The Kansas City Royals announced that first baseman/DH Mike Sweeney has been voted into the Royals Hall of Fame. He will become the elite group’s 26th inductee this season with a ceremony before a game at Kauffman Stadium, which will be announced at a later date.
Sweeney was a five-time American League All-Star during his Royals career from 1995-2007 after being drafted in the 10th round in 1991 out of Ontario (Calif.) High School. He finished his playing career with the Oakland Athletics (2008), Seattle Mariners (2009-10) and Philadelphia Phillies (2010), compiling a career .297 batting average with 325 doubles, 215 home runs, 909 RBI and 759 runs scored. Sweeney signed a one-day minor league contract with Kansas City on March 25, 2011 so he could announce his retirement as a player while a member of the Royals.
Sweeney comments from the Royals spring training complex in Surprise, AZ. He talks about hearing the news with George Brett standing nearby. Sweeney was happy to share the news with his father who is battling cancer.
The club record-holder for RBI in a season with 144 in 2000, Sweeney ranks in the top six all-time in Royals history in 17 offensive categories, including second in average (.299) and home runs (197). He narrowly missed winning the 2002 A.L. batting crown, hitting .340 in 2002, the second-highest single-season average in club history to George Brett’s .390 mark in 1980. Sweeney represented the Royals as an American League All-Star for four straight seasons from 2000-2003 and again in 2005. He joins George Brett (13), Amos Otis (5) and Frank White (5) as the only players in club history to make five or more All-Star appearances.
The Royals honored Sweeney in 2008 by creating the Mike Sweeney Award, given to a minor league player who best represents the organization both on and off the field. Sweeney was a three-time Les Milgram Royals Player of the Year (2000, 2002 and 2005) and 1999 Joe Burke Special Achievement Award winner.
Sweeney was elected in his first ballot appearance in a vote of living Royals Hall of Fame Members, select media members, select Royals Front Office staff and Royals fans via on-line voting. To be eligible players must have spent a minimum of three seasons with the club and ceased to be an active on-field member of the Royals (or for any other Major League Organization) for at least three (3) calendar years. Eligible players must be named on at least seventy-five percent (75%) of all ballots cast to be elected – Sweeney received 89.7% support.