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Hok Talk: Everyone deserves to be in the Hall of Fame

Seriously I wanted to vote for all of them.

Cleveland Indians v Kansas City Royals
Yes, even Bruce Chen
Photo by Ed Zurga/Getty Images

The Royals are currently holding voting for their 2019 Hall of Fame induction class. They have eleven candidates but will only allow you to vote for three. I’m sure you’ll find can find lots of people explaining who they voted for and why but that’s not what we’re here for, today. We’re here so I can explain to you why all of these players deserve to be in the Royals Hall of Fame. Everyone says Royals Review is negative and they say I’m negative, too. Well, it’s a season for giving and we’re going to give all eleven of these players a case for being elected to the Royals Hall of Fame in 2019.

Jeremy Affeldt - First year eligible

Jeremy was a home-grown pitcher, drafted in the third round of the 1997 draft by the Royals. He actually did a remarkable job of limiting home runs as a Royal; he allowed only 0.9 HR/9 IP. His best year was the brightest year the Royals had until 2013. In 2003 he went 7-6 while alternating as a starter and as a reliever. He carried a 3.93 ERA and 3.74 FIP which was good enough for a 125 ERA+ - remember this was when balls were just rocketing all over the field.

Perhaps most importantly he did his darnedest to help the Royals win the World Series in 2015. If had hadn’t helped San Francisco with 5.1 scoreless innings across four innings in that series the Royals might not have had the drive to win in 2015.

Plus he has the same first name as me and I once got to serve him a Whiskey River BBQ Chicken sandwich at the Olathe Red Robin. So that’s got to count for something.

John Buck - First year eligible

John managed to earn some Rookie of the Year votes when he debuted for the team in 2004. He was actually an All-Star in 2010 - one year after he left Kansas City - but he was an above-average hitter even in 2009 for KC. He had some big-time power even if he never hit more than 20 home runs in a year for the Royals. He earned 2.0 bWAR while being paid only a little more than six million dollars for his Royals career so he was a huge value for the team.

Listen. I’ve got his jersey in my closet and he seemed like a fun dude. If you think the Hall of Fame should help you tell the story of a team I think he’s a good representative of what KC was like when he was here - hopelessly bad while playing just well enough to make hopeful kids think that next year was definitely going to be the year.

Bruce Chen - First year eligible

Bruce was probably better than you remember. He actually won more games than he lost for the Royals despite pitching for them from 2009-2014. He struck out more than twice as many guys as he walked. And he was always looking out for the younger guys in the clubhouse and trying to show them the ropes.

Bruce is also a really funny guy and a great interview. He was a terrific value, earning 6.1 bWAR over his time with KC while being paid only $14M. He even pitched a shutout one time and earned a save another time.

Al Cowens - Fifth and final year eligible

Al was pretty good for KC for a long time. He was never better than 1977 when he came in second in the MVP voting and won a gold glove for arguably the best Royals team in history. He had a 137 OPS+ with 23 dingers and 16 steals. You could put him just for that season.

Maybe that’s the only reason to put him in but it’s still a reason

Johnny Damon - Second year eligible

Johnny might have gotten really good after he left KC but he was pretty good before then, too. His career OPS+ for the Royals was 101 but he stole 156 bases in six seasons including stealing a league-leading 46 in his final year for the boys in blue. He also led the league in runs scored, that year.

He’s among the Royals’ leaders in several categories and he even played in a then team-record 305 consecutive games, at one point. He was also a team leader, if you value that sort of thing.

David DeJesus - First year eligible

David was actually really for KC for a long time. Our own Ryan Heffernon made an impassioned case for the erstwhile Kansas City outfielder, yesterday, and I found it moderately compelling. He got some Rookie of the Year votes in 2004 and who can forget the time the Royals lobbied for him to win a gold glove for his work in left field. David was a well-above-average hitter for most of his Royals career, too.

And he deserves something for putting in all that effort for some of the worst teams the Royals have ever fielded.

Al Fitzmorris - Fifth and final year eligible

Al was as much the voice of my childhood rooting for the Royals as Denny Matthews. He was a regular co-host on the pre- and post-game shows and always a voice of positivity no matter how bad things got. He was actually a really good pitcher for them, too. He debuted with the expansion Royals in 1969 and struggled to find his way for a while but by 1973 he was completely dominating the opposition, when healthy.

For four years he dominated. Plus his time in the booth and he definitely deserves to be in the Royals Hall of Fame.

Raul Ibanez - First year eligible

Raul was a big part of both the 2003 success and the 2014 success. And some people think he might manage the Royals someday. So that’s pretty cool. Vote for Raul!

Bo Jackson - Fifth and final year eligible

Bo is Bo. I think these should be all the arguments I need.

CONTENT WARNING: There are some highlights of him as a Raiders running back, too.

Bo was a legendary athletic talent and I think you need to include him in the hall simply on those merits.

Kevin Seitzer - Fifth and final year eligible

Kevin was an All-Star and received MVP votes in his first full season. He also took second place in Rookie of the Year voting. He was an above average hitter his entire time in KC and probably the best hitting coach they’ve had since I started watching in 1998. Vote Seitz!

Yordano Ventura - First year eligible

Yordano was such a tantalizing talent. His Game 6 performance in the 2014 World Series will probably be legendary for decades to come. He’d probably be a shoo-in if he had hadn’t had the tragic accident before the 2017 season. As it is he still deserves it for being such a huge personality and above average talent. He came in sixth in Rookie of the Year voting in 2014.

Listen. Just vote for Yo. It’s what Danny Duffy would want you to do.

So, yeah, that’s why you should vote for all of them. Except you can’t. I guess I’d recommend voting for Bo, Kevin Seitzer, and Al Fitzmorris since they’re about to fall off the ballot and all have their places in Royals history.

More Rejected Holiday Music

Don’t worry! If you were hoping I’d continue the tradition of writing terrible Christmas carol parodies, we’ve still got a few of those, too!

They Run Fast (To the tune of Jingle Bells)

Hamilton, Mondesi, and Terrance Gore!

Oh what fun to run and run

if we can get on base, hey!

Away in Omaha (To the tune of Away in a Manger)

Away in Omaha

Brett Phillips will play

There’s no room in KC

For Terrance must play!

His teammates enjoy him

The fans want him back

They’re tired of Gordon

They’ve demanded he pack!

Last Season (to the tune of Last Christmas)

Last season we gave you our hearts

But the very next day you lost one more game

This year to save us from tears

we’ll just root for some excitement!

Have a great whatever holiday you celebrate and be safe! See ya, next week!