The ballot for the Royals Hall of Fame has been announced and it includes newly eligible members such as Johnny Damon, as well as holdovers like Bo Jackson and Kevin Seitzer. You can vote here for who you think deserves enshrinement through January 30. Here is a full list of the candidates.
New to the ballot
Johnny Damon was a first round pick by the Royals in 1992 and was heralded as the next great Royals superstar. He was a bit disappointing initially, but eventually showed great speed and hitting ability, leading the league in steals and runs scored in 2000. He spent six seasons in Kansas City, hitting .292/.351/.438 with 156 steals and 17.3 WAR. Damon had decent range, capable of playing center, but was plagued with a very poor arm. Damon played when the Royals were in cost-cutting mode, so his tenure was undercut by the constant fear he would soon be playing elsewhere, which he was by 2001 when the Royals dealt him to the Oakland Athletics.
Jeff Suppan’s 4.73 ERA looks terrible now, but it came at the height of the sillyball era, so if you take into account that context, his ERA+ of 105 is actually the same as Steve Busby, who posted a 3.72 ERA in a pitching-heavy environment. Suppan was one of the only decent starting pitchers for the Royals in the early 2000s, winning ten games for three consecutive seasons for some awful teams. In five seasons, he went 39-51 after the Royals purchased him from the Arizona Diamondbacks.
Teahen was the centerpiece of the Carlos Beltran trade from Oakland, and while he never lived up to that potential, he had a few solid season in Kansas City from 2005-2009. In five seasons, he hit .269/.331/.419 with 59 home runs. Teahen had a good eye and could flash good power at times, but his hitting was inconsistent and he was a defensive liability both at third base and in right field.
Holdovers on the ballot
Cowens was the starting rightfielder for the Royals during their glory days in the 1970s, who had a terrific season in 1977 that led to him being runner up in the MVP race. He hit .312/.361/.525 with 23 HR 112 RBI and 5.3 WAR that year, and won his only Gold Glove Award. Originally a 75th round pick by the Royals, Cowens spent six seasons in Kansas City and hit .282/.329/.404 with 12.1 WAR.
"Fitzie" was originally drafted as an outfielder by the White Sox, before the Royals selected him as a pitcher in the 1969 Expansion Draft. The right-hander was a valuable swingman for the 1970s Royals, making 136 starts and 107 relief appearances. In eight seasons, he won 70 games with a 3.46 ERA and had 5.4 WAR. Fitzmorris succeeded despite very low strikeout totals, even for that era. He is now a post-game analyst for the Royals on Metro Sports.
Jackson brings the most sizzle to the ballot, but as far as actual accomplishments, his resume was cut short. Bo Jackson was arguably the most famous Royals player of all-time - even greater than George Brett. At his height, he has a multi-sport star featured in national ad campaigns for Nike, with his own Saturday morning cartoon. He was the last Royals player to win All-Star Game MVP before Eric Hosmer won last season, and he was the leading vote-getter in 1989.
But he spent just four full seasons in a Royals uniform before a hip injury suffered playing football led to his release. He hit .250/.308/.480 with 109 home runs but just 7.0 WAR in Kansas City. He was capable of some of the most amazing defensive plays ever seen, but was a net negative defender in each season in Kansas City, according to his Wins Above Replacement by Baseball Reference.
Seitzer was a third baseman who burst onto the scene in 1987, leading the league in hits his rookie season and finishing second in Rookie of the Year voting. He never quite lived up to that promising All-Star season the rest of his career, but he was a solid contact hitter, batting .294/.380/.404 in six seasons with the Royals. Seitzer had a patient hitter, and was the last Royals hitter to draw as many as 100 walks in a season. He was a poor fielder, however, and his numbers declined each season he was in Kansas City. He later became a hitting coach for the club from 2009-2012.
The Royals Hall of Fame currently consists of 25 members including past Royals players, managers, executives, and other contributors. Induction is voted upon by 40 total electors consisting of the following: (1) All living members of the Royals Hall of Fame; (2) select Royals Board members; (3) select members of the Kansas City Chapter of the Baseball Writers of America (4) select Kansas City electronic media members; (5) select members of Royals Front Office Staff; and (6) Royals fans, as determined by an online vote.