There is a ton to keep track of during MLB's Winter Meetings in Nashville. Most focus is on what moves teams will or won't make, and the KC Royals are no different. One of the meeting's biggest happenings not impacting next season is who is joining the National Baseball Hall of Fame.
Which KC Royals will be heading to Cooperstown in the near future?
Former Royals like James Shields and Carlos Beltrán are on the traditional ballot, but fans have the first Hall of Fame results. Unfortunately, former Royals outfielder Lou Piniella fell one vote short once again.
Piniella was not on the ballot for his playing career, but his managerial one. He managed five different teams across 23 seasons, accruing a 1,835-1,713 record. He won his only pennant and World Series championship in 1990 while managing the Cincinnati Reds. Piniella last managed in 2010, where he led the Chicago Cubs at 66 years old.
He was nearly on his way to Cooperstown when the Today's Game Era Committee convened in 2018. He fell one vote shy then and had the same result this winter. The group added former Detroit Tigers manager Jim Leyland to the Hall of Fame, but he and Piniella have similar ballot cases.
Piniella ranks 17th on the managerial wins list, while Leyland is 18th. They also have the same number of division titles and World Series, but Leyland has three pennants to Piniella's one. Piniella made a statement to the Tampa Bay Times following the ballot's results.
"I would like to thank the Baseball Hall of Fame for considering me for this prestigious honor. Although I did not get inducted this year, I am very proud of my 40-plus years of MLB service and have accomplished more than I could ever have dreamed of. For those whom did not know, I have been battling cancer for the past few years and recently received some positive news. Although I did not make the Hall of Fame, I am so grateful to God for everything He has blessed me with, and I will be celebrating with my family and friends. Thank you again for considering me and God bless."- Lou Piniella
Piniella played from 1969 to 1973 for the then-new Royals franchise. He won Rookie of the Year honors in 1969, the first of the franchise's four award winners. Piniella was an All Starr in 1972, his only such appearance in his 18-season career.