Kansas City Royals Countdown: Top 10 Individual Pitching Seasons

KANSAS CITY, MO - JUNE 17: Zack Greinke
KANSAS CITY, MO - JUNE 17: Zack Greinke /
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No. 5) Dan Quisenberry 1983

Dan Quisenberry had a remarkable four-year stretch from 1982-85. But we chose just one of his seasons to include here—even though it could be argued each of them should be on the list. In each of those four seasons, Quisenberry finished in the top three in Cy Young voting. He earned an All-Star nod in the first three of those seasons, while finishing as high as fourth in MVP voting (1984).

The late Quisenberry earned selection in 2015 as one of the Franchise Four, alongside George Brett, Frank White and Bret Saberhagen. All four were members of the 1985 World Series-winning team, but—in our opinion—that wasn’t his greatest season. Although he did help the Kansas City Royals win a long-awaited world championship two years later, Quisenberry’s best season came in 1983.

It’s easy to say ’83 was his best season by pointing to the fact he set his career-high in saves (45) that year. However, he also set his personal best in WHIP (0.93) and had his second-lowest ERA (1.94)—and lowest since moving to closer on a full-time basis.

Quisenberry led the league in appearances (69). Despite being called on fewer times than in any of the other years of his great run or his solid 1980 season, the submarine pitcher threw more innings (139) than any other season in his career.

He ended up spending the end of his career in the National League, but Quisenberry will always be remembered as a Kansas City Royals player. And his 1983 season should be remembered as the crown jewel of a wonderful career.