These stars spent last year of career with KC Royals

(Photo credit: DAVE KAUP/AFP via Getty Images)
(Photo credit: DAVE KAUP/AFP via Getty Images) /
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Minnesota Twins, Harmon Killebrew
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This one-time MVP, six-time home run champion, and eleven-time All-Star played 106 games for the KC Royals in 1975 – his last season.

After spending 21 years with the same franchise – the Washington Senators/Minnesota Twins, the great Harmon Killebrew gave it one more go in Kansas City.  Since he debuted with the Senators as an 18-year-old in 1954, Killebrew was still not yet age 40 when he signed on with the Royals.

Before heading to the city of fountains, he clubbed 559 homers, drove in 1,540 runs, collected 2,024 hits, and scored 1,258 runs.  While he did hit his most bombs in three seasons, he only managed a .199 average an OPS+ of 93.

While far removed from the 1959-1972 years when at his peak, it would have been a great thrill to watch the Hall of Fame slugger play for the home team at Royals Stadium.  Kansas City did finish with a 91-71 record that year and it would not be hard to believe that his veteran presence was part of the reason why.

A broken ankle derailed a potential Hall of Fame career

The story of Tommy Davis is fascinating and heartbreaking.  Signing with the Los Angeles Dodgers after a talk with Jackie Robinson, Davis finished 5th in Rookie of Year voting in 1960.  By his third full season led the majors in hits, RBIs, and batting average – 230, 153, and .346, respectively.

Although the numbers went down the next year they were still very good and again he led the majors with a .326 average.  Another decrease in production the next year paled in comparison to what would happen to him in 1965.  Destroying his ankle his season was over after only 17 games.

"The leg was placed in a balloon cast in the clubhouse. “At that point I was feeling pretty good and was thinking maybe it’s not broken. Then Dr. (Robert) Kerlan came to see me, popped off the cast and said it felt like a bag of walnuts in my ankle. I said, ‘Oh man, don’t tell me that.’” He was done for the season with a break and a dislocation. –"

While he would continue to have productive seasons, the power was affected by the bad ankle with only two more double-digit home run totals.  He could still hit for average but often did not collect a full season worth of playing time.  He did become the most prolific pinch hitter in the league with 63 hits in 197 at-bats for a .320 average.

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At the age of 37, Davis gave it another go with the KC Royals but only appeared in 20 games with five singles and a walk.  He still collected 2,121 hits in his career, batted .294, and came within one game of playing 2,000 games.