No. 1: Willie Wilson (1976-1990), the epitome of KC Royals style baseball.
The outfield and speed seemed to be a trend while compiling this list of Kansas City’s top speedsters, so it’s fitting that the greatest center fielder in Kansas City history caps it all off. Willie Wilson is a legend and, while Dyson may claim the nickname, Wilson could well have been the original “Mr. Zoombiya”.
Wilson was the backup and eventual successor to Amos Otis in center field when he first came up to the big leagues. While Otis led the American League with 52 stolen bases in 1971, Wilson blew that out of the water when he led the majors with 83 stolen bases in 1979.
Those 83 steals were the most in the American League since Ty Cobb’s 96 in 1915 with the Tigers. (The “Man of Steal” himself, Oakland’s Ricky Henderson, surpassed Wilson the next year by swiping 100 bags).
Wilson gave baseball a taste of what was to come when he stole 46 bases in 1978, his first full season in the majors. He swiped 46—fifth highest in The Show—in 127 games
Wilson ranks 12th on the all-time big league stolen base leaderboard with 668. And it’s no surprise he’s the Royals’ career leader with 612, a total that far outdistances Otis’ 340. Wilson also led the team in triples five times, including 35 in 1985, the year the club won the first World Series in team history.
The Royals have a rich history of speed. Out of all their players, Willie Wilson ranks as the best Kansas City speedster.