KC Royals Immaculate Grid Cheat Codes: Lonnie Smith

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Lonnie Smith's time with the Royals did not lack drama

The St. Louis Cardinals traded Lonnie Smith to the Royals May 17, 1985. Forming a potent combination of speed and on-base percentage at the top of the lineup with Willie Wilson, Smith played a pivotal role in the Royals' championship run, en route to becoming the first player in major league history to play for both World Series participants in the same season.

In 120 games with Kansas City, he put up a .321 OBP with six home runs, 41 RBIs, 92 runs, 25 doubles, six triples, and 40 stolen bases. He topped it off with a .333/.400/.441 slash line, nine hits, four RBIs, four runs, three doubles, and two stolen bases against his former team in the World Series.

Despite his contribution to the '85 championship run, 1986 was Smith's best season in Kansas City. The left fielder slashed .287/.357/.411 with eight home runs, 44 RBIs, 80 runs, 25 doubles, seven triples, 26 stolen bases, and a 108 OPS+. Unfortunately, the situation in Kansas City soured the following season.

Smith got sideways with management, primarily general manager John Schuerholz, and he played only 48 games in 1987. The reasons behind the falling out are not entirely clear, but it was reported the two clashed over drug testing (Smith had previously gone through rehabilitation as a Cardinal), and it was also reported Smith believed Schuerholz lowballed him on a contract offer.

But that's where the story gets bonkers. Entering free agency after the 1987 season, Smith found no suitors. He reportedly reacted in two ways: he believed Schuerholz was "bad-mouthing" him and, planning to murder Schuerholz, bought a pistol. Fortunately, Braves GM Bobby Cox called with a job offer and Smith abandoned his reported plan.