Replacing a KC Royals legend: Amos Otis Edition

Amos Otis was great, but couldn't last forever.
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Amos Otis played well and looked good doing it

Otis was so good defensively that some seemed to believe he was coasting. The first great center fielder in club history had no time for highlight-reel diving catches because he knew if he did his job properly, he'd always be in position and have no need to dive. With his trademark speed and swagger, Otis had the talent to succeed with such an approach, and he set the tone for the next decade, patrolling the wide swath of real estate near the Royals Stadium fountains.

He was more than just a slick glove, though. Otis was a threat on the base paths, leading the aggressive Kansas City version of "Whitey Ball", a style of play favored by former Kansas City and St. Louis manager Whitey Herzog that focused on making contact, stealing bases, and playing great defense. He led the American League in steals in 1971, and in that same season accomplished the rare feat of stealing five bases in one game.

Otis was also no slouch with the bat. Not a big slugger, he combined legitimate pop with speed and a high OBP. Forty years after he played his last game, Otis still ranks fourth among the franchise's all-time home run leaders with 193, and he mastered the gaps of his home ballpark, hitting 374 career doubles and leading the AL in that category twice.

Otis was a five-time All-Star, three-time Gold Glove winner, and is a member of the Royals Hall of Fame. He played a key role in putting the franchise on the map and in the process became beloved by Kansas City fans.

But he couldn't play forever.