The KC Royals drafted Brian McRae in the first round of the 1985 draft (17th overall). He was predicted to be a lower round draft pick in baseball (he was going to Kansas to play football and baseball). However, the Royals ignored the predictions and drafted McRae, paying him a six-figure bonus.
The outfielder made his Major League debut in 1990 with the Royals (.286 in 36 games) and went on to play four more seasons with them. McRae played a total of ten years in the big leagues, as he went on to play with the Chicago Cubs, NY Mets, Colorado Rockies, and Toronto Blue Jays before calling it quits in 1999 (his last game was October 3rd).
When his playing days ended, he worked for MLB.com radio for five years, along with ESPN’s Baseball Tonight. In 2005, he was a major part of an article on ESPN.com titled “Team did little to discourage drug use“. McRae talked about how drugs came through the NY Mets clubhouse in 1999 in packages similar to fan mail from pharmasists without a prescription.
Currently, McRae has been directing the Kansas City Sluggers, a traveling showcase baseball organization for 15-18 year olds. It is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization. This summer will be their fourth season. The teams are comprised of 18-20 kids who live in and around the KC Metro area who are looking to play collegiate baseball and receive a degree. The travel teams are at the 16U, 17U, and 18U levels.
This Saturday (January 18th), the 2 Seam Dream Foundation will be holding Cancer Awareness Day at Alex Box Stadium, Skip Bertman Field at LSU. The event will include an autograph session, HR Derby, live auction, and a softball game featuring current and former big leaguers. McRae is scheduled to participate, as will current Royals pitchers Louis Coleman and Ryan Verdugo and former Royals pitchers Chad Durbin and Paul Byrd. You can head on over to the 2 Seam Dream Foundation’s website to learn more, buy tickets, or to donate.
McRae is also one of those rare former players who is active on social media. If you don’t already, go follow him on Twitter (@kcsluggers).