Flashback Friday: KC Royals great Mike Sweeney

KC Royals, Mike Sweeney (Photo by G. N. Lowrance/Getty Images)
KC Royals, Mike Sweeney (Photo by G. N. Lowrance/Getty Images) /

This KC Royals great can still be found in the record books for team history after a career full of high averages and finding his way on base.

It’s just about time for KC Royals baseball to start back up. Spring training games will soon begin and before fans know it, it will be time for the regular-season opener. While it’s always great to look forward to the next season and what is to come, especially with all the talent at spring training this year, it’s always good to take a look bad too, as we do with these Flashback Fridays.

For this Flashback Friday, we are taking a look at Mike Sweeney. Sweeney had one heck of a career with the KC Royals that started when he was drafted by the team during the 1991 MLB Draft out of Ontario High School in Ontario, California.

Sweeney worked his way through the minor league system with the team and eventually found a few major league games towards the end of 1995. Coming in as a catcher, he spent the next few years splitting games, though increasingly seeing his fair share of time.

In 1999, Sweeney finally got his chance when he was moved into the first base position. Splitting most of his time as a DH and just a few games as a catcher, Sweeney managed 150 games in 1999, a big jump from the 92 in 1998.

From this moment on, Sweeney made his name known in Kansas City. From 1999 to 2005, Sweeney batted over .300 5 times (.293 and .287 the other 2), saw MVP votes during three years, and went to the All-Star Game 5 times. Sweeney had a way of hitting the ball hard and getting on base and the fans loved it.

In 2006, Sweeney saw his playing time start to decline. While he still managed to put up decent numbers, he saw some time on the injured list and only saw time on the injured list. He had suffered from back injuries during earlier seasons, and the injuries continued to plague him for the rest of his career.

He continued with the Royals through 2006 and 2007, though mainly only seeing time as the designated hitter.

After the 2007 season, Sweeney elected free agency. From 2008 to 2010, he saw time with Oakland, Seattle, and Philadelphia. He continued to show his abilities with most of these teams but struggled to maintain playing time due to his injuries.

After the 2010 season, Sweeney retired from baseball and was inducted into the KC Royals baseball Hall of Fame in 2015.

If looking for Sweeney in the Royals history books, he can be found on some notable career top 10 categories, including: Offensive WAR (5th), Batting Average (3rd), On Base Percentage (7th), Slugging (2nd), OPS (2nd), Runs Scored (7th), Hits (7th), Doubles (6th), Home Runs (2nd), and RBIs (5th), just to name a few with even more not listed.

It’s obvious that Mike Seeney is a big part of Royals team history and will always be considered a Royals great. His ability to hit for a high average year after year and find his way to the base will always stay with Royals fans to remind them of the great players that keep them, Forever Royal.

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Keep checking back for the next Flashback Friday to look back at the players who created a great history for the team we love.