The Kansas City Royals opened this season with two talented rookies. The one who received all the ballyhoo is contemplating turning to football, but the other is developing into a baseball star.
While Bo Jackson, the famous Heisman Trophy winner, has struggled trying to prove he can be a major leaguer, Kevin Seitzer has quietly proved he is one.
Jackson has announced he will play pro football with the Raiders as just a "hobby." Seitzer is content to just play baseball.
Seitzer, good enough to force the Royals to make two position adjustments to accommodate him, had his biggest day as a professional Sunday at Kansas City.
The 25-year-old third baseman was 6 for 6, including two home runs and drove in seven runs to lead the light-hitting Royals to a 13-5 victory over the Boston Red Sox. He tied a league record with the 6 for 6. In 1975, Rennie Stennett of Pittsburgh set the major league record by going 7 for 7.
Seitzer, hotter than the 102-degree temperature and as hot as the artificial turf, led off the third inning with a home run, hit a three-run home run in the fifth for an 8-3 lead and singled home two runs in the eighth. He also had two more singles and a double and scored four runs. Before the game, the temperature of the turf registered 147.
His 13 total bases tied a team record held by George Brett and the RBI total also tied a club mark held by many. Early this season before he started striking out in alarming numbers, Jackson, eight months younger than Seitzer, also drove in seven runs in a game.
Seitzer, who has been among the Top Ten hitters much of the season, raised his average to .324. He proved last September that he could hit, so the Royals moved George Brett from third to first and Steve Balboni from first to the bench.
"I'll probably never have a feeling like I had today," Seitzer told the Associated Press. "Everything was just perfect. I caught every break I could possibly catch. Every ball I hit dropped. Last night I hit two line drives that were outs."
In the eighth, after five consecutive hits, he hit a fly ball to right, which Mike Greenwell lost in the sun.
"If this had been a night game I would have been out," Seitzer said. "Just as I said, everything good happened."
Two Dwight Evans homers were forgotten in Seitzer's big game.
Texas 5, Baltimore 2--Hard-throwing Bobby Witt tied a major league record by striking out four batters in an inning at Arlington, Tex., then came within two outs of pitching his first complete game.
In the second inning, Witt struck out Ray Knight, Terry Kennedy, Mike Young and Ken Gerhart. Kennedy missed the third strike, but when catcher Mike Stanley did, too, Kennedy reached base.
Witt (5-5) became the 19th pitcher to strike out four in an inning and the 10th to strike them out in succession.
Witt struck out 11 and and had a shutout and a four-hitter until the ninth. But, after getting the first out, he issued his sixth walk of the game. Jim Dwyer followed with a home run and Dale Mohorcic replace Witt.
Mike Boddicker went into the game with a 7-0 lifetime record against the Rangers, but was shelled for 10 hits in five innings, including home runs by Pete Incaviglia and Geno Petralli.
New York 8, Detroit 5--Many years ago when the Yankees were the dominant force in baseball, Lefty Gomez was their pitching star. One spring he was asked if he thought he would win 20 games again that season.
"I will if (Johnny) Murphy's arm holds up," replied Gomez.
Dave Righetti has become Rick Rhoden's Murphy. If the brilliant left-hander keeps coming to the rescue, Rhoden will be a 20-game winner.
After Rhoden gave up five runs on 12 hits and 2 walks in 8 innings at New York and Righetti got the last three outs to assure Rhoden of a 14-6 record.
It was Righetti's 20th save and he is 8 for 8 in games in which he has been brought in to save a victory for Rhoden.
"We should have won two out of three," said Tiger Manager Sparky Anderson after the loss dropped his club three games behind the Yankees in the East. "Everyone here knows we should have. But we didn't so we have to pick up some along the way."
Oakland 6, Minnesota 5--After getting a potential winning run thrown out at the plate in the 11th inning at Oakland, Jose Canseco's two-out single scored Luis Polonia from second and the Athletics moved to within a game of first place.
With one out in the 11th, Polonia singled to right, but Alfredo Griffin, trying to score from second, was called out at the plate on a fast relay throw from second baseman Al Newman. Manager Tony LaRussa protested the call so vehemently that he was ejected and didn't see his club win the game.
Polonia took second on the throw home. Twins Manager Tom Kelly decided to walk Carney Lansford intentionally and have ace reliever Jeff Reardon face Canseco.
The Twins tied the score in the ninth when reliever Jay Howell uncorked two wild pitches.
The Twins, who open a three-game series with the Angels tonight, lead the hot race in the West by one game over Oakland and 1 1/2 over the Angels. Kansas City is four games back.
Toronto 11, Cleveland 5--Ernie Whitt drove in four runs with a home run and a bases-loaded triple to help the Blue Jays romp in a rain-soaked game.
The start was delayed almost four hours because of rain.
Chicago 7, Milwaukee 3--Shortstop Ozzie Guillen singled twice and tripled in his first three at-bats at Milwaukee to lead a 16-hit attack that enabled the White Sox to sweep the three-game series.
Milwaukee pitcher Chris Bosio (7-3) twisted a knee while trying to field a slow roller and had to be taken off on a stretcher in the third inning. Bosio has a hyperextended knee.
Paul Molitor singled in the fourth inning to extend his hitting streak to 17 games.