The KC Royals got a pair of future franchise Hall of Famers from Cincinnati.
Kansas City fans know the names Hal McRae and Jeff Montgomery and should forever thank Cincinnati for giving them the two team Hall of Famers.
After the 1972 season, the Reds traded McRae and Wayne Simpson to the Royals in for Roger Nelson and Richie Scheinblum. Nelson was coming off a career season with Kansas City (11-6, 2.08 ERA, 0.871 WHIP) while Scheinblum hit .300 and was an AL All-Star.
After hitting only .257 in four years with the Reds, McRae turned it on in Kansas City, slashing .293/.356/.458 in 15 seasons. His Royal-career 1,012 RBIs and 449 doubles rank behind only George Brett, and he also had 169 home runs, 63 triples, 616 walks, and 105 stolen bases.
McRae was also a three-time All-Star, hit over .300 six times (and .313 in 18 games in 1987, his last season) and finished second to Brett’s .333 in the 1976 American League batting race with a .332 average. He led the majors with 54 doubles in 1977 and with 46 doubles and 133 RBIs in 1982.
The Royals acquired Montgomery in a 1988 trade for Van Snider. While Snider only lasted two seasons with Cincinnati, Montgomery became one of the best all-time KC relievers. He’s the club’s career leader in saves with 304 and appearances with 686, was a three-time All-Star, and tied for the AL lead with 45 saves in 1993.
Montgomery also earned his share of accolades. He was the 1993 AL Fireman of the Year, 1998 Royals Pitcher of the Year and the 10th pitcher in major league history to record 300 saves—and the first to collect them all with one club.
Montgomery is now a Royals television analyst.
Throughout their history, the Royals have had great luck trading with Cincinnati. Charlie Leibrandt and Johnny Cueto both helped the club to World Series titles, while Jeff Montgomery and Hal McRae became franchise Hall of Famers.