Saturday, October 18, 2014

Friday Five: My Top Five Kansas City Royals

I meant to post this last night.  I laid down in bed and was watching a Magic School Bus with my son.  I fell asleep.  Here's my second Friday Five, but on Saturday.

I do not spend very much time on the Royals on my little blog space.  Only 17 posts where the Royals were tagged in my two plus years blogging about cards is a pretty tiny amount considering I almost make one post per day.  In fact, it was pointed out to me about a year ago that I do not make enough Royals posts and I was "ignoring" the other team from Missouri.  Today, and perhaps the next week, the Royals will get their moment in the sun on my blog.  For my second Friday Five post today I present:


I could have made the logo bigger.  This list is not "The Best Royals, it is the Royals players I remember as Royals who were good and enjoyable to watch.  For example, Rick Ankiel was on the Royals and I am a big fan.  I also think of Rick Ankiel as a Cardinal and understand he was not really all that good on the Royals.  Not on the list.  Neither is Todd Benzinger, whom I saw hit a grand slam at the K once.  Although I think it was Royals Stadium at the time.  No matter.    Royals fans may not like my list, don't hate me because I am from St. Louis, but I think it's pretty fair.  

Honorable Mention: Bo, Mark Guicza, Greinke, Willie Wilson, Danny Tartabull, and Brett Saberhagen 

5.  Dan Quisenberry  

He was a Cardinal, but more memorable as a Royal.  Quiz was your typical awesome 1980s relief pitcher.  Funky pitching style, sweet mustache, and he pitched more than 1 inning.  He led the American League in saves five times during his career and he ended up saving more than 200 games for the Royals.  Also had 6 saves as a Cardinal.  I did not know before this last week that he actually ended his career with the Giants.  Really cool pitcher, sad he left us a little too soon.  

4. Kevin Appier 

I tossed back and forth a few different pitchers for this last.  My most vivid memories of Royals pitchers, outside of the current group, is Appier, Gubicza, and Greinke.  While I considered Gubicza for his cool heavy metal t-shirts and Greinke for his Cy Young Award, Appier was really a much better Royal than either of those players.  Some of that has to do with time, Greinke was on the Royals for a shorter time, but is having a better overall career than Appier.  Just not with the Royals.  Appier played in KC for 13 years, won 115 games, and struck out almost 1500 hitters.  He is the team's all-time leader in strikeouts, third in wins, and also leads all Royals pitchers in WAR.  Appier also had that weird delivery where he looked like he was tilted back at an odd angle.  

3. Carlos Beltran 

I always really liked Beltran as a Royal.  I felt really bad for the team when he was traded away to the Astros.  I am sure if the front office had planned a little better with the Mike Sweeney contract, they would have had a better chance to hang onto the very talented center fielder.  I think Beltran is at the point where he is bordering on Hall of Fame numbers, but he was largely ignored for the first seven years of his career in KC.  The switch hitting center fielder posted almost 30 home runs, 100 RBIs, and an average around .300 almost every year he was in Kansas City.  Won a Rookie of the Year too, but should have made a few more All-Star game appearances.  

2. Alex Gordon 

My favorite current Royal.  Alex Gordon is an elite defender and a pretty good offensive player too.  I would actually say that if my list were based on talent, Gordon would be lower down the line here, but we all need a little "grit" with our baseball at times.  Watch the first game of the World Series, ignore the batting average, on-base percentage, and home runs and just enjoy watching him play the game.  On top of all of the "grit"  Alex Gordon has one of the best rookie baseball cards of the past decade.  That boasts him up at least two or three spots on this list, right? 

1.  George Brett 

3000 hits, Mr. Royal, etc, etc, etc.  Pine Tar Incident.  


  1. I'd add Mike Sweeney from recent Royals teams, and you could also do an interesting list of guys who started with the Royals but were shipped off before they became expensive (Beltran, Dye, Damon, etc.). You're probably too young to remember them, but I'd add a bunch of late 70s, early 80s guys to the list. Frank White would be #2 behind Brett for me and guys like Hal McRae, Amos Otis, Dennis Leonard, and Paul Splittorff also deserve mention.

    1. By the time I started watching baseball Frank White and Amos Otis were old and washed up. If I had made the list based solely on statistics I could have easily put those players on this list. Damon and Dye were considerations, but I feel like I remember them more for what they did other places. Damon as a Red Sox and Yankee and Dye as a White Sox. Mike Sweeney is not on my list because I do not like him. I also wonder how his contract set back the Royals. I am not sure they would have kept and signed Beltran regardless, but he certainly forced their hand.