Kevin Appier, (Royals) Hall of Famer

The Royals announced today that Kevin Appier was elected to the Royals Hall of Fame.

For anyone who followed the Royals in the 90s, this is no surprise.

With 82.5% of the voting going his way (75% is required for election), he becomes the 24th Royal in the team HOF. He’s more than deserving.

Appier was third in Rookie of the Year voting in 1990.  He was third in Cy Young voting in 1993 (and should have won).  He leads the Royals in strikeouts and has started more Opening Days (7) than Steve Busby, Bret Saberhagen and Zack Greinke combined (2, 3 and 1 respectively).

Year Tm W L ERA GS CG SO IP HR ERA+ WHIP H/9 HR/9 BB/9 K/9 K/BB
1989 KCR 1 4 9.14 5 0 0 21.2 3 43 2.123 14.1 1.2 5.0 4.2 0.83
1990 KCR 12 8 2.76 24 3 3 185.2 13 139 1.255 8.7 0.6 2.6 6.2 2.35
1991 KCR 13 10 3.42 31 6 3 207.2 13 121 1.281 8.9 0.6 2.6 6.8 2.59
1992 KCR 15 8 2.46 30 3 0 208.1 10 166 1.128 7.2 0.4 2.9 6.5 2.21
1993 KCR 18 8 2.56 34 5 1 238.2 8 179 1.106 6.9 0.3 3.1 7.0 2.30
1994 KCR 7 6 3.83 23 1 0 155.0 11 131 1.290 8.0 0.6 3.7 8.4 2.30
1995 KCR 15 10 3.89 31 4 1 201.1 14 123 1.207 7.3 0.6 3.6 8.3 2.31
1996 KCR 14 11 3.62 32 5 1 211.1 17 138 1.263 8.2 0.7 3.2 8.8 2.76
1997 KCR 9 13 3.40 34 4 1 235.2 24 137 1.226 8.2 0.9 2.8 7.5 2.65
1998 KCR 1 2 7.80 3 0 0 15.0 3 62 1.733 12.6 1.8 3.0 5.4 1.80
1999 TOT 16 14 5.17 34 1 0 209.0 27 95 1.502 9.9 1.2 3.6 5.6 1.56
1999 KCR 9 9 4.87 22 1 0 140.1 18 103 1.454 9.8 1.2 3.3 5.0 1.53
1999 OAK 7 5 5.77 12 0 0 68.2 9 80 1.602 10.1 1.2 4.3 6.9 1.61
2000 OAK 15 11 4.52 31 1 1 195.1 23 104 1.546 9.2 1.1 4.7 5.9 1.26
2001 NYM 11 10 3.57 33 1 1 206.2 22 117 1.185 7.9 1.0 2.8 7.5 2.69
2002 ANA 14 12 3.92 32 0 0 188.1 23 113 1.354 9.1 1.1 3.1 6.3 2.06
2003 TOT 8 9 5.40 23 0 0 111.2 21 83 1.460 9.7 1.7 3.5 4.4 1.28
2003 ANA 7 7 5.63 19 0 0 92.2 17 78 1.522 10.2 1.7 3.5 4.9 1.39
2003 KCR 1 2 4.26 4 0 0 19.0 4 117 1.158 7.1 1.9 3.3 2.4 0.71
2004 KCR 0 1 13.50 2 0 0 4.0 0 38 2.500 15.8 0.0 6.8 4.5 0.67
16 Seasons 169 137 3.74 402 34 12 2595.1 232 121 1.294 8.4 0.8 3.2 6.9 2.14
162 Game Avg. 14 11 3.74 34 3 1 216 19 121 1.294 8.4 0.8 3.2 6.9 2.14
W L ERA GS CG SO IP HR ERA+ WHIP H/9 HR/9 BB/9 K/9 K/BB
KCR (13 yrs) 115 92 3.49 275 32 10 1843.2 138 131 1.250 8.2 0.7 3.1 7.1 2.30
OAK (2 yrs) 22 16 4.84 43 1 1 264.0 32 96 1.561 9.4 1.1 4.6 6.2 1.35
ANA (2 yrs) 21 19 4.48 51 0 0 281.0 40 99 1.409 9.5 1.3 3.2 5.8 1.82
NYM (1 yr) 11 10 3.57 33 1 1 206.2 22 117 1.185 7.9 1.0 2.8 7.5 2.69
AL (15 yrs) 158 127 3.75 369 33 11 2388.2 210 121 1.303 8.5 0.8 3.3 6.9 2.10
NL (1 yr) 11 10 3.57 33 1 1 206.2 22 117 1.185 7.9 1.0 2.8 7.5 2.69
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 4/7/2011.

Looking back, despite my hopes to name an everyday player as my favorite, it’s got to be Appier as my true favorite post-Brett player.  When I started pitching when I was 14, I modeled my motion after Appier (I’ve probably mentioned that, and kids, don’t do what I did.)

I remember the 1993 complete game one-hitter.  He lost.  That lone hit was a shallow homer by Rafael Palmeiro and the Royals didn’t score all game.

I also remember August 2003 when Appier, after being released by the Angels, signed with the Royals in the midst of their last real shot at the playoffs.  In his second start back with Kansas City, he threw six shutout innings against the Yankees in the most exciting regular season series I can remember clearly as a Royals fan.

Appier retired a Royal and going off of Baseball-Reference’s WAR calculations, has the highest career WAR in a Royals uniform among pitchers.  Even more than Bret Saberhagen and his two Cy Young Awards.  His ERA ranks second among Royals pitchers who were primarily starters (Jeff Montgomery, Steve Farr and Dan Quisenberry are also in the top five along with Saberhagen).

Appier was a slam dunk choice for the Royals Hall.  The only similar case is Mike Sweeney, who retired at the end of spring training after signing a one day contract with the Royals.  After those two, we’re reminded of the dearth of talent that came to (and played long enough) in Kansas City.

After Appier and Sweeney, who’s got potential for the Hall?  Joe Randa?  David DeJesus?  Did Johnny Damon, Carlos Beltran and Jermaine Dye do enough in blue to get consideration, or would that be a slap in the face to the fans who watched them get sold off for peanuts?

I don’t know – we may be waiting a while for the next no-brainer case for the Royals Hall of Fame.  That’s unfortunate, but in the meantime, we get to relive the memories of some old favorites in Royals history.  That’s not so bad, is it?

Appier will be inducted prior to the Royals June 25th game against the Cubs.

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Topics: AL Central, Baseball, Kansas City Royals, KC, Kevin Appier, Mike Sweeney, MLB, Royals

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