No. 40) Darrell Porter, catcher, 1977-80
The late Darrell Porter was a native of Joplin, Missouri, and was a star for the Kansas City Royals over his four-year tenure (1977-1980). Over those four seasons, he knocked in 300 runs and walked an astounding 318 times, while appearing in the All-Star game three times. Porter was also the Rookie of the Year in 1973 with Milwaukee.
His incredible eye took his on-base percentage through the roof. Porter went on to rival St. Louis, where he won a World Series and the World Series MVP in 1982. He returned to face Kansas City as a member of the opposition in the 1985 World Series. Otherwise, Porter was a pioneer in terms of players admitting to and being open about their substance abuse.
No. 39) Gil Meche, starting pitcher, 2007-10
Prior to the 2007 season, Gil Meche inked a five-year, $55 million contract with the Kansas City Royals. This was, at the time, the biggest contract in team history. In his first two seasons, Meche lived up to the hype. He led the league both seasons with 34 starts and was named an All-Star in the 2007 season.
For the rest of his tenure in Kansas City, however, Meche was oft-injured and not himself. His 2009 and 2010 campaigns were disappointing, and Kansas City Royals fans had focused their attention on a stud by the name of Zack Greinke. Meche, notably and respectably, forfeited his salary for 2011 and retired, releasing the rest of the contract’s money back to the team.