Royals sign Mike Sweeney to a one-day contract; Sweeney announces retirement
The Royals have announced today that the club has signed first baseman Mike Sweeney to a one-day minor league contract at which point Sweeney announced his retirement as a Kansas City Royal at a press conference in Surprise, Ariz., site of Royals spring training.
The 37-year-old Sweeney was a five-time American League All-Star with the Royals, whom he played with from 1995-2007 after being drafted in the 10th round in 1991 out of Ontario (Calif.) High School. Sweeney was a .297 career hitter with 325 doubles, 215 home runs, 909 RBI and 759 runs scored. He capped his playing career with the Oakland Athletics (2008), Seattle Mariners (2009-10) and Philadelphia Phillies (2010), singling in his only career postseason at bat last season for the Phillies.
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. In addition, he was honored with the 2007 Fred Hutchinson Award, presented annually since 1965 to one Major League Baseball player who best exemplifies former pitcher and manager Fred Hutchinson’s honor, courage and dedication on and off the field.