As the KC Royals celebrated their past success, Salvador Perez continues to thrive

No one had more fun this weekend than Royals catcher Salvador Perez.

Not only did the Royals finish a three-game sweep of the Oakland A’s at Kauffman Stadium with an 8-4 win on Sunday, but Perez got to see some dear old friends.

The Royals honored their 2014 team this past weekend, and Perez is the lone player from that American League championship squad who is still with Kansas City. He got to hang out once again with players like Eric Hosmer, Lorenzo Cain and Mike Moustakas.

Those four came up through the Royals system and broke through in 2014.

“Oh yeah, that was pretty special to see all these guys came back here. I think it’s more special to see them in the clubhouse,” Perez said. “Be around them before the game and remember when we played together.”

Nearly 20 former Royals returned to Kansas City, and they’re all out of baseball these days. But Perez, who turned 34 earlier this month, is still going strong.

Perez had two hits and an RBI on Sunday and was 6 for 11 with four RBIs in the weekend series. He leads the American League in batting average (.337), is tied for second in RBIs (37) and is third in on-base percentage (.402).

“I feel pretty good. Thank God,” Perez said. “Just keep it that way too, and try to help my team win.”

His former teammates are both impressed and rooting for him and the Royals to keep up the great play.

“He’s a guy that went from catching 140 to 150 something games a year and everybody’s saying, ‘Hey, that’s not gonna last, you can’t do that,’” Hosmer said Thursday. “And he was just so determined to continue to do that, because he love playing the game. So super proud of him and he’s gotten better and better, which is something that’s mind blowing to really see, what he’s accomplished and how much better he’s gotten.”

At 29-19, the Royals are 10 games over .500 for the first time since the 2015 season, which ended with Perez being named the World Series MVP and the Royals winning their first championship in 30 years.

Nine years later, Perez is a core piece of a team that has designs on playing in October.

“I’m looking forward to seeing Salvy take another completely different group of guys to the playoffs and the World Series,” former Royals closer Greg Holland said Sunday. “It’d be something special.”