In 1955, the Philadelphia Athletics were purchased by Arnold Johnson and were moved to Kansas City. It became clear from the start that this move was not for love or respect for the game, the fans, or the city of Kansas City, but from love of profit.
The Athletics stayed in Kansas City for 13 seasons before completing their manifest destiny and reaching the west coast in Oakland.
Kansas City's appetite for Major League Baseball, however, did not simply go away when the A's left.
The Royals joined the American League as an expansion franchise in 1969. The team was founded by Ewing Kauffman, a local entrepreneur. Stuart Symington, a senator from Missouri, demanded a new franchise when the A's left.
The Royals were competitive almost from the start, posting their first winning record in only their third year in 1971.
Soon after, the Royals made the playoffs seven times over ten seasons, from 1976-1985, making it to the World Series twice, losing to Philadelphia in 1980, and defeating St. Louis in 1985.
What the Royals didn't know at the time is that it would be their last trip to the post season for at least 26 seasons. Before we start looking ahead to next year, let's take a look back at the first 43 years.
This top 50 list was based on the Wins Above Replacement, or WaR statistic provided by www.baseball-reference.com. To make the list, the player had to appear in a Royals uniform for at least two seasons. The cutoff WaR rating was 7.7.
Doug made his major league debut in 1973 with the Royals. At times, Bird was Jack McKeon's favorite fireman.
He led the Royals in Games, Games Finished, and saves in 1973 with 20, in 1974 with 10, in 1975 with 11, and in 1977 with 14. He also led the team with a 2.73 ERA in 1974, Not to mention his ferocious beard. (pictured)
Bird started 43 games for the Royals, and also collected 58 saves, proving his versatility. He was 49-36 with a 3.56 ERA for Kansas City, walking 188 and striking out 464 in 714.2 innings pitched.
Nelson had limited success making 33 starts during their first season, going 7-13. He then suffered through two injury plagued seasons in 1970 and 71, before rebounding in 1972.
In 1972, Nelson was fifth in the A.L. with a 2.08 ERA, he also led the league in WHIP with 0.871 and led the Royals with six shutouts.
His career numbers with the Royals - 18-22, 3.08 ERA, 105 walks and 238 strikeouts in 418.1 innings pitched.
Nelson played for two seasons with the Cincinnati Reds before rejoining the Royals for 3 games in 1976.
Gaetti started his major league career for the Minnesota Twins for ten seasons. He then joined the California Angels for two full seasons. California waived Gaetti partway through the 1993 season, and the Royals picked him off the wire, pretty much handing him the third base job.
Gaetti's numbers had been steadily declining over the prior several seasons, and he was thought to have been on his last legs as far as the Majors were concerned.
He treaded water for Kansas City for the duration of the 1993 and 94 seasons, a solid, but unspectacular performance. In 1995, he led the Royals in what may have been his finest season, winning his first and only Silver Slugger in the process.
That year, he led the Royals with 137 games played, 76 runs, 36 home runs, 96 RBIs, and a .518 slugging percentage.
In total for Kansas City, Gaetti totalled 309 games played, hitting .267 with 61 homers, 199 RBIs, and 82 walks, striking out 229 times.
Pattin started his career with the California Angels in the 1968 season, and subsequently pitched for the Seattle Pilots, later Milwaukee Brewers, and the Boston Red Sox before joining the Royals via trade after the end of the 1973 season.
He pitched for Kansas City for seven seasons, sometimes a starter and sometimes as a reliever. In 1975, he was named AL pitcher of the month in June as a starter and in September as a reliever.
For his career with Kansas city, he had a record of 43-39 with a 3.48 ERA. In 244 games, he pitched 825.2 innings, striking out 370 while walking 217.
He retired from baseball after being granted free agency following the 1980 season.
Offerman made his major league debut with the Los Angeles Dodgers in the 1990 season and played six seasons there before joining the Royals via trade after the 1995 season.
In 1996, Offerman led the team with 151 games played, 85 runs, 33 doubles, 8 triples, 74 walks, a batting average of .303, and an OBP of .384.
