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Royals Mount Rushmore
David Zlotnik

Kansas City Royals Mount Rushmore: The Small-Market Stars

Royals Mount Rushmore

Kansas City Royals Mount Rushmore: The Small-Market Stars

Since their creation in 1969, the Royals have struggled to be near the top of baseball, making the playoffs just 9 total times with 2 World Series wins. Their small-market nature have always given them the underdog attitude and has in turn led to some legends that will be remembered as a Royals all-time great forever. Choosing which four to represent the Royals Mount Rushmore was a tough task, but I believe the four below represent the grit and greatest moments that the franchise has celebrated.

George Brett

Every Royals list must start with this man. He leads the franchise all-time in position player WAR, runs scored, hits, home runs, runs batted in, walks, runs created, and about a dozen other stats. There has never been any superstar like him in the history of the franchise, and he excelled at nearly every aspect of the game. Brett also lead the team in WAR (8.3) when they were able to capture their first championship back in 1985. Add on top of all of this his 13 All-Star appearances, MVP Award, and Hall of Fame status, and Brett isn’t only by far the greatest Royals player of all-time, but a player who is recognized across all of baseball for his legend status.

Kevin Appier

It makes sense for a baseball team’s Mount Rushmore to contain two hitters and two pitchers, and Appier is a strong start for that goal. Although his career metrics aren’t too jaw-dropping, when put in the context of Royals all-time pitchers, Appier is at the top. Appier’s 47.1 pitching WAR is first all-time amongst Royals pitchers, his 1,458 strikeouts also ranks first, and his 115 wins ranks in fourth. Although he played during the long stretch of years in the 80s, 90s, and early 2000s in which the Royals never made the playoffs, Appier stuck with the franchise for most of his career, giving all that he could to the team and the city, which he should certainly get credit for doing.

Bret Saberhagen

Saberhagen played on the Royals for less seasons than Appier, and had less above average seasons with the club, but the fact that he is the only Royal ever to win multiple Cy Young Awards gives him leverage against many other candidates. Saberhagen won the Cy Young Award for the Royals during the 1985 and 1989 seasons, winning a gold glove in 1989, and collecting total 2 All-Star appearances (which were oddly during two other seasons). In Royals history, Saberhagen ranks 2nd in pitching WAR and is fourth in both ERA and strikeouts. Although he spent just 8 years with the club, his pure dominance during certain seasons makes him a prime selection for the Royals Mount Rushmore.

Salvador Perez

Watching the Royals win the World Series back in 2015 was one of the most impressive things I have ever seen, simply because of the fact that the team had no superstar player, and everything simply came together at the perfect time. If the team did have a superstar, I would have chosen them, but instead I’ll go with one of the only players from that team who is still on the Royals, and just came off a season in which he lead all of baseball in both home runs and runs batted in. He was, at the end of the day, the 2015 World Series MVP, hitting .364 in that series, and remains on the team today as the figurehead of the organization as they attempt to rebuild up to where they once were.

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