'm diagraming football plays.' I said, 'Well, don't you know
them all?' And he said, 'I'm diagraming every guy's assignment.' That's the way
he approached sports. Bobby's a recognized leader."
As befits a
leader, Bobby is accorded rank. "We call him The General," John says.
"Bobby's always telling everybody what to do. He says, 'O.K., we're going
to dinner here!' When Georgie got tickets to Disneyland from the Angels, Bobby
said, 'We're going to Adventureland, then Frontierland....' He told us which
rides we were going on!" John wasn't surprised to learn that Bobby had
ended up with complimentary tickets to the NCAA finals in Philadelphia last
March. "That's nothing," he says. "He golfed in the Dinah Shore
Open on a freebie from NBC Sports! Here I am, pounding two nails on the red
line, and he's out golfing! That's the kind of guy Bobby is. Everybody just
follows him around."
They say that
Bobby wasn't altogether pleased when he unwrapped the present from his brothers
last Christmas: sergeant's stripes.
tension," observes Royals Outfielder Clint Hurdle. "George tells John
how to run his life. He says, 'You're terrible, you're terrible, you're in the
streets, you're nothing....' " Hurdle looks amazed. "This is his older
brother! This guy's huge. He's beat him up a couple of times!"
Jack Brett didn't
want his other sons to follow John's path, and Ken and Bobby hadn't been so
inclined. But George? There was a lot of John in George. Even today, when the
grown-up George replies to frustration by hitting things...smashing a batting
helmet, kicking a door, devastating a dugout washroom with a bat, swatting a
photographer with a crutch, breaking glass...his outbursts invite comparison to