KC Royals History: Kevin Seitzer’s spectacular day

(Photo by: Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
(Photo by: Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images) /

There are a couple of things KC Royals fans typically think of when they hear the name Kevin Seitzer. One, his approach in the batter’s box—constantly tugging at his sleeves and shrugging his shoulders—left fans wondering if there wasn’t a uniform to fit him or if it was simply a nervous habit.

The other thing is an August Sunday in 1987 at Royals (now Kauffman) Stadium when Seitzer torched Boston pitching for six hits and seven RBIs in a 13-5 Kansas City victory to become the second Royals’ player to go 6-for-6 in one game—Bob Oliver did it in 1969.

(Joe Randa later tied the six-hit record, but in seven at-bats).

The Royals selected Seitzer in the 11th round of the 1983 amateur draft out of Eastern Illinois. He hit well as he progressed steadily up the organization ladder before making his big league debut in September 1986. In 28 games, he notched a .323 average (ironically, the same average he posted in his first full season a year later).

Kevin Seitzer and the KC Royals light up Red Sox pitching for 13 runs.

The big day started for Seitzer and Kansas City when Royal starter Mark Gubicza gave up a single in the first before a double play got him out of the inning and brought the Royals to the plate.

With one out, Seitzer singled and went to third on a ground-rule double by Brett. A groundout by Danny Tartabull plated Seitzer for a 1-0 Kansas City edge.

A home run by Dwight Evans gave the visitors a 2-1 lead they held until the bottom of the third when Seitzer led off with a home run to left off Red Sox starter Bob Stanley.

With the game still tied in the bottom of the fourth after Seitzer’s solo homer, Ross Jones led off with a single for the Royals and was sacrificed to second. Lonnie Smith singled to put runners on the corners for Seitzer, who delivered his third hit and second RBI with a line drive single to right. Tartabull drove in Jones one out later to put KC up 4-2.

Steve Balboni hit an RBI double in the fifth to nullify a Red Sox run in the top of the inning and make it 5-3 with future Royal Steve Crawford on in relief for Boston. One out later, Seitzer took Crawford deep for a three-run home run and an 8-3 advantage.

The KC Royals and Kevin Seitzer keep putting up hits and scoring runs.

Tom Bolton was on the mound when Seitzer came through with a one-out single in the seventh; the score held steady at 8-3 into the bottom of the eighth. With a five-run lead at home, this would likely be the last chance for the Royals to hit. Seitzer was due up sixth in the inning, so the club needed baserunners.

For the second time in the game, Bill Pecota led off an inning and stole second with Balboni at the plate. A line-drive single to left scored Pecota for an insurance run. After Jones and Larry Owen each struck out, it was up to Smith to give Seitzer another chance to tie Oliver’s record.

Smith came through with a double to put runners on second and third for Seitzer, who also came through with a two-run ground-rule double, making him the sixth player in club history to drive in seven runs in a single game. (Mike Moustakas drove in nine runs in a September 2015 game to set a new club RBI mark). Brett followed with a home run to expand the big lead to 13-3.

With one out in the ninth, Gubicza gave up another home run to Evans and a triple to Mike Greenwell and his day was over. Jerry Don Gleaton came in, allowed Greenwell to score on a single, but then got the final outs to end it and secure the KC triumph.

Seitzer finished his official rookie season by tying Minnesota’s Kirby Puckett for the American League lead in hits with 207 and slashing .323/.399/.470 with 15 home runs and 83 RBIs

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Kevin Seitzer had his greatest day as a Royal in an August 1987 game.