Mandatory Credit: Peter G. Aiken-USA TODAY Sports
Relief Pitcher – Jeff Montgomery
The Kansas City Royals built their dynasty in the mid 1970’s through the mid 1980’s on a series of excellent trades and intelligent drafting. Their acquisition of Jeff Montgomery, who was acquired for the highly thought of Van Snider, was another such move, even if it did not result in a return to the postseason.
Montgomery, who had struggled with the Cincinnati Reds, became the heir to Dan Quisenberry in the closer role. A three time All-Star, Montgomery continued the tradition of excellent closers in Kansas City. While a vastly different pitcher than his predecessor, Montgomery was able to lead to quite the smooth transition.
Along the way, he became the Kansas City Royals all time leader with 304 saves while posting a 3.20 ERA and a 1.233 WHiP. In his 849.1 innings with the Royals, Montgomery struck out 720 batters while issuing 287 walks. He led the American League with 45 saves in 1993 as he earned his only Relief Pitcher of the Year award.
These days, Jeff Montgomery may be known as a postgame announcers on the Royals broadcasts, but it was not all that long ago where he was closing out games in Kauffman Stadium. His consistency and excellence are certainly worth a place in the all time Royals bullpen.
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