Mandatory Credit: Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports
9. Jeff Montgomery
Jeff Montgomery will come up quite a bit on any all time greats list for the Kansas City Royals. He took over from Dan Quisenberry as the Royals closer, and arguably was every bit as good as the wisecracking submariner, setting a team record with 304 career saves.
Even though Montgomery did not have the same peak that Quisenberry had, he was remarkably consistent throughout his career. From the time that he took over as the Royals closer full time in 1989, Montgomery averaged 29 saves a year, and had fewer than 20 saves only twice from 1989 through 1998. While this may not seem impressive now, Montgomery’s 27 saves were enough for the second most in the American League in 1994, and his 24 saves in 1996 were tenth.
In addition to his 304 saves, which is still 24th in baseball history, Montgomery produced a 44-50 record with a 3.20 ERA and a 1.233 WHiP, striking out 720 batters in 849.1 innings. He may not have been the flamethrower that closers have been expected to be these days, but he was a solid bridge for what we would come to expect from the Royals bullpen in the past few years.
It is difficult to follow up a legend, but Jeff Montgomery did just that with the Kansas City Royals. Not only did he perform at the level the Royals came to expect from Quisenberry, but he arguably became his equal.
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