MLB Draft: The KC Royals have mixed 9th pick luck

(Photo by Andy Lyons /Allsport)
(Photo by Andy Lyons /Allsport) /
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KC Royals
(Photo by Ed Zurga/Getty Images) /

A KC Royals’ 1975 pick went on to skipper two National League teams.

Clint Hurdle was one of those players tagged as a future superstar when Kansas City grabbed him with the ninth selection in the 1975 draft. Undaunted by the seemingly difficult task of breaking into a 1977 KC lineup featuring the likes of George Brett, John Mayberry, Hal McRae, Amos Otis, Frank White and Darrell Porter, Hurdle became a Royal and major leaguer for the first time that year.

Hurdle had his decent years in Kansas City—he hit .264 in 1978, the first season he spent significant time there, and batted .294 with 31 doubles, 10 home runs, and 60 RBIs in 130 games for the Royals’ 1980 World Series club.

But injuries nagged Hurdle; Kansas City traded him to Cincinnati in 1982 and he played for the Reds, Mets and Cardinals before playing his last big league game in 1987. He finished with a career .259/.341/.403 line.

Being done playing, though didn’t mean he was done with baseball. Hurdle turned to coaching and managing and landed his first big league skipper’s post when he replaced Buddy Bell in Colorado early in the 2002 season. He managed the Rockies to the World Series in 2007 and had a 534-625 record when they let him go during the 2019 campaign.

He then managed the Pirates beginning in 2011 and, until the Bucs suddenly fired him with one game left in the 2019 season, led them to a 735-720 record and three playoff spots.