Royals hire Big Slick favorite Gene Lamont as special assistant to GM
Oh, the Big Slick crew is gonna love this.
The Kansas City Royals announced Tuesday they have hired Gene Lamont — a favorite target of Paul Rudd, Jason Sudeikis, Rob Riggle and Co. during Big Slick weekend — as special assistant to the general manager.
“We are delighted that Gene will be joining the Royals as a member of our baseball operations department,” Royals general manager Dayton Moore said in a team press release. “He has a wealth of experience and will be a strong addition to our organization.”
Lamont comes to the Royals from the Detroit Tigers, where he was the team’s third-base coach from 2006-12 and bench coach from 2013-17.
It was with the Tigers in 2010 that he first drew the attention (if not quite the wrath) of the Kansas City-area comedians, who were in the midst of their first charity event for Children’s Mercy Hospital in the Royals’ dugout suite. They nicknamed Lamont the Darth Vader of baseball and started a Star Wars-inspired “Gene Lamont, Gene Lamont” chant — for no real reason.
Rudd, Sudeikis and Riggle added celebrities over the years, but whenever the game during Big Slick weekend involved the Tigers, the Gene Lamont chants resurfaced.
Lamont, who was a minor league manager in the Royals organization from 1978-85, was manager of the Chicago White Sox from 1992-95 and Pittsburgh Pirates from 1997-2000, compiling a 553-562 overall record. He guided the White Sox to the American League West title in 1993 and was named the AL Manager of the Year in 1994.
Lamont also has been a major league coach with Pittsburgh (1986-91, 1996), Boston (2001) and Houston (2002-04).
Lamont enjoyed a 13-year professional playing career that included parts of five big-league seasons (1970-72, ’74-75) with the Tigers. After his playing days, he managed in the KC organization with Class A Fort Myers (1978), Double-A Jacksonville (1980-83) and Triple-A Omaha (1984-85).