In '97, Offerman's season was cut short due to injuries, but he rebounded with a solid '98 season. He was second on the team in games played, with 158, in hits, with 191, in triples, with 13, stolen bases, with 45, batting average, at .315, and OBP, with .403.
After the 1997 season, Offerman was granted free agency, and went on to play for the Red Sox, the Mariners, the Twins, the Phillies, and the Mets.
His Kansas City totals: In 415 games, he collected 246 runs, with 84 doubles, 27 triples, and 14 home runs, 152 RBIs, 78 stolen bases. He walked 204 times with 258 strikeouts in 1592 at bats.
Dye played one season with the Atlanta Braves before joining the Royals via trade just prior to the 1997 season.
Dye made little impact his first two seasons in KC, hitting 12 home runs and 45 RBIs in 135 games. In 1999, he broke out, leading the team with 27 home runs and 119 RBIs while hitting .294 in 158 games. He led the team in home runs again in 2000, with 33, while collecting 118 RBIs, hitting .321 in 157 games.
Dye was having another solid season in 2001 when he was traded to Colorado near the end of July.
Dye was a fan favorite during his time with the Royals, the fans sometimes shouting "Dye-no-mite," when he came to the plate.
He finished his career with the Oakland Athletics and the Chicago White Sox, announcing his retirement just prior to the 2011 season.
Gordon was selected with the second overall pick of the 2005 draft. He tore up the minors for two seasons before joining the Royals in 2007.
He started his career as a third baseman, but was considered a poor fielder, and has since had his position shifted. He currently plays in left field.
His career numbers so far, (through 28-Aug-11) 537 games played, 279 runs scored, 127 doubles, 63 home runs, 232 RBIs. He has struck out 482 times while drawing 218 walks in 1961 at bats.
Sanchez played with the Chicago Cubs for six seasons before making stops with the New York Yankees and San Fransisco Giants. He signed with the Royals as a free agent after the 1998 season.
Sanchez was noted more for his glove than for his bat, and manned the shortstop position for the Royals for 2 1/2 seasons. He committed only 20 errors in 377 games at the position.
Meche played for six seasons with the Seattle Mariners before signing with the Royals as a free agent after the 2006 season.
He started out well enough, getting 34 starts in each of his first two seasons with the club, leading the majors. In the middle of 2008, he was still pitching pretty well, tossing a four hit shutout against Arizona. Gil had thrown 132 pitches that day, and he wasn't quite the same after that.
After starting the 2010 season 0-4, 6.66 Meche was sent to the minors for a rehab assignment. Upon his return to KC, he relieved in eleven games.
Gil made news, walking away from a guaranteed $12,000,000 to keep his pride, opting for a retirement rather than facing another surgery.
Kirkpatrick played for seven seasons with the California Angels prior to joining the inaugural version of the Kansas City Royals in 1969.
Ed was a utilityman, and was the Royals primary catcher in 1969, 1971, and 1973. In 1970 and 1972, he played mostly in the outfield, playing all three positions, while still occasionally catching.
Kirkpatrick hit .248 with the Royals over five seasons, and in 613 games, scored 249 runs, hit 79 doubles, 11 triples, and 56 home runs. He had 245 RBIs, while walking 243 times, and striking out 265 times in 1897 at bats.
After being traded to the Pittsburgh Pirates in 1973, Ed played four more seasons in the majors, with the Pirates, the Texas Rangers, and the Milwaukee Brewers. He died November 15, 2010 in Anaheim, California.
Belcher pitched for the Los Angeles Dodgers, the Cincinnati Reds, the Chicago White Sox, the Detroit Tigers, and the Seattle Mariners before joining the Royals as a free agent in time for the 1996 season.
He led the team in wins, with a 15-11 record in 1996, also leading the team in innings pitched, with 238.2.
He again led the team in wins in 1997, with a 13-12 record, but his ERA was 5.02.
In 1998, he was 14-14 in 234 innings, again leading the Royals in both categories.
Belcher played for two seasons with Anaheim before retiring after the 2000 season. He is currently the pitching coach for the Cleveland Indians.
