Nearly forty years ago, Kansas City Royals legend Amos Otis helped eight kids stranded during one of the city’s most devastating floods in history. Now, he’s being honored by one of those he helped.
Amos Otis recorded 129 assists during his 17-year Major League career with 14 of those seasons as a member of the Kansas City Royals. But the career outfielder’s greatest assist of all came on a day his team got rained out.
On Sept. 12, 1977, Kansas City was scheduled to play Oakland at then-Royals Stadium. However, a torrential rainstorm that ultimately dropped 16 inches of rain on Kansas City forced a postponement, but not before fans had already made their way to the ballpark.
As reported earlier this week by the Kansas City Star’s Eric Adler, Missouri state representative Richard Brown, who was then just 14 years old, made his way to Royals Stadium but becoming stranded in the area following the rainout.
According to Adler, Brown and seven other boys made their way to lobby of the nearby Holiday Inn. Several Royals players, one of whom was Otis, sat at the hotel bar. The 30-year-old Otis took it upon himself to help the stranded group of boys.
Now, as Adler reported, Otis is being honored for the act of kindness.
At the time Adler’s article was posted, Brown had been unable to reach Otis to award him a proclamation honoring his Good Samaritan actions. However after the article was published online Thursday, Otis spoke with Adler for a follow-up story posted on Friday.
And based on the following passage in that second article, it appears Otis, now 70, will possibly visit Kansas City next week to receive his proclamation:
"Otis said that he and his agent are trying to arrange a time, perhaps Tuesday, the 40th anniversary of the flood, when Otis might come to Kansas City to accept the proclamation and meet Brown and any of the other boys from that night, all of whom would now be middle-aged men."
Otis, who ranks third in Kansas City Royals history for games played (1,891), will be able to add the plaque to a list of several honors for his on-field play. Over his career, Otis earned five All-Star nods and three Gold Gloves—all of which came during his stint with the Royals.
Statistically, Otis enjoyed a stellar career in Kansas City—whether you go by advanced stats or more traditional counting ones. His Royals career WAR of 44.6 puts him second behind only George Brett. Otis also ranks in the top five in Royals history for runs scored, hits, doubles, triples, home runs, stolen bases and runs batted in.
Those stats—as impressive as they are—pale in comparison to the impact Otis made on that September night almost four decades ago.
As he told Adler in Friday’s article, “That put me on top of the world.”