The KC Royals and Home Run Derby through the years
Danny Tartabull, the 1991 Derby participant who peaked with the KC Royals.
Danny Tartabull originally started out as a shortstop with the Seattle Mariners before being traded to Kansas City in exchange for Scott Bankhead, Mike Kingery, and Steve Shields prior to the 1987 season. During his years as a Royal from 1987-1991, Tartabull—nicknamed “The Bull”—proved to be a great power hitter like Bo Jackson.
Tartabull homered 124 times for the Royals. He hit over 30 home runs in three of his five seasons with the ball club, his best year being his first with Kansas City in 1987 when he cracked 34.
As a right fielder and DH, Tartabull slashed .290/.376/.518 with a .894 OPS. During his 1991 All-Star season, Tartabull slugged 31 homers and slashed .316/.397/.593 with an OPS of .990. His .593 slugging percentage led the majors, topping Cal Ripken Jr.’s .566 mark that same year.
Needless to say, ’91 was when Tartabull hit his peak before falling off and hitting .252 after leaving Kansas City as a free agent after the season.
Although he only hit two home runs and didn’t advance to the second round of the ’91 Derby, there’s no doubt Tartabull was a monster hitter during his Kansas City tenure, including the time he hit three home runs in one game right before All-Star weekend: