Why the KC Royals should retire Amos Otis’ number

(Photo by Focus on Sport/Getty Images)
(Photo by Focus on Sport/Getty Images) /

The KC Royals definitely don’t overdo retired numbers. As Kings of Kauffman’s Mark McCarthy pointed out in his recent story on the subject, and besides Jackie Robinson’s No. 42 which Major League Baseball retired across the game, the Royals have only three retired numbers—George Brett’s No. 5, Frank White’s No. 20, and Dick Howser’s No.10.

The last time the Royals retired a uniform number was 1995 (White’s No. 20), and with so few retired numbers in franchise history, it seems about time they honor another star player.

Alex Gordon, retired World Series champion manager Ned Yost, and Salvador Perez will likely be the last to wear their jersey numbers. Kings of Kauffman’s Mike Gillespie made a case for retiring former skipper Whitey Herzog’s number a couple of years ago. And there are plenty of other deserving players, like the late Dan Quisenberry and Willie Wilson.

Today’s discussion, though, is about the No. 26 of Amos Otis.

Amos Otis should be honored by retiring his No. 26 KC Royals jersey number.

Simply put, Otis is one of the top players in Royals history, perhaps even the second best behind Brett.

And his numbers prove it. He slashed .280/.347/.433 with a .780 OPS in 14 years with KC. He’s among the Top 5 in several team all-time categories—he’s second to Brett with a 44.8 WAR, 1,074 runs, and 739 walks, and to Wilson with 340 stolen bases. He’s third with 1,977 hits, 65 triples, and 992 RBIs, and fourth with 365 doubles, 193 home runs, and 623 extra base hits.

Otis also was a five-time All-Star, three-time Gold Glove winner, and three-time Royals Player of the Year. He finished in the top 10 in MVP voting four times.

Otis was also a clutch postseason hitter with a .295/.360/.487 slash, .848 OPS, three home runs, 11 RBIs, eight stolen bases and eight walks in 22 games. His best postseason performance came in the six-game 1980 World Series when he slashed .478/.538/.957 with a 1.495 OPS and seven RBIs.

One former KC Royals star speaks quite highly of Amos Otis’ baseball skills.

Plenty of people have spoken highly of Otis, including fellow club Hall of Famer Frank White, who noted baseball writer Jeffrey Flanagan reports once said of him:

"“When people ask me about the guys I played with, they will say, ‘George Brett is the greatest hitter in Kansas City history.’ And I agree with that. But as far as a player, if you judge him in every facet of the game, this guy here [Amos Otis] is the best player who ever played for the Kansas City Royals.”"

Otis was a complete player—highly skilled not only offensively, but defensively, too. He was an all-around player any major league team would have loved to have had.

In all, 26 players have worn the No. 26 in club history, with 24 of them coming after Otis left Kansas City. For being one of the best overall players in team history, it seems only right that the Royals honor Otis by retiring his No. 26.

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Amos Otis was one of the best players in Kansas City history and is more than deserving of being honored with a number retirement.