Schaal signed on with the California Angels for five years before joining the original Kansas City Royals.
For Kansas City, Paul played mostly third base, occasionally filling in at second and shortstop.
Paul was a solid contact hitter, only striking out 226 times in 1998 career at bats while drawing 300 walks. In 5 1/2 seasons with the Royals, he hit .263 with 84 doubles, 15 triples, and 32 home runs with 198 RBIs.
He would be traded back to the Angels midway through the 1974 season, and would retire following the season.
Suppan started his career with the Boston Red Sox and the Arizona Diamondbacks before joining the Royals near the end of the 1998 season.
Suppan led the team in wins with ten in 1999, and again with ten in 2000. He also led the team with 217 innings pitched. For 2001, he led the team in innings, with 218.1, strikeouts, with 120, and wins, with ten.
Suppan left Kansas City after the 2002 season, his record with the club was 39-51 with a 4.73 ERA. He walked 289 while striking out 472 in 864.2 innings pitched.
Since leaving, Jeff has played for the Pittsburgh Pirates, the Red Sox, the St. Louis Cardinals, and the Milwaukee Brewers.
He signed a minor league contract with the Royals prior to the 2011 season, but has yet to make an appearance.
Rosado made his major league debut with Kansas City on June 12, 1996. He allowed four hits and four walks while striking out five in six innings against the California Angels, earning a solid no-decision.
Jose played 125 games for the Royals, starting 112 of them. He totalled 720.1 innings, going 37-45 with a 4.27 ERA. He walked 237 batters and struck out 484.
Jose was selected to the all-star team in 1997 and 1999, and was the winning pitcher of record in the 1997 contest.
Rosado's career was essentially ended with a torn rotater cuff. He retired after the 2000 season.
Farr broke into the majors as a starting pitcher with the Cleveland Indians in the 1984 season. The Royals signed him after the Indians released him outright just after the 1985 season started.
For the Royals, Farr was an occasional starter, but mostly a long relief pitcher. He averaged just under two innings per appearance.
His best season for Kansas City was 1990, when he went 13-7 with a 1.98 ERA in 127 innings.
His career totals for the Royals: 34-24, 3.05 in 289 games. He collected 49 saves in 511 innings pitched, striking out 429 while walking 203.
He went on to play for the New York Yankees, the Indians, and the Boston Red Sox.
Jackson broke into the majors with Kansas City in 1983, going 1-1 in four games, starting three.
In 1985, Jackson enjoyed his finest season with the Royals, when he went 2-1 with a 1.04 ERA in the postseason, twice bringing the Royals back from certain elimination with strong performances. His regular season performance wasn't bad either, he went 14-12 with a 3.42 ERA.
His career stats with the Royals, 37-49, 3.69 ERA. He had 305 walks while striking out 430 in 712.2 innings pitched.
He would end up leaving Kansas City after the 1987 season, going on to play for the Cincinnati Reds, the Chicago Cubs, the Pittsburgh Pirates, the St. Louis Cardinals, and the San Diego Padres before retiring after the 1997 season.
Cowens played his first six major league seasons in Kansas City with the Royals.
His best season came in 1977, when he played in all 162 games, batting .312 with 23 home runs and 112 RBIs, all career highs. He also won a gold glove and came in second in the AL MVP voting, coming in just behind Rod Carew.
He was traded to the California Angels after the 1979 season, and later also played for the Detroit Tigers and the Seattle Mariners.
In all, he played 812 games for the Royals, with 117 doubles, 44 triples, 45 home runs, and 374 RBIs. He struck out 286 times while drawing 189 walks in 2785 at bats.
Black made his major league debut in 1981, pitching one inning for the Seattle Mariners. He joined the Royals via trade just before the 1982 season.
Buddy enjoyed his most productive Royals season in 1984, leading the team with 17 wins, 257 innings pitched and 140 strikeouts.
In 1986, Black was moved to the bullpen, with an occasional start. He collected nine saves that season.
His Royals totals, 56-57, 10 saves, 3.73 ERA. He struck out 508 and issued 289 walks in 977.2 innings pitched.
