The ’95 KC Royals: The last short season revisited

(Photo by Stephen Dunn /Allsport)
(Photo by Stephen Dunn /Allsport) /
3 of 4
KC Royals,
KC Royals, /

Four veteran KC Royals pitchers–three starters and a reliever–led the 1995 staff.

Kevin Appier was the ace of the David Cone-less 1995 starting rotation. He was 15-10 with a 3.89 ERA (123 ERA+) in 31 starts; despite the shortened season, he gave the KC Royals over 200 innings for the fourth time in his career. He was better the first half (11-5) than the second (4-5) and his 5-1 July was his best month of the season. He pitched three more seasons and part of a fourth for the club before leaving for stints with the A’s, Mets and Angels, but returned to KC for his final two seasons. He finished his career with a 169-137 record and 3.74 ERA.

Appier ranks fourth all-time among KC pitchers in wins (115), starts (275), and innings pitched (1,843.2); seventh in shutouts (7); and 10th in complete games (32).

Tom Gordon finished 12-12 in his last season with the KC Royals, one of three times he won 12 games in his eight years with the club. (His best season was 1989 when he went 17-9). Gordon fared better on the road (8-5) than at home (4-7) and won three games in each of three months. He opted for free agency after the season and signed with Boston. Gordon won 79 games for the Royals and 138 in his career.

Mark Gubiczaa 14-game winner for the 1985 World Series champions, finished his 12th, and next to last, Royals season with a 12-14, 3.75 ERA record. His 213.1 innings pitched led the club; he started 33 games, finished three and threw two shutouts. Gubicza became a free agent after the campaign, re-signed with the Royals and went 4-12 in 1996, then was traded to the Angels. He appeared in two games for the Halos and never pitched in the majors again. He won 132 games in 14 seasons and is now a broadcaster.

Jeff Montgomery had another good season as the Royals’ closer, a job he won in 1990, saving 31 games in 54 appearances. Montgomery, now a broadcaster on the Royals network, is the club’s all-time saves leader (304), has appeared in more games (686) than any other KC pitcher and has the fourth-best opponents’ batting average against (.239).