Robert James Hamelin
- Bats Left, Throws Left
- Height 6' 0", Weight 235 lb.
- School University of California, Los Angeles, Rancho Santiago College
- High School Irvine High School
- Debut September 12, 1993
- Final Game September 27, 1998
- Born November 29, 1967 in Elizabeth, NJ USA
Hamelin was recruited by Notre Dame coach Lou Holtz to play linebacker for the Fighting Irish out of high school, but he opted to pursue baseball instead. He was selected by the Royals in the second round of the 1988 amateur draft and made his pro debut that year for the Eugene Emeralds, hitting .298 and leading the Northwest League with 17 home runs. He hit .259 with 29 homers with the Omaha Royals in 1993 and was an American Association All-Star. Following that successful campaign, he earned a September call-up to Kansas City, and he hit .224 with a pair of home runs in 16 games.
Hamelin made the Royals Opening Day roster in 1994 and hit .361 with 6 home runs in April to solidify his place in the team's lineup. Overall, he hit .282 with 24 homers and beat out Manny Ramirez as AL Rookie of the Year. However, he struggled mightily in 1995, hitting just .168 in 72 games, and spent part of the season back in the minors. Prior to the 1997 season, he was released by Kansas City and signed with the Detroit Tigers. He hit .270 with 18 home runs in one year with Detroit before moving on to the Milwaukee Brewers. After hitting only .219 for Milwaukee in 1998, he was back in the Tigers minor league system in 1999 before ending his career.
The Royals "star" curse of the 1990s and 2000s was exemplified by Hamelin who won the 1994 Rookie of the Year Award and by 1997 was signing a minor league contract with another team. Just eight years later, Royals shortstop Angel Berroa won the Rookie of the Year Award, and he was playing in the minor leagues within five years. Royals 2004 All-Star Ken Harvey was a full-time minor leaguer just three years later, and 2006 Royals All-Star Mark Redman signed a minor league deal the very next year.
|AL Rookie of the Year|
|Tim Salmon||Bob Hamelin||Marty Cordova|