Batting seventh for the KC Royals: RF Amos Otis
If the Royals had a face of the franchise in its fledgling days, it had to be Amos Otis. He carved a legacy marked by exemplary skills, consistent performance, and a myriad of accolades. Born on April 26, 1947, in Mobile, Alabama, Otis swiftly ascended to the major leagues, debuting with the New York Mets in 1967 at a mere 20 years old.
However, it was the pivotal trade to the Royals on Dec. 3, 1969, that truly catalyzed Otis's illustrious career. In Kansas City, he blossomed into a star, commencing a decade-long stretch from 1970 to 1980 where he was the linchpin of the Royals' offense. During this period, Otis boasted impressive averages of .284/.354/.443, complemented by 159 home runs, 753 RBIs, and a staggering 294 stolen bases. His offensive prowess was further highlighted by leading the American League in doubles on two occasions and topping the league in stolen bases once.
Beyond his batting exploits, Otis was a defensive virtuoso, amassing a collection of accolades that included five All-Star selections and three Gold Glove Awards. His excellence wasn't confined to the regular season; in the 1980 World Series, Otis was a beacon of brilliance, registering a scorching .478 batting average and smashing three home runs in just six games. A testament to his defensive acumen came when he set a record for putouts in a game by an outfielder during the same World Series.
Throughout his storied career, Otis graced the diamond with unforgettable moments, including an exhilarating inside-the-park home run against the Yankees in 1978 and recording his first career grand slam in the same year. As the curtains closed on his remarkable journey, Otis retired with a .277 batting average, 2,020 hits, 193 home runs, 1,007 RBIs, and 341 stolen bases. His contributions to the Royals were duly recognized with an induction into the Kansas City Royals Hall of Fame in 1986 and being crowned Royals Player of the Year on three occasions. Otis finished his career with 42.0 fWAR, trailing only the aforementioned Brett in Royals history.