Black later played for the Cleveland Indians, the Toronto Blue Jays, and the San Fransisco Giants. He is currently the manager of the San Diego Padres.
Tartabull began his career playing three seasons with the Seattle Mariners from 1984 through and 1986.
He was traded to the Royals following the 1986 season, and enjoyed the most productive years of his major league career in Kansas City.
In 1987, he led the Royals with 34 home runs and 101 RBIs, hitting .309 in the process. He again led the team in 1988, with 26 home runs, hitting .274 that season.
Tartabull had another good year for Kansas City in 1991, again leading the team with 31 home runs, 100 RBIs, and a batting average of .316.
He would go on to play for the New York Yankees, the Oakland Athletics, the Chicago White Sox, and the Philadelphia Phillies.
Cone made his major league debut with the Royals in 1986, pitching 11 games in relief. He was dealt to the New York Mets just prior to the 1987 season. He was later traded to the Toronto Blue Jays.
Cone made his second appearance with the club by signing a free agent contract after the 1992 season.
He had his best season in Kansas City in 1994, winning the AL Cy Young award in the strike shortened season, going 16-5 with a 2.94 ERA.
In total, his KC numbers were good, a 27-19 record with a 3.29 ERA. In 448.1 innings pitched, he walked 181 while striking out 344.
David has worked in the broadcast booth for the YES network, broadcasting the Yankees on and off over the last several years.
Soria made his major league debut with the Royals in 2007, saving 17 games with an ERA of 2.48 ERA.
Soria has always been a closer. In 2008, he saved 42 games with an ERA of 1.60 and a WHIP of 0.861, making the all-star team.
He again made the all-star team in 2010, when he registered an ERA of 1.78 and a career high 43 saves.
Overall, he is 13-15 with a 2.44 ERA. He has 156 career saves, striking out 333 and walking 86 in 310.1 innings.
Macfarlane, a catcher and designated hitter, played most of his 13 year major league career with the Royals, making stops with the Boston Red Sox and the Oakland Athletics.
His best season with Kansas City was 1993, when he hit .273 with 20 home runs and 67 RBIs.
In just over ten seasons with the Royals, he hit .256, tallying 174 doubles, 103 home runs and 398 RBIs. He walked 232 times while racking up 536 strikeouts in 2805 at bats.
He currently operates "Mac and Seitz," a baseball training facility with ex Royals teammate Kevin Seitzer.
Drago made his major league debut with the original Kansas City Royals in 1969, going 11-13 with a 3.77 ERA as a rookie.
Besides having a great porn star name, he later went on to grow a great porn star 'stache (see here)
His best Kansas City season was 1971, when he went 17-11 with a 2.98 ERA. In five seasons with the club, Drago never missed a start.
He finished with KC 61-70, 3.52 ERA. He walked 310 and struck out 577 over 1134 innings.
Drago would go on to play for the Boston Red Sox, the California Angels, the Baltimore Orioles, and the Seattle Mariners.
Fitzmorris joined the Royals in 1969, making his debut with the club. He went 1-1 that year with a 4.22 ERA in seven relief appearances.
1975 was his best season with the club, going 16-12, 3.57, in 242 innings pitched.
Fitzmorris was a rarity for the Royals in their first years of competition, a pitcher who had a winning record with the club, going 70-48 with a 3.46 ERA. He pitched 1098 innings in eight seasons, walking 359 and striking out 391.
He went on to play for the Cleveland Indians for two seasons, and the California Angels for part of one.
Seitzer debuted with the Royals in 1986. Although he appeared in 28 games that year, he would not lose his rookie eligibility, setting the stage for a great rookie campaign in 1987.
That year, he played in 161 games, hitting .323 with 15 homers and 83 RBIs in 725 plate appearances, drawing 80 walks against 85 strikeouts.
Mostly a third baseman, he would occasionally fill in at any of the infield positions, and even some of the outfield positions.
In total for KC, he played six seasons, hitting .294 with 128 doubles, 24 triples, and 33 homers with 265 RBIs. He walked 369 times and struck out 326 times.
