Get to the chopper!
Why we like him: Next time you want to impress your baseball-diehard friends, bring up the topic of criminally underrated infielders of the late '80s and drop the name Kevin Seitzer. Seitzer was always one of those guys that you never really thought about when discussing the best hitters of the era, and he wasn't necessarily elite, but all he did was produce consistently. After George Brett's move from third to first base and DH to accommodate his aging body after the '86 season, the Royals needed a young guy to step up and fill the void Brett left at third base, and the 25-year old Seitzer proved to be just what the doctor ordered. He let the league with 207 hits in 1987 on his way to posting a .323 average. He also led the league in plate appearances that year with 725 and finished second behind Mark McGwire's neck in Rookie of the Year voting.
After winning the 1985 World Series, Kansas City was in the process of trying to build another contender. Seitzer's youth and his bat were part of that surge in the late 1980s that peaked with a second place finish in the AL West in 1989. Seitzer was the spark for a very good Royals team that featured the aforementioned Brett, Bo Jackson, and Danny Tartabull in the lineup and pitchers like Bret Saberhagen, Mark Gubicza, Jeff Montgomery, and a young and still somewhat mentally stable Tom Gordon.
Seitzer also possesses one of the strangest transaction stories I've ever seen. After a mediocre 1991 season, the Royals let Seitzer walk, and then-division rivals Milwaukee snatched him up off the market, but released him again after the 1992 season. In 1993, he was signed by the Athletics, and this time was released in July, only to be signed yet again by the Brewers. Try to keep up with this: he was released by the Brewers again in after '93, signed as a free agent by the Brewers before '94, released after '94, signed by the Brewes before '95, and traded by the Brewers for Jeromy Burnitz in '96. Clearly his contract with Milkwaukee just said, "I can't quit you."
After the 1997 season and a trip to the World Series with the Indians, Seitzer retired. Since then, he's served as hitting coach for the Diamondbacks and Royals, where he still coaches this season. For his playing career, Seitzer left a fairly impressive stat sheet behind. His totals: 12 seasons, a sneaky-good .295 average, two All Star appearances in 1987 and 1995, and four signed free agent contracts with the same team.
Ladies and gentlemen, Kevin Seitzer, Ballplayer.