KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- In the most literal sense possible, Phillies third base coach Dusty Wathan grew up around the Royals.
George Brett was his babysitter.
Wathan’s father, John, was a Royals catcher for the entirety of his 10-year major-league career. He played on the Royals team that faced the Phillies in the World Series in 1980 and finally won it five years later, and later managed the team for five seasons.
And so, from 1976 through 1985, Kauffman Stadium was Dusty’s playground. He hung around in the clubhouse and ran all over the field before games. When his parents went out for dinner during a road trip, who better to watch Dusty and his younger brother, Derek, than Brett, the Royals’ eventual Hall of Fame third baseman?
"They came back and I think the door was open still, the latch was unlocked -- we were in Oakland, so it was probably not the best neighborhood -- and we were watching 'The Jerk' on TV," Dusty said. "It was not appropriate for like a 7- and 4-year-old at the time. And George was sleeping."
Dusty Wathan, 45, reached the big leagues in 2002, also as a catcher with the Royals, and went 3-for-5 with a double in three games. His first hit came at Kauffman Stadium, of course, on Sept. 24, 2002.
But he has been with the Phillies for 14 seasons, including 10 as a minor-league manager and the last two as a major-league coach. The Phillies don’t get to Kansas City much. This weekend marks their first trip here since 2007.
Having followed his father to the majors, Wathan has aspirations of someday managing a big-league team, too. You could say it’s in his blood.