He would later play for the Milwaukee Brewers, the Oakland Athletics, and the Cleveland Indians. He is currently the hitting coach with the Royals.
Randa originally joined the club for two seasons in 1995 and 1996 before spending a season each with the Pittsburgh Pirates and the Detroit Tigers. He would rejoin the Royals for the 1999 season.
He was an above average fielding third baseman for the Royals, and hit for average throughout his career. His best season in KC was probably 2000, when he hit .304 with 15 home runs and 106 RBIs.
Overall, he hit .288 for Kansas City, with 223 doubles, 23 triples, and 86 home runs for 533 RBIs. He walked 287 times while taking 497 strikeouts in 3764 at bats.
He would later play for the Cincinnati Reds, the San Diego Padres, and again with the Pirates.
Busby played his entire career with the Kansas City Royals.
In his first two seasons he threw two no-hitters, the first pitcher in major league history to accomplish the feat.
He would make the all-star team in 1974 and 1975, finishing 22-14 and 18-12, respectively. He pitched 38 complete games over the two year span.
Halfway through the 1976 season he was diagnosed with a torn rotator cuff, an injury that had traditionally ended a pitchers career. Steve opted for surgery and rehab, playing for the Royals again from 1978-1980, although he didn't have the same stuff as before. He went 8-9 for the three seasons.
If not for the torn rotator cuff, he may have been higher on this list. He became a Texas Rangers broadcaster after his playing career was finished.
Gordon debuted with the Royals in 1988 as a 20 year old fireballer, and was primarily a starter through his first eight major league seasons.
In 1989, he placed second in the Rookie of the Year voting, when he compiled a 17-9 record with a 3.64 ERA. He struck out 153 while walking 86 in 163 innings.
In ensuing seasons, Gordon's strikeout total continued to climb, but so did his ERA and his loss total.
All told, Gordon went 79-71 with Kansas City, with a 4.02 ERA, walking 587 while striking out 999 in 1149.2 innings pitched. He started 144 games while appearing in relief in 130.
He would later play for the Boston Red Sox, the Chicago Cubs, the Houston Astros, the Chicago White Sox, the the New York Yankees, the Philadelphia Phillies, and the Arizona Diamondbacks.
Gordon is the only player in major league history with 100 wins, 100 saves, and 100 holds.
Damon attended Dr. Phillips High School in Orlando, Florida, where he was he was rated the top high school prospect in the country in 1992 by Baseball America.
He broke into the major leagues in 1995 with Kansas City, and was a solid defensive outfielder and occasional DH, rarely missing a game.
His best season with the Royals was 2000, when he led the AL in runs, with 136, and stolen bases, with 46. He hit .327 with 16 home runs and 88 RBIs, drawing 65 walks while only striking out 60 times.
He played 803 games for Kansas City, hitting .292 with 156 doubles, 47 triples, 65 homers, and 352 RBIs. In 3057 at bats, he struck out 350 times while drawing 275 walks. He also stole 156 bases.
Damon went on to join the Oakland Athletics, the New York Yankees, the Boston Red Sox, the Detroit Tigers, and the Tampa Bay Rays.
He currently has 2704 hits, and has to this point in his career has always stayed healthy. He should join the 3000 hit club sometime in 2013.
Patek made his major league debut with the Pittsburgh Pirates in 1968. He would stay with the club for three seasons before joining the Royals following the 1970 season.
He played shortstop with the Royals, making the all-star team in 1972,1976,and 1978.
He led the AL in stolen bases in 1977, with 53.
Over nine seasons in Kansas City, Patek hit .241 with 182 doubles, 41 triples, 28 home runs, and 382 RBIs. He drew 413 walks while striking out 586 times in 4305 at bats. He also stole 336 bases.
Patek would round out his career playing for the California Angels in 1980 and 1981.
Gura started his career with the Chicago Cubs and the New York Yankees before joining the Royals for the 1976 season.
In 1978, he went 16-4 with a 2.72 ERA, and came in seventh on the Cy Young award ballot.
