KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Royals second baseman Whit Merrifield joined rare company on Tuesday night by extending his hitting streak to 30 games, tying a club record set by George Brett. With at least one base hit against the Seattle Mariners on Wednesday night, he’ll set a new record, and he took time to talk about the opportunity before warm ups at Kauffman Stadium.
“Unique, because the goal every day is to come to the park and figure out a way to win the game, but there’s an understanding of what’s going on personally,” Merrifield said.
“I have a lot of teammates that are excited about what’s going on and it’s a cool dynamic to have. We’re a really close-knit group, guys are genuinely rooting for each other, cheering for each other. Hopefully we can start winning some games and it will be a lot more fun.”
Merrifield has provided some excitement amid a dismal start to the 2019 season, where a current eight-game losing streak has the club at 2-8. He’s hitting .349 and has posted a .378 on base percentage, adding a home run and three stolen bases. He’s hit .339 during the duration of the streak, with 15 extra-base hits.
While meeting with the media, he also described getting a memento from Brett, and what that meant to him.
“Anytime you get a handwritten note from one of the greatest players of all time saying nice things about you, that doesn’t happen very often. It’ll go in a special place in my room,” Merrifield said.
“From day one George has always, for not just me, everybody, he talks to you, he’s personable, he gives you advice, he’s been great. He’s a great figure for this organization.”
Brett’s hitting streak was set in 1980, the same year he hit .390, won an MVP, and helped lead the Royals to an American League pennant and World Series.
The Associated Press reports that Merrifield’s streak is the longest multi-season string since Jimmy Rollins hit in 38 straight between 2005 and 2006 for the Philadelphia Phillies. It’s also the 16th longest streak in American League history, with Eric Davis being the last AL player to hit in 30 straight, doing it in 1998 for the Baltimore Orioles.
First pitch is at 7:15 p.m. You can watch the game on FOX Sports Kansas City and listen to it locally on 610 Sports Radio.