George Brett’s Hall of Fame story was well-known to Kansas City Royals general manager Dayton Moore before he talked to Brett last month, again, about joining the Kansas City coaching staff.
Drafted by the Royals in the second round in 1971, Brett was something of a mess early in his big league career, and he was sent back to the minors with a reputation as something of a know-it-all. He surrendered completely to the instruction of hitting coach Charlie Lau and became one of baseball’s all-time great third baseman -- 3,154 hits, 317 homers, four top-3 finishes in the MVP voting, a day of honor at Cooperstown.
Brett has been joining the team in spring training for years, and there has been nothing ceremonial about his work there. He has arrived early, thrown batting practice and put in a full day -- and he came back to do it again and again. So Moore knew that if Brett became a coach, he would be all-in.
That said, what Brett has done since taking over as the Royals’ interim hitting coach 12 days ago has stunned Moore.
"It’s been amazing," said Moore. "His energy. His passion. He interacts with every single player on the team, and it doesn’t matter whether it’s a hitter or a pitcher. Incredible."