The Kansas City Royals on Thursday, not long before their Opening Day contest against the Minnesota Twins, named stalwart catcher Salvador Perez as the team captain.
The Royals have been around since the 1969 season, and Perez is just the fourth team captain in franchise history. The previous team captains were George Brett, Frank White, and Mike Sweeney. Here's the big moment:
Salvador Perez has been named Royals team captain.— Kansas City Royals (@Royals) March 30, 2023
Salvy joins George Brett, Frank White, and Mike Sweeney as the only team captains in club history. pic.twitter.com/UI2W53hbwL
Perez, who turns 33 in May, is a Royals lifer who's been part of the organization since they signed him as an amateur free agent out of Venezuela in 2006. He made his MLB debut in 2011, and since then he's hit 223 home runs; spent more than 9,000 defensive innings behind the plate; notched seven All-Star selections; and won five Gold Gloves and four Silver Sluggers. All of that across parts of 11 big-league seasons in KC makes Perez one of the greatest players in Royals history. He's also one of the most beloved, in part because of his vital role on the 2015 Royals team that won the World Series.
Since that championship season, the Royals have gradually torn down the roster for what's been a protracted rebuilding process -- a process that's yet to yield positive results. Perez, though, has been the steadying presence all the while, and this honor is one he's plainly earned.