Aside from some warm ovations and Friday’s RBI double, former KC Royals first baseman Eric Hosmer probably had little to smile about after his just completed return to Kauffman Stadium, the place he spent so many productive seasons and won a World Series title. Playing at The K for the first time since his final Royal game in 2017, and with his new Boston teammates for the first time since a trade deadline deal landed him with them last week, Hosmer went a disappointing 2-for-10 in the clubs’ four-game series that ended Sunday.
The series, which Kansas City won 3-1, will be remembered most for the way KC’s young players excelled, but Hosmer being back where he won four Gold Gloves, endeared himself to the fans, and helped lead the Royals’ brief return to relevance, triggered a myriad of good memories.
The brief Kansas City-Hosmer reunion also raises a Royals-related question: When his career ends, will Hosmer enter the club’s Hall of Fame?
The question isn’t difficult. The answer is “Yes.”
Eric Hosmer fits the bill for induction into the KC Royals Hall of Fame.
No good reason exists to keep Hosmer out of the team’s Hall of Fame. Some might argue the seven seasons he spent with the Royals aren’t enough, but another first baseman who just happens to be a Hall member, John Mayberry, played one less season in Kansas City than Hosmer. Others may claim his defense was never good enough; those four Gold Gloves he won as a Royal say otherwise.
And Hosmer’s numbers, and his place among the club’s all-time leaders, make a solid case for his Hall membership. Hosmer slashed .284/.342/.439 as a Royal. He’s ninth in RBIs with 566, ninth in Runs Created at 595, tied for 10th in home runs with 127, and 13th in doubles with 206. His 15.4 WAR is good enough for 18th (a 16.6 offensive WAR is good for 15th), and his .284 average ties for 18th. Hosmer’s .342 OBP ties him for 19th.
He’s also 11th in Adjusted Batting Runs (62) and Adjusted Batting Wins (6.0).
Hosmer hit .293 as a rookie in 2011, .302 in 2013, .297 in 2015, and a career-high .318 in 2017. He clubbed 25 homers twice.
He won a Silver Slugger and was an American League All-Star.
And so on.
But Hosmer’s stats don’t tell the whole story, and never will. He cemented a bond with the fans from the time he debuted in 2011 as a young, energetic player exuding the confidence necessary to become a key leader of the 2014 and 2015 teams that took the baseball world by storm. His work ethic wasn’t questioned; nor was his resolve to play the game the right way.
George Brett would have loved playing with him.
Hosmer was also effectively involved with the Kansas City community, as his nomination for the 2016 Roberto Clemente Award proves.
Members of the team Hall of Fame must have “…made exceptional contributions…both on and off the field.” Hosmer has done just that.
That’s why he’ll someday take his place in the KC Hall.
Eric Hosmer will be a Royals team Hall of Famer.