With a list based solely on a statistic—even one as all-encompassing as WAR—there are bound to be some great players left out. Some players suffered injuries that derailed promising careers; others got traded before getting to play in their prime for the Kansas City Royals.
Here are some of the best Royals outfielders who didn’t quite crack the top-10.
Al Cowens (1974-79, 12.1 WAR)
Cowens began his career in Kansas City and put together one of the greatest individual seasons in Royals history in 1977. In his age 25 season, Cowens finished second in the MVP race and won a Gold Glove. That season Cowens, who sits 11th in career WAR among Kansas City Royals outfielders, had 189 hits (32 doubles, 14 triples and 23 home runs), 112 RBI and a triple-slash line of .312/.361/.525.
Ed Kirkpatrick (1969-73, 9.3 WAR)
One of the original Royals, Kirkpatrick played a lot of catcher during his career. However, he also spent a good chunk of time in the outfield of old Municipal Stadium. According to the Los Angeles Times, the man known as “Spanky” was involved in a serious car accident not long after finishing his playing career. The accident left him with partial paralysis until his death in 2010 at the age of 66.
Jermaine Dye (1997-2001, 8.9 WAR)
Dye joined the Kansas City Royals after a solid rookie season in Atlanta. Around the turn of the century, he teamed with Carlos Beltran and Johnny Damon to form one of the most exciting young outfields in baseball. Dye was traded to Oakland in 2001 after finishing the previous two season with 27 home runs and 119 RBI and 33 home runs and 118 RBI, respectively.
Bo Jackson (1986-90, 7.0 WAR)
One of the greatest athletes in history, Jackson famously had his multi-sport career cut short by a hip injury suffered while playing football for the Oakland Raiders. Before his injury—and subsequent baseball comeback attempt, Jackson made a name for himself as an outfielder for the Kansas City Royals. In 1989, the Heisman Trophy winner earned All-Star Game MVP honors after leading off the game with a massive home run.
Now, on to the top-10 list.