Kansas City Royals Countdown: Top Five First Basemen
By David Hill
4. Willie Aikens (1980-1983, 9.2 WAR)
Willie Aikens had a lot of demons in his life. He was suspended for cocaine during his playing career, and afterwards, was busted for selling crack to an undercover police officer. He spent over a decade in prison, but since he came out, has managed to rebuild his life. Now a coach in the Royals minor league system, he even received his World Series ring back 33 years after it was stolen.
And what a World Series that was for Aikens! He cemented his place in Kansas City Royals history, blasting two home runs in two different games. Even though the Royals would go on to lose the series in six games, Aikens did his part, producing a .400/.538/1.100 batting line, driving in eight runs and hitting those aforementioned four bombs.
During his four years with the Royals, producing a .282/.362/.469 batting line with 77 home runs. Aikens hit over 20 home runs twice in those four years, and likely would have had a third season with over 20 if not for the strike in 1981. He was never a great defensive first baseman, but he could hold his own and generally not be an embarrassment in the field.
Aikens was only 28 when his career with the Royals was cut short due to his drug problems. One has to wonder what his career would have been like otherwise. Even with those issues, he still posted the fourth highest WAR at first in team history, and made an indelible impact on the franchise.
Next: A second helping of Country Breakfast