Mike Sweeney joins Royals Hall of Fame

It will be hard for any Royal, past, present or future, to nudge George Brett off the Royals’ throne. But at least when it comes to fan favorites, Mike Sweeney may well deserve the spot sitting at Brett’s right hand.

Sweeney was the most most popular player on a lot of losing Royals teams from 1995-2007. The five-time All-Star batted .299 in his Royals career (six points behind Brett in club history) and holds the club season record with 144 RBIs in 2000. His .340 batting average in 2002 ranks second in Royals history only to Brett’s .390 average in 1980. The designated hitter/first baseman hit 197 homers as a Royal — again, second to Brett.

The only surprise, really, is that Sweeney wasn’t already in the Royals Hall. Alas, this was his first time on the ballot.

He will be honored at a Royals game in Kansas City this summer.

Mike Sweeney brought boyish enthusiasm to the game — and great joy to a generation of Royals fans.