Having a little fun before the season, we take a look back at some of the names that have graced the roster of the Kansas City Royals
I consider myself an above average Kansas City Royals fan when it comes to knowledge of the history of the organization, but taking a look back through some of the rosters and statistics of seasons long ended, I even find some names that leave me head scratching.
About a month ago I found myself look through all the names of past Royals and toyed around with the idea of turning into some sort of writing. So I present a roster made up of some of the top names of players who have donned a Kansas City Royals jersey at one time or another. Many will remember some, and others even the biggest of Royals historians will likely have to pull out the history books to obtain more information.
Scotti Madison 1987-88
You don't often run into too many Scotty's, or anyone who spells it with an I as the last letter, but Madison played in 23 games over two seasons with Kansas City. He had a .200 batting average with two RBI in 50 at-bats before signing with the Cincinnati Reds before the 1989 season.
Pete LaCock 1977-80
We won't get into much detail about his name, but this former Royals first basemen is long remembered by baseball fans much more for his name than his ability on the field, though he did play nine seasons at the major league level. In 452 games for the Royals, LaCock batted .277/.329/.380 with 12 home runs and 151 RBI before being granted free agency following the 1980 season. Currently his is a baseball coach in Australia.
LaCock is also the last batter who faced Hall-of-Fame pitcher Bob Gibson, ironically hitting a grand slam in the at-bat. His father Peter Marshall was also the host of the game show, Hollywood Squares. Marshall chose a stage name, while the younger did not.
Mark Grudzielanek 2006-08
Grudzielanek is still a last name I have trouble spelling, and Mark is a recent Royals player having played in 336 games from 2006-08. He won a Gold Glove in 2006, his first season with the team. One of the biggest thrills of 2008 was the standing ovation that Grudzie received at The K after collecting his 2,000th career hit during a major league career that spanned 15 years.
Rance Mulliniks 1980-81
Only one of two Rance's to ever have played in the major leagues, Rance was actually the middle name of Steven Mulliniks. Rance played just two years for Kansas City before being shipped to Toronto for Phil Huffman. Mulliniks would go on to played 11 more season for the Blue Jays, while Huffman would never appear in a game for the Royals.
Julius Matos 2003
Ahhh Julius Matos. I'd like to say I remember the 28 games you played for Kansas City in 2003, but I do not. You even hit two home runs in 57 at-bats, but you were never heard from again after that season.
Sandy Valdespino 1971
This seems like one of those made up names on a baseball video game. However Valdespino enjoyed a seven year major league career which ended with an 18 game stint as a Kansas City Royal in 1971. He actually hit .317/.338/.508 with two home runs and 15 RBI, but the 32 year-old was never heard from again at the major league level.
Coco Crisp 2009
Covelli Crisp came to the Royals in a trade prior to the 2009 season. Currently in his third season with the Oakland Athletics, Crisp spent one season in Kansas City, hitting .228/.336/.378 with three home runs and 14 RBI. I don't recall why, but I do remember his home run to right field in a game against the Chicago White Sox.
Trenidad Hubbard 2001
The only Trenidad to ever play in the major leagues, Hubbard's given last name was actually Trent. He had it changed to to Trenidad to complicate things. He would appear in a whooping five games with the Royals during a 10-year major league career. His overall claim to fame may be having three separate stints with the Chicago Cubs.
Chili Davis 1997
Another nickname, Charles Davis spent 19 seasons in the big leagues and played one season with the Royals at the back end of his career. Davis hit 30 home runes and had 90 RBI while batting .279 at the age of 37. He would leave for the New York Yankees after the season, but Davis totaled 350 career home runs.
Vida Blue 1982-83
Blue spent two seasons of his stellar career with the Royals, pitching to a 13-17 record in 50 games (45 starts). He'd go back to the San Fransico Giants as a free-agent in 1985 after sitting out the 1984 season.
Storm Davis 1990-91
After a stellar 1989 season with the Oakland Athletics, which Davis was 19-7, he signed a free agent contract with the Royals. However he wouldn't find the same success with Kansas City, as he was just 10-19 in two seasons while being relegated to the bullpen. He'd later be jettisoned to the Baltimore Orioles for catcher Bob Melvin.
Atlee Hammaker 1981
As a 23-year old rookie in '81, Hammaker made six starts for the Royals and was 1-1 with 5.54 ERA. He was traded at the end of spring training in 1982 to the San Francisco Giants for Vida Blue.
Runelvys Hernandez 2002-06
Hernandez, or Fat Elvis, as he was called in Kansas City sported a 25-33 record in 78 starts with Kansas City, and made Kansas City think they really had something after posting a 4-4 record with a 4.36 ERA and 1.36 WHIP his rookie season at the age of 24. However fitness seemed to be an issue, along with a rising walk rate. Still just 33-years old, Hernandez would start four games with the Houston Astros in 2008, but hasn't been heard from since.
Hector Wagner 1990-91
Another name that seems like it came from a video game, Wagner started seven games for the Royals over two years and was 1-3 with a 7.83 ERA. So this proves even when Kansas City had solid teams, they still had some terrible starting pitchers.
The rest of the All-Name roster-
C- Art Kusnyer 1978
1B- Kila Ka`aihue 2008-11
SS/2B- Buddy Biancalana 1982-87
3B- German Barranca 1979-80
OF- Ruppert Jones 1976
OF- Bombo Rivera 1982
RP- Roland de la Moza 1997
RP- Alan Hargesheimer 1986
RP- Aurelio Monteagudo 1970
RP- Hipilito Pichardