Replacing a KC Royals Legend: Dan Quisenberry Edition

The Royals look for someone new to close the door.
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Kansas City makes the call to another legend

Farr didn't pitch poorly in his new role. In 1988, he appeared in 62 games and posted a 2.50 ERA with 20 saves. But he had company in the pen. The Royals traded to get Jeff Montgomery from Cincinnati before the '88 season; the Reds had held out hope for Montgomery as a starter, but Kansas City committed to him as a bullpen piece.

Montgomery got his feet wet in 1988, and the Royals made him Farr's setup man the following season. As the Royals won 92 games and chased the juggernaut A's in the AL West, Farr and Montgomery put up remarkably similar numbers: both recorded 18 saves and appeared in 60-plus games, but Montgomery was dominant with a 1.37 ERA and 0.989 WHIP, while Farr had a 4.12 ERA ERA and 1.532 WHIP.

The Royals were shrewd enough to see where the future lay. Montgomery was better, younger and, at least for the time being, cheaper. They let Farr walk in free agency, he signed with the Yankees, and had a productive three-year run with them, recording 30 saves in 1992. Farr retired after the infamous 1994 strike.

Montgomery, on the other hand, etched his name in Royals' history. He saved 33 games in 1991, the first of five times he reached or bettered that mark during his career. His best season was 1993, when he tied Quisenberry's then-single-season club save record with 45. That mark was broken by Greg Holland, who posted 47 saves in 2013, but Montgomery still holds the club's career saves record with 304. He's a Royals club Hall of Famer and currently part of their broadcast team.

Like Quisenberry, the end came too soon for Montgomery. He saved 36 games in 1998, but his peripheral numbers dropped dramatically, setting the stage for a rough final season in 1999. Montgomery posted a 6.84 ERA and 1.812 WHIP in his last go-around, but that should not diminish his accomplishments in any way. Once he was gone, the Royals would not see another dominant closer until Joakim Soria arrived in 2007.

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