2001 Fleer Tradition Mike Sweeney baseball card
First Base: Mike Sweeney (5)
For years, Mike Sweeney was *the* reason to watch the Kansas City Royals. A solid, if relatively unspectacular player, Sweeney was one of, if not the best player, on quite a few atrocious Kansas City Royals teams. As a result, Sweeney often found himself as the Royals token representative when it came to the All-Star Game, as he was the only player selected from the Royals in three of the five years he made the team.
Yet, Sweeney was more than just someone that was placed on the All-Star team because the Royals needed to be represented. He was, by Kansas City Royals standards, a power hitting first baseman who was capable of also hitting above .300 while playing decent defense at first. While Sweeney was not a Gold Glove caliber first baseman, he was not a complete liability with the glove either.
During his tenure with the Royals, Mike Sweeney posted a .299/.369/.492 batting line with 197 home runs and 837 RBIs. Sweeney was also a solid doubles hitter, with 297 during his time in Kansas City. Despite playing on some truly abysmal teams, Sweeney received MVP votes on three different occasions, finishing as high as eleventh in his first All-Star season in 2000, when he produced a .333/.407/.523 batting line with 29 home runs.
At a time when the Royals often got rid of their better players because they either could not or would not pay them, Sweeney was the one player who remained. It is only fitting that he made this list.