The Kansas City Royals became a franchise in 1969. They won their first World Series in 1985, and their second and most recent title came in 2015. Including Jackie Robinson‘s number 42, the club has four retired numbers. Here is a potential all-time starting lineup for the Royals including a designated hitter, a starting pitcher and a closer.
1. Hal McRae, Designated Hitter (1973-1987)
Besides his final season in 1987, McRae played in over 100 games every season with the Royals. He made three career All-Star games and finished fourth in the AL MVP voting twice. One of those seasons was 1982 when McRae tied for most doubles (46) and led the league in RBIs (133). McRae is also a member of the 1985 World Series team.
2. George Brett, Third Base (1973-1993)
Hall of Fame Inductee in 1999
Uniform Number 5 Retired by the Royals in 1994
Brett spent his entire 21-year career as a Royal. He won three batting titles, an MVP award, three Silver Sluggers and a Gold Glove award. Brett is also a 13-time All-Star. The year Brett won MVP was 1980. He led the league in all four slashes that year with a line of .390/.454/.664/1.118. Brett also excelled in the Postseason, posting a slash line of .337/.397/.627 in 43 games.
3. Danny Tartabull, Right Field (1987-1991)
Tartabull spent time with six big league clubs, including five seasons with Kansas City. In those five seasons, Tartabull hit at least 26 homers and 100 RBIs three times. In 1991, the right fielder hit 35 doubles, 31 home runs and 100 RBIs. Tartabull made his only career All-Star game that year, and he finished 12 for AL MVP that season, which is his career best.
4. Mike Sweeney, First Base (1995-2007)
Sweeney spent over a decade with Kansas City. He played 1,282 regular season games there, hitting 297 two-baggers and 197 home runs. Sweeney also scored 700 times and had 837 RBIs in those 1,282 contests. In 2000, Sweeney hit 29 home runs which is tied for his career high, and he had 144 RBIs which is his single-season best.
5. Alex Gordon, Left Field (2007-Present)
In Gordon’s first 13 seasons with Kansas City, he has won seven Gold Gloves, a Platinum Glove and has made three All-Star games. Gordon has shown consistency at the plate throughout his career. He reached at least 13 home runs in 10 out of 13 seasons, and at least 20 doubles in nine out of 13 seasons. The Royals left fielder has 738 RBIs at this point in his career.
6. Amos Otis, Center Field (1970-1983)
Otis played 14 of his 17-year career with the Royals. He is a five-time All-Star and a three-time Gold Glove winner, all with the Royals. Otis had a .280/.347/.433 slash line in 1,891 regular season games with Kansas City. He finished third in the AL MVP voting in 1973 when he had 51 extra-base hits along with 93 RBIs.
7. Salvador Perez, Catcher (2011-Present)
Prior to getting injured and missing the entire 2019 season, Salvador Perez made six consecutive All-Star games, winning five Gold Glove and two Silver Slugger awards in that span. From 2013-2018, Perez played in at least 129 games each season, reaching 150 in 2014. Perez is also a member of the 2015 World Series team. He won the World Series MVP, slashing .364/.391/.455 in 23 plate appearances.
8. Alcides Escobar, Shortstop (2011-2018)
Another shortstop that could have gone in this spot is Freddie Patek. Both him and Escobar played in 1,245 regular season games for the Royals. Escobar has a slight edge in OPS as his was .636 while Patek was very close to that at .630. Escobar made an All-Star game and won a Gold Glove in 2015, the same year Kansas City won its’ second World Series. He was the MVP of the ALCS that year.
9. Frank White, Second Base (1973-1990)
Uniform Number 20 Retired by the Royals in 1995
The Royals are the only MLB team Frank White played on, spending parts of 18 seasons with the club. He is an eight-time Gold Glove winner, a one-time Silver Slugger winner and a five-time All-Star. One of White’s best seasons came in 1986 when he hit 37 doubles, 22 home runs and slashed .272/.322/.465. He had a career high 84 RBIs that season as well.
Starting Pitcher- Bret Saberhagen (1984-1991)
Saberhagen is a two-time Cy Young award winner. He won it with Kansas City both times. Saberhagen posted a 2.87 ERA in 235 1/3 innings pitched the first time he won the Cy Young in 1985. He went on to win World Series MVP that year as well when he gave up just one run in 18 innings. He threw two complete games in his two World Series starts.
Closing Pitcher- Dan Quisenberry (1979-1988)
In Quisenberry’s 10 seasons pitched with the Royals, he finished in the top three of the Cy Young award four times and finished fifth in another season. He pitched in at least 62 games in six seasons with the Royals, reaching a career high 84 in 1985. Like Saberhagen, Quisenberry also pitched well in the World Series that year, posting a 2.08 ERA in 4 1/3 innings pitched.
Feature Image Courtesy of FOX4 Kansas City