Seitzer with the Braves in 2016
|Atlanta Braves – No. 72|
|Third baseman/Hitting coach|
March 26, 1962 |
|September 3, 1986, for the Kansas City Royals|
|Last MLB appearance|
|September 28, 1997, for the Cleveland Indians|
|Runs batted in||613|
As a player
As a coach
|Career highlights and awards|
Kevin Lee Seitzer (//; born March 26, 1962) is an American former third baseman in Major League Baseball with the Kansas City Royals, Milwaukee Brewers, Oakland Athletics, and Cleveland Indians. He is currently the hitting coach for the Atlanta Braves, having also coached for the Royals, the Arizona Diamondbacks and the Toronto Blue Jays.
After starring at Eastern Illinois University, Seitzer was drafted by the Royals in the 11th round of the 1983 draft. Seitzer made his big-league debut as a September call-up in 1986 with the Royals. He made it to the majors to stay in 1987, where he started the season as the Royals' regular first baseman. He traded positions with Hall of Fame third baseman George Brett later in the season, in hopes of reducing Brett's chances of injury. Seitzer hit .323 with 15 home runs and 207 hits (tying the MLB record) in his rookie 1987 season and, though overshadowed by fellow rookie teammate Bo Jackson, he was selected to the American League All-Star team.
Seitzer also became one of only (currently) three Royals to collect six hits in a nine-inning game, which he did on August 2 of that year in a 13-5 victory over the Boston Red Sox at Royals Stadium; two of those hits were home runs. He joined Bob Oliver in 1969 (the franchise's inaugural season) in accomplishing this feat; Joe Randa would join them in 2004. Seitzer finished the 1987 season as the runner-up for the American League Rookie of the Year award, behind the Oakland A's Mark McGwire. He holds Royal rookie records in games (161), hits (207), singles (151) and walks (80) and is tied with Carlos Beltrán in extra-base hits (56) and total bases (301). He led the league in hits, singles and plate appearances (725). He ranks eighth on the Royals all-time list with 369 walks while his .380 career on-base percentage as a Royals is second all-time. He is one of six players in Royals history to top the 200 hits mark in a season (207 in 1987). He appeared in the postseason twice with the Indians in 1996 and 1997, appearing in the 1997 World Series for the Tribe against Florida.
After subsequent seasons of .304, .281, .275, and .265, the Royals released Seitzer during spring training in 1992. He signed with Milwaukee, who installed him as their regular third baseman. In 1993 Seitzer became a free agent, signed with Oakland and after a slow start was released at the All Star break that season. He then resigned with Milwaukee, solidified himself as an everyday player, and again made the All-Star team in 1995. He enjoyed what many feel was his best season in 1996 with the Brewers and Cleveland Indians. Seitzer batted .326 with 13 home runs and 78 RBI in '96 while posting a career-high .416 on-base percentage.
In two postseason appearances with Cleveland, mostly coming off the bench, he hit .192 with a double, one run scored and four runs batted in. He retired following the 1997 season with a career batting average of .295.
During the final years of his career, Seitzer wore an attachment to his batting helmet called a C-flap which was an extra piece of plastic attached to the ear flap that covered the left side of his jaw. He was forced to wear this protection after being hit in the face twice by a pitch; once in 1994 and again in 1995. The helmet evidently did not obscure his batting eye, as he wore it for the rest of his career.
On October 27, 2006, Seitzer was named hitting coach of the Arizona Diamondbacks. Seitzer was replaced by Rick Schu on July 11, 2007 as the Diamondbacks' hitting coach. On February 7, 2009, Seitzer was named hitting coach of the Kansas City Royals. On October 4, 2012, the Royals announced Seitzer's contract would not be renewed.
High school and college highlights
- In 1992, Seitzer was inducted into the Eastern Illinois University Athletics Hall of Fame.
- Seitzer was a member of Lincoln Community High School's fourth-place finish (Lincoln, Illinois) in the 1980 Class AA Illinois High School Association basketball tournament. He scored 46 points in four games in the tournament.
- in 1981 Seitzer played for Galesburg, Illinois in the Central Illinois Collegiate League.
- In 1982 Seitzer played for Chatham in the Cape Cod League and won the championship that summer.
- In 1983 Seitzer played for the Butte Copper Kings (Mont.) Pioneer League; The Copper Kings were affiliated with the Kansas City Royals.
- In 2012 Seitzer had his number retired by Eastern Illinois University.
Seitzer and his wife, Beth, reside in Leawood, Kansas. They have four sons, Tyler, Brandon, Nick and Cameron. They have two grandsons, Weston and Max. His step-son Nick Graffeo was drafted as a pitcher by the Kansas City Royals in the 2010 draft. He was released on March 29, 2013 by the Royals. His son Cameron is an infielder in the Tampa Bay Rays organization.
- Davidi, Shi (October 31, 2013). "Blue Jays name Seitzer hitting coach". Sportsnet. Retrieved October 31, 2013.
- Bowman, Mark (October 27, 2014). "Braves bring in Seitzer to be hitting coach". MLB.com. Retrieved October 27, 2014.
- Kaegel, Dick (June 9, 2010). "Seitzer's stepson selected by KC". mlb.com. Retrieved March 7, 2014.
- Wagler, Joel (March 29, 2013). "Royals Recap: Perez & Cain Muscle Up; Gordon Bangs 7th HR". KC Kingdom. Retrieved March 7, 2014.
- Lott, John (February 16, 2014). "After a light-hearted day in the sun, the Toronto Blue Jays are about to get serious". National Post. Retrieved February 16, 2014.