The KC Royals coaching staff: Who are these guys?

KC Royals (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)
KC Royals (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images) /
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KC Royals
(Photo by Ron Vesely/Getty Images) /

The KC Royals have eight major league coaches. But just who are these gentlemen who assist manager Mike Matheny?

Eight important members of the KC Royals work mostly in obscurity, far from the daily attention cast on the players and manager Mike Matheny. Paid not to play or make the ultimate in-game decisions, these men are the players’ teachers and mentors and Matheny’s advisors and confidantes.

Since the Royals replaced the Athletics as Kansas City’s major league franchise over a half-century ago, the club’s coaches include little-known professionals who never saw a day in the majors until becoming big league coaches, middle-of-the-road and star players, and Hall of Fame members. Franchise icon and first-ballot Hall of Famer George Brett served briefly as hitting coach in 2013; Bob Lemon, another Hall of Famer, Cleveland pitching great and manager of the Royals, White Sox and Yankees, was a Royals coach. Longtime big league manager Gene Mauch coached in KC.

Hitting savant Charlie Lau successfully remade Brett’s mechanics early in his career. Rocky Colavito, a fan favorite during his lone season with the KC A’s in 1964, later coached Royal hitters for Dick Howser. Kevin Seitzer also took a turn as KC’s hitting coach, joining John Mayberry, Jamie Quirk and Frank White as former Royals who worked in the dugout after retiring as players.

And two former Royals–John Wathan and Hal McRae–became KC coaches and later managed the team.

But major league coaches famous for stellar playing accomplishments are generally the rule, not the exception. That’s the case with the KC Royals’ current coaches, a group of talented baseball men who’ll never have plaques in Cooperstown or be the subjects of books or movies.

So just who are these Kansas City coaches? Who are Rusty Kuntz, Pedro Grifol, Cal Eldred, John Mabry, Terry Bradshaw, Vance Wilson, Larry Carter and Ryan Eigsti? Let’s find out.