Kansas City Royals Franchise Four Retrospective

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Mandatory Credit: Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports

Bret Saberhagen

Bret Saberhagen was a very interesting pitcher for the Kansas City Royals. When he was on, Saberhagen was nigh on unhittable. When he was off, however, Saberhagen was just about league average. Of course, during those early years on the Royals, it was fairly easy to know which Saberhagen they would get, as he was brilliant during odd numbered years while struggling the following season.

Even during those dominant years, Saberhagen’s career was a bit peculiar. During the two seasons that he won a Cy Young award, in 1985 and 1989, Saberhagen did not make the All-Star Team. His snubbing in 1989, when he led the American League with 23 wins, a 2.16 ERA, a 0.961 WHiP and 262.1 innings, was truly remarkable. Did Mike Henneman or Jeffrey Leonard really deserve to make the All-Star Team more than Saberhagen? #VoteSabes!

Through his time with the Royals, Saberhagen established himself as arguably the best starting pitcher in team history. He produced a 110-78 record during his time in Kansas City, with a 3.21 ERA and a 1.134 WHiP, the second best mark in Royals history. Just imagine what he could have done if he managed to find some semblance of consistency during those early years.

Bret Saberhagen may not be the all time Kansas City Royals leader in any of the individual pitching categories, but there is no question that he was a truly dominant starter. Add in his epic performance during Game Seven of the 1985 World Series, and Saberhagen was an easy choice for the Royals Mount Rushmore.

Next: Perhaps the second best player in Royals history