Kansas City Royals wide receiver Salvador Perez has been a fan favorite for much of the past decade. Not only is he a spectacular player on the field, it’s easy to tell he loves baseball with the infectious smile he puts on day in and day out.
It should come as no surprise to anyone that Perez has also become a rising star at the national level in recent years. Salvy is a seven-time star. Apart from the 2019 season where he was injured and the 2020 season where there was no All-Star game, he has been voted every year since 2013.
While it’s easy to tell Royals fans have blocked the ballot box, he’s the only current Royal to appear in so many All-Star games. This season in particular, Perez received the third highest number of votes of any player in the league. For a catcher to receive so many votes, it’s easy to see how special he is, not only in Kansas City, but across the country.
In Kansas City, we’ve loved Salvy from day one. He really rose to fame and popularity after his winning RBI single in the 2014 Wild Card game against the Oakland Athletics. The image of Perez rushing to first base with his arms raised to the sky and his fists clenched with excitement will be forever remembered by Royals fans. At the national level, this was its starting point.
The following season, Perez would win the World Series MVP and gain even more notoriety while cementing his legacy in Royals and Major League Baseball history. There is no doubt that Perez will be a member of the Royals Hall of Fame, but will he be able to make that jump in Cooperstown?
It’s too early to tell, but he’s shown that despite opponents from a few years ago, he doesn’t look like he’s slowing down anytime soon. His numbers continue to improve every season and his defense is always top notch. It will be a conversation that will heat up over the next few seasons.
Perez has signed a record $ 82 million contract that will keep him with the team until the 2025 season. He could stay with the team until 2026 if the team chooses the fifth-year option. It’s another well-deserved contract and the second extension of his career. It’s rare for a player to stay on the same team for more than a decade, let alone retire having only played for one team, but Perez is on the right track to making it happen.
Despite the team’s lack of success on the field since May, Perez has been a light shining in the dark for Kansas City fans. During All-Star Weekend, fans will receive a double dose from their Representative Royals.
Perez has been selected as one of the Home Run Derby contenders and will face first baseman Pete Alonso, a powerful New York Mets first baseman. Perez will be the first Royal to participate in the Home Run Derby since his friend Mike Moustakas was invited to participate in 2017.
Former Royal Danny Tartabull led the majors in slugging percentage in 1991 and had the opportunity to make the derby. The first Royals player to participate was Bo Jackson in 1989. Jackson won the MVP award in that All-Star Game after leading the game by hitting a home run in the American League’s 5-3 victory over the National League.
Once Perez is done with the Home Run Derby, Royals fans can expect him to be the American League’s starting receiver as well. Several times during slack seasons over the past few decades, the Royals will get a token player in the All-Star Game.
Many of them did not play in the game or were inserted into the lineup towards the end of the game when many viewers had logged out. Perez will be a star member of the team and shine the spotlight on the organization during a rebuilding season.
Perez has won everything he has received so far in his career. His stock continues to rise and his love for the game will cause a casual baseball fan to love a show game in the middle of a less than stellar season for Royals fans.
Be sure to take some time out of your schedule and watch Salvy hit a few dongs over the fence at Coors Field in the Home Run Derby. Do the same the next night when he starts off as the American League catcher. Perez isn’t just an All-Star… he’s OUR All-Star.