Royals legend George Brett named club's interim hitting coach

Kansas City Royals legend George Brett has been named the club's interim hitting coach, effective immediately.

Brett is the Royals' all-time hit leader with 3,154 and is the only major league player to win batting titles in three different decades, leading the American League in 1976, 1980 and 1990.

The 60-year-old Hall of Fame third baseman retired in 1993 after a 21-year career and had served as Kansas City's vice president of baseball operations. He had worked as a coach on the field during spring training, but will assume an in-season coaching role for the first time.

"I'm thankful that this organization has one of the greatest hitters and more importantly one of the greatest competitors our game has ever seen in George Brett and he has accepted our offer to join the coaching staff on an interim basis," said Royals general manager Dayton Moore in a statement Thursday.

Brett, a 13-time All-Star, is the Royals' all-time leader in every offensive category, with the exception of stolen bases. He was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1999.

The Royals sit last in the AL Central with a record of 21-29 heading into Thursday's game against St. Louis. They've scored just 16 runs during an eight-game losing streak.

Jack Maloof had been serving as the club's hitting coach, while Andre David was the assistant hitting coach. Both were reassigned within the club's minor league organization.

"Obviously things have not gone as we would have expected and in light of the downturn in offensive production and poor results we've decided to make a change," said Moore. "First of all, I can't thank Jack and Andre enough for accepting this challenge with the major league club. They are both tremendously knowledgeable and hard working men who have already made our organization stronger by their work in the system."

Maloof was in his first year as Royals hitting coach after first joining the organization in 2008 as minor league hitting coordinator. David is in his 16th year with the organization.