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Kansas City Royals has long been part of the rich tapestry of Major League Baseball (MLB).
It needs no introduction as a formidable baseball team, hosting some of the league’s finest talents throughout its triumphant history. In this article, I’ll explore the top ten players who showed exceptional skill, leaving an indelible mark on the Royals’ legacy.
The Defining Kansas City Royals
George BrettEmbed from Getty Images
Pressing to the top of the list is George Brett, an undeniable great in the Royals’ roster. A 21-year veteran, Brett played his entire career as a Royal from 1973 to 1993. With 13 All-Star game appearances, a .305 career batting average, and 3,154 career hits, Brett rightly earned his place in the Baseball Hall of Fame and became a pillar of the Royals’ success.
He helped the Royals win their first World Series title in 1985 and won the Most Valuable Player (MVP) award the same year. He remains the sole player in history to win batting titles in three decades.
Following closely is Amos Otis, known for his speed and agility on the field. Otis spent 14 years with the Royals, leaving his imprint and earning five All-Star selections. Moreover, he received three Golden Glove Awards reflecting his defensive prowess in the outfield.
With a .280 career batting average and more than 2,000 hits, he contributed significantly in the 80s, making him a significant figure in the Royals’ history.
Thirdly, we have Frank White, an exceptional talent whose career lasted 18 years with the Royals. As a seamless defender, White amassed eight Gold Glove Awards, indicating his second-to-none fielding skills. He was a five-time All-Star, hitting .255 throughout his career, deserving to be remembered as one of the best Royals’ second-basemen.
Next up is Bret Saberhagen, whose pitching mastery places him right in the Royals’ elite group. Saberhagen won two Cy Young awards, not to mention a World Series MVP in 1985. With a 3.33 earned run average (ERA) and more than 1600 strikeouts, Saberhagen’s contribution to the Royals’ pitching game remains unparalleled.
With five All-Star games to his name, Willie Wilson sits comfortably in the fifth spot. Wilson’s record 13 triples in a single season remain unbeaten in the Royals’ history. An exceptional base runner, Wilson secured the Silver Slugger Award and Gold Glove Award, making him a formidable talent for the Royals.
Coming in the sixth position is Hal McRae, accumulating over 2000 hits and a .293 batting average over his 15 seasons with the Royals. With a solid position as an outfielder and designated hitter, McRae earned three All-Star game appearances and led the American League in both doubles and RBIs.
While controversial for many, he was a consistently productive player, Kevin Appier, ranks seventh in this list.
He posted a shining 3.49 ERA and over 1,500 strikeouts during his time with the Royals, earning him an All-Star game selection. Appier’s 1993 season is still considered one of the Royals’ greatest pitching seasons.
Dan Quisenberry is remembered as one of the leading closers in his time. From 1979 to 1988, he had a .25 ERA with more than 200 saves in his career. With three All-Star games and five seasons leading the American League in saves, Quisenberry had an extraordinary closeness record with the Royals.
Alex Gordon impresses with defensive excellence and consistency on the ninth spot. This left fielder has bagged 8 Gold Glove Awards, 2 platinum glove awards amongst many others to name a few during his 14-year spell in Major League Baseball. Not to mention, a nomination to the All-Star game thrice rule him a fan-favorite.
Lastly, we celebrate the contributions of Mike Sweeney. Despite not having team success during his tenure, Sweeney consistently performed to a high standard, contributing over 200 home runs and a .299 career batting average. Sweeney received five All-Star game nods, demonstrating his unfailing individual performance.
The story of Kansas City Royals isn’t about championships alone but also about the players who made it possible. From George Brett to Mike Sweeney, these ten are not just players. They are the milestones that collectively shaped the legacy of Kansas City Royals, leaving a remarkable footprint in baseball’s illustrious history.