Mike Sweeney was the one who stayed. After watching Carlos Beltran, Johnny Damon and even Kevin Appier leave the Royals to play elsewhere, Sweeney was the one constant. From 1999, when he finally became a full time player, through 2007, Sweeney was the face of the franchise. A five time All-Star, he was easily their best player during that time frame, a fan favorite that did not leave.
Eventually, Sweeney left the Royals, as players tended to do. However, instead of leaving during his prime, he left his best years in Kauffman Stadium, leaving at a time when he just could not hold up any longer due to injuries. He bounced from the A’s to the Mariners to the Phillies, ending his career after getting a base hit in the only postseason at bat of his career.
Now, Mike Sweeney has returned to the Royals. After spending time as a studio analyst for the MLB Network, Sweeney was hired as a special assistant to baseball operations. He is slated to help out at Spring Training, and assist Dayton Moore and the front office with special projects.
“I’m so ecstatic to be a small part of what the Glass family and Dayton Moore and Ned Yost and their staffs are doing,” Sweeney said. “I’m to wear a bunch of different hats but, in the same breath, it’s going to be a Kansas City Royal hat, and that’s what I want to bring honor to, more than anything.”
Despite all the accolades and accomplishments during his time as a member of the Royals, Mike Sweeney was never able to enjoy a postseason in front of the fountains of Kauffman Stadium, but he may be able to be a part of bringing the playoffs back to Kansas City. As a player who spent the vast majority of his career as a member of the Royals, and stayed with the team through the down times, it would be great to get to see him enjoy the playoffs in a place that he can truly call home.
After years of being the one star player who remained in Kansas City, Mike Sweeney is back. Hopefully, the Royals will get to enjoy a playoff berth to welcome him back.