courtesy of RoyalsReview.com
Outfield: Willie Wilson (2)
Wilson is tied with Alex Gordon with two All-Star nods, but with Gordon unable to play this year, the tiebreaker goes to the Royals former speedster. In fact, it could be argued that Wilson deserved more than the two appearances he had as an All-Star, as he did not get named to the squad in 1980 despite a .326/.357/.421 batting line while stealing 79 bases and leading the American League in hits (230), runs (133) and triples (15).
In his fifteen seasons in Kansas City, Willie Wilson produced a .289/.329/.382 batting line, which was not overly spectacular. However, as the catalyst of the Royals offense during their peak, Wilson epitomized their speed and gap hitting approach. To that effect, Wilson was far more valuable for his 612 stolen bases and his 1060 runs scored than for anything else he could contribute.
That is not to say that Wilson was a one dimensional speedster. That speed allowed Wilson to amass 241 doubles and 133 triples with the Royals, while playing above average defense in left and center. His quickness not only allowed Wilson to win a Gold Glove award in 1980, but helped him earn two Silver Slugger awards, despite hitting a total of six home runs in those seasons.
With Alex Gordon having cemented himself as one of the better all around outfielders in baseball, Wilson may not be long for this list. But for now, the catalyst for the great teams of the 1970’s and 80’s deserves his spot.