1980 was his best year with Kansas City, when he made the all-star team and went 18-10 with a 2.95 ERA. He walked 76 and struck out 113, leading the AL in batters faced with 1175.
He compiled a 111-78 record for the Royals, with a 3.72 ERA. He struck out 633 and walked 503 in 1701.1 innings pitched for the club.
His final year in the majors was 1985, when he split time with the Royals and later the Cubs.
Porter played six seasons as the Milwaukee Brewers catcher before joining the Royals for the best years of his career.
For the Royals, Porter was a very patient hitter. He led the AL in walks in 1979, with 121 (against 65 strikeouts).
In 2262 plate appearances, he walked 318 times and struck out 260 times. He hit 85 doubles and 61 home runs with 301 RBIs.
He would go on to play for the St. Louis Cardinals and the Texas Rangers.
He wrote his autobiography in 1984, "Snap Me Perfect!"
Mayberry joined the Houston Astros in 1968, playing four seasons as an occasional fill in at first base. He would become a Royal for the 1972 season.
For his six seasons in Royal Blue, Mayberry was a very productive first baseman, (and later DH).
1972 was a breakout year for Mayberry, as he hit 25 home runs and 100 RBIs. In 1973, he made the all-star team, hitting 26 home runs and 100 RBIs.
1974 again saw Mayberry selected to the all-star team, as he slugged 22 home runs and 69 RBIs in limited action.
In 1975, Mayberry placed second in the voting for AL MVP, hitting 34 home runs and 106 RBIs. He also led the league in walks, with 119.
In total, Mayberry hit .261 with a .374 OBP, nailing 143 home runs and 552 RBIs, walking 561 times in 3752 plate appearances, striking out only 457 times.
He would later play for the Toronto Blue Jays and the New York Yankees.
Splittorff played his entire 15 year major league career with the Royals, making his debut with the club in 1970, going 0-1 in 2 games. It would get better.
Ten times Splittorff had double figure win totals, and in 1973 he went 20-11 with a 3.98 ERA.
In 1978, Splittorff had perhaps his best season, going 19-13 with a 3.40 ERA. His WHIP was only 1.16 that season.
Even though he had low strikeout totals, Splittorff got his wins with finesse, inducing playable ground and fly balls. His career totals: 166-143, 3.81. He pitched in 429 games, pitching 2554.2 innings and striking out 1057 while walking 780.
After his retirement, he became a color commentator on Royals broadcasts.
Liebrandt pitched for the Cincinnati Reds for four seasons before joining the Royals for the 1984 season.
In six seasons with the club, Liebrandt had double digit wins and a winning record five times. His best season was probably 1985, when he finished fifth in the Cy Young award voting. He went 17-9 with a 2.69 ERA.
All told, he went 76-61 with Kansas City, logging a 3.60 ERA. He pitched 1257 innings, striking out 618 and walking 359.
He would go on to play for the Atlanta Braves and the Texas Rangers.
Montgomery broke in with the Cincinnati Reds, going 2-2 with a 6.52 ERA in 1987. Pete Rose decided the kid wouldn't amount to much, and traded him to the Royals just prior to the 1988 season.
He was a three time all-star, being selected in 1992, 1993, and 1996.
He led the AL in saves in 1993 with 45, in what may have been his best season. His ERA was 2.27 with a WHIP of 0.989. He also struck out 94 in 92 innings.
Jeff went 44-50 while with KC. He is the clubs all time leader in saves, with 304. He had an ERA of 3.20, pitching 849.1 innings and striking out 720 against 287 walks.
DeJesus played the first eight seasons of his career with the Royals, at different times manning any of the outfield positions.
He played 876 games with the Royals, hitting .289 with 206 doubles, 50 triples, and 69 home runs with 429 RBIs. He walked 314 times against 489 strikeouts in 3355 at bats.
DeJesus is currently the starting right fielder for the Oakland Athletics.
Sweeney joined the Royals in 1995 as a catcher, and over the years gradually transitioned into their starting first baseman.
