Batting fifth for the KC Royals: 1B John Mayberry
John Mayberry carved an indelible legacy with the Royals, becoming a cornerstone of the franchise in its earliest years. His ability at the plate earned him two All-Star selections in 1973 and 1974. Such was his impact during these seasons that he received significant MVP consideration, finishing 12th and 7th respectively. In 1975, his stellar performance culminated in a close second-place finish in the MVP race.
Mayberry's offensive achievements were nothing short of remarkable. He was the first Royal to reach the coveted 100 RBI mark, accomplishing this feat three times. His keen eye at the plate was evident as he led the American League in walks in 1973 and 1975, boasting an impressive .417 on-base percentage in the former year. His knack for power was evident in his four seasons with more than 25 home runs and three with 100 RBIs. His peak in Kansas City came in 1975, setting career highs in doubles, home runs, runs scored, and RBIs.
Setting franchise records became second nature to Mayberry. His 34 home runs in 1975 remained unmatched for years. Such contributions merited his induction into the Royals Hall of Fame in 1996. Over his six-year tenure with the Royals, he boasted a .261 batting average, complemented by 24 home runs and 92 RBIs annually. Across his illustrious 15-season career, he accumulated a .253 batting average, 255 home runs, and 879 RBIs.
Beyond his offensive prowess, Mayberry showcased defensive excellence. Leading the league in putouts and double plays as a first baseman underscored his versatility and reliability. He also boasted a stellar fielding percentage, topping the league thrice. Accolades such as the AL Player of the Week and Month further accentuated his 15-year career. It is wild to think that he racked up 21.8 fWAR in only six seasons in Kansas City, with a third of it coming in his stellar 1975 season.