Kevin Seitzer steps into the Kansas City whirlwind
Kevin Seitzer didn't come to The Show with an excess of fanfare. Sites like Kings of Kauffman didn't exist in 1987, and few fans obsessed over up-and-coming prospects back then. The resources simply were not available, and those few people with an eye glued to the Royals' farm system were far more interested in another prospect, Bo Jackson.
An 11th-round draft pick in 1983, Seitzer wasn't featured by network television stations interrupting regular programming to bring audiences his minor league at-bats like they did Jackson's, but both men made their big league debuts as September call-ups in 1986. With less than 30 games apiece under their belts, both were expected to make major contributions the following season.
Oddly enough, given that Jackson might have been the most famous athlete on the planet, Seitzer was arguably under more pressure. Although Jackson was expected to experience growing pains after rocketing to the majors, fans expected any hiccups would be overshadowed by his mind-blowing highlights. Seitzer, on the other hand, was pushing a legend out of his position.
This was far more traumatic to me than when Brett's eventual retirement. By then, I was older and Brett's career felt like it had reached a natural end. But in 1987, I was eight years old and furious. Brett was essentially Babe Ruth and Mickey Mantle tied up in one to me, and third base was his position. I played third base in Little League because of him. Who was this no-name rookie stealing his spot?
Like I said, I was eight, and my position might have lacked nuance, but I think most of the Royal fanbase was in general agreement with me. It was up to Seitzer to win us over.