In what has been an annual tradition, ESPN announced it’s Hall of 100, their thoughts on the 100 greatest players to play baseball. Despite their era of dominance from the mid 1970′s through the mid 1980′s, the Royals did not receive much attention on the list, with only three players listed who once donned the powder blue. Here is a look at the players who made the list, along with where they were ranked.
George Brett (30) – Brett was the cornerstone of those Royals teams when the Royals were perennial contenders. He was an All-Star thirteen times, the American League MVP in 1980, a Gold Glove winner, became the only player to win a batting title in three different decades and remains the only player enshrined in Cooperstown as a member of the Royals. Brett was considered by ESPN to be the third best third baseman of all time, ranking behind only Mike Schmidt and Alex Rodriguez at the position.
Harmon Killebrew (66) – Killebrew is remembered for his time with the Twins, where he hit for prodigious power in a pitching era and helped turn the Twins teams of the 1960′s into contenders. However, it is often forgotten that he spent his last season in the majors in Kansas City, as the Royals designated hitter in 1975. In that year, at age 39, Killebrew closed out his celebrated career by hitting fourteen home runs for the Royals, despite producing only a .199/.317/.375 batting line. Even though his best days were behind him, he could still show that power he was known for throughout his career.
Gaylord Perry (68) – Like Killebrew, Perry closed out his Hall of Fame career by playing for the Royals. Still throwing his “hard slider,” Perry was signed as a free agent in July 6, 1983 after being released by the Mariners. At age 44, he was still able to load up his “slider” enough to 4-4 with a 4.27 ERA, striking out 40 batters and pitching a shutout. The notorious spitballer was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1991
with an induction speech sponsored by Vaseline.
Even in the 25 Honorable Mentions, the Royals were unable to get any other players on the list. Perhaps, if he has a couple of more solid years, Carlos Beltran can crack the top 125. Dan Quisenberry had a great run during the 1980′s, and is a player that could have been considered. If Salvador Perez can progress as we are all hoping, he may also crack that top 125 someday.
The Royals may not be well represented in the Hall of 100, but that may be changing in the future.