He was a five time all-star, making the squad in 2000-2003 and in 2005. During that span he hit .312 with 141 home runs and 574 RBIs.
Altogether, he hit .299 with 297 doubles and 197 home runs and 837 RBIs. He also drew 484 walks while striking out 555 times in 4669 at bats.
Sweeney would go on to play for the Oakland Athletics, the Seattle Mariners, and the Philadelphia Phillies. After the 2010 season, he signed a one day contract with the Royals and retired on March 25, 2011.
Greinke made his major league debut with the Royals in 2004, going 8-11 with a 3.97 ERA.
It got worse. In 2005, Greinke led the AL in losses, going 5-17 with a 5.80 ERA.
After spending most of 2006 suffering from social anxiety and depression, and a year pitching out of the bullpen in 2007, Greinke returned to the starting rotation in 2008, going 13-10, 3.47.
Zach won the AL Cy Young award in 2009, with a staggering 242 strikeouts in 229.1 innings pitched. He also led the league in ERA, with 2.16 while compiling a 16-8 record.
After a disappointing 2010 season, when he went 10-14, Greinke was dealt to the Milwaukee Brewers, and is currently in their starting rotation.
For Kansas City, Zach's totals are 60-67 with a 3.82 ERA. He struck out 931 and walked 280 in 1108 innings pitched.
Leonard played all twelve of his major league seasons with the Royals.
He was the KC pitcher of the year in 1975, 1977, and 1979.
Leonard averaged 17 wins from 1975-1981, leading the AL in 1977, with 20.
Injuries derailed him from 1982-1985, but he returned in 1986 to honor the final year of his contract. Despite his 8-13 record, He pitched well that year, including 2 complete game shutouts.
He went 144-106, 3.70 overall for Kansas City. He pitched 2187 innings, striking out 1323 and walking 622.
Beltran broke in with the Royals in 1998 as a 21 year old center fielder, and spent his first six and a half major league seasons with the club.
A classic five-tool player, Beltran won the AL Rookie of the Year award in 1999, hitting .293 with 22 home runs and 108 RBIs.
After a difficult 2000 season, which saw Beltran injured and slumping to a .247 average, eventually losing his starting job to Johnny Damon. Damon was traded after the season and Beltran won his job back.
With another opportunity, Beltran did not disappoint, hitting .295 and averaging 26 home runs over the next three seasons.
Halfway through the 2004 season, Beltran was dealt to the Houston Astros, closing the book on his KC career.
His totals: a .287 average with 156 doubles, 45 triples, 123 home runs and 516 RBIs. He also walked 316 times and struck out 584 times in 3134 at bats.
Quisenberry made his rookie appearance with the Royals in 1979, going 3-2 with 5 saves and a 3.15 ERA.
Groomed from the start as a reliever, he won the AL Fireman of the Year award five times.
He made the AL all-star team every year from 1982-1984, averaging 41 saves with a 2.38 ERA over that span.
Q compiled a 51-44 record for the Royals with 238 saves. He employed exquisite control, walking 139 batters over 920.1 innings over ten seasons.
He would go on to play for the St. Louis Cardinals and the San Fransisco Giants.
Wilson joined the Royals as a 20 year old rookie in 1976.
In 1979, Wilson led the AL with 83 stolen bases. 1980, however, may have been his best year in the majors. He had 705 at bats, still an AL record. He led the league with 230 hits and 15 triples and hit .326. He also won a gold glove and a silver slugger that season.
In 1982 he won his second silver slugger and his first all-star selection, winning the batting title in the process at .332.
In 1983 he was again selected to the all-star game. He led the league in triples five times during his years playing for the Royals.
When he departed KC, he had totalled 612 stolen bases, hitting .289 in 1787 games. He hit 133 triples during his Royals career.
Willie rounded out his career with two seasons each with the Oakland Athletics and the Chicago Cubs.
McRae played four seasons with the Cincinnati Reds before joining the Royals in 1973.
McRae played the outfield and designated hitter for the Royals. He was a good contact hitter, seldom striking out.
He made the all-star team in 1975 and again in 1976, when he led the league in OBP, with a .407.
