Royals hire Willie Aikens as a minor league coach

The Royals announced today that the club has hired Willie Aikens as a minor league coach.  The former first baseman and designated hitter will be based out of the Royals’ complex in Surprise, Ariz.

“Royals fans are well aware of Willie’s background and what troubles he has overcome in his life,” Royals’ Director of Minor League Operations Scott Sharp said. “We feel confident that his story and experiences will serve as a positive influence to all the young players in our organization that he will coach and mentor.  His passion for the game of baseball and the Kansas City Royals, specifically, will be a major asset in his new position.”

Aikens, 56, played for the Royals from 1980-1983 batting .282 with 77 home runs and 297 RBI in 511 games.  The eight-year Major Leaguer also played for the Angels (1977, 1979) and Blue Jays (1984-85).  Aikens was at his best in the postseason for Kansas City, including hitting .400 with four home runs and eight RBI in the 1980 World Series against the Philadelphia Phillies.

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