In 1977, he led the AL with 54 doubles. In 1982 he had a very productive offensive season, being selected to his third all-star team and winning a silver slugger. He led the league with 46 doubles and 133 RBIs.
He would stay with the Royals until his retirement in 1987. He hit .293 for the club, with 449 doubles, 169 home runs and 1012 RBIs. He walked 616 times while whiffing 697 times in 6568 at bats.
He would later manage the Royals, going 286-277 over four seasons.
White spent his entire 18 season career with the Kansas City Royals.
He was an excellent defensive second baseman, collecting gold gloves in eight seasons, from 1977-1982, and 1986-1987.
White was mostly a singles hitter who stole a few bases on offense. As his career progressed he started to develop some power, averaging 20 home runs in each season from 1984-1987. He won a silver slugger in 1986.
White was selected to the AL all-star team in 1978, 1979, 1981, 1982, and 1986.
His career totals: a .255 average with 407 doubles and 160 home runs. He had 886 RBIs and 178 stolen bases.
Saberhagen debuted in 1984 as a 20 year old rookie, going 10-11 with a 3.48 ERA.
In 1985, Saberhagen became the youngest pitcher to win the Cy Young award, along the way posting a 20-6 record with a 2.87 ERA and a league leading WHIP of 1.058.
For the next three seasons, he treaded water for the Royals, posting a 39-38 record over the span.
In 1989, Bret would win his second Cy Young award for the team, leading the league in wins, posting a 23-6 record. He also led the league with a 2.16 ERA, 12 complete games, 262.1 innings pitched, and a microscopic whip of 0.961. All this plus his first gold glove.
For his Royals career, he went 110-78 with an ERA of 3.21. He struck out 1093 while striking out 331 in 1660.1 innings pitched.
Bret would go on to pitch for the New York Mets, the Colorado Rockies, and the Boston Red Sox.
Otis broke in with the New York Mets in 1967, hitting .178 over parts of two seasons.
He would join the Royals in 1970, immediately making the all-star team every year through 1973, then again in 1976.
Otis was fast. He stole 340 bases for the Royals. He hit for power, compiling 193 home runs and 992 RBIs over the years. He could hit for average, with a career clip of .280 in 7050 at bats. He could play defense. He won the Gold Glove in 1971, 1973, and 1974. He was also a clutch player. In 22 career post season games, he had an OBP of .360 and an ops of .848.
He would play for the Pirates for parts of the 1984 season, hitting .165 in 40 games before retiring.
Appier broke in with the Royals in 1989, going 1-4 in 6 games with an astronomical 9.14 ERA. Thankfully, this was not indicative of his future performance with the club.
Kevin was a stalwart of the Royals pitching staff through 1997, starting 239 games over eight seasons. He led the AL in ERA in 1993, with a 2.56, going 18-8.
He would go on to make his only all-star appearance during the 1995 season, when he went 15-10.
He would go on to play for the Oakland Athletics, the New York Mets, and the Anaheim Angels before rejoining the Royals to cap out his career in 2003 and 2004.
His Royal totals: 115-92 with a 3.49 ERA. He struck out 1458 while walking 634 over 1843.2 innings in 287 games.
Brett played 21 seasons for the Royals, and is their all-time leader in almost every offensive category. He unquestionably belongs at the top of every Kansas City Royals best-of list.
He made the all-star team for 13 straight seasons, from 1976-1988. He would hit over .300 eleven times, including a .390 average for the strike shortened 1980 season, winning the AL MVP award. He also led the league in hitting in 1976, with .333, and in 1990, with a .329.
George was consistently gaining mention throughout his career whenever it came time to vote for the AL MVP, finishing second in 1976 and in 1985, and third in 1979.
He would retire after the 1993 season, playing in 145 games with 19 home runs, 75 RBIs, and an average of .266. At an age when most players are on the decline, George was still a solid contributor at 40.
His career statistics, a .305 average with 665 doubles, 137 triples, 317 home runs and 1596 RBIs. He walked 1096 times and only struck out 908 times in 10,349 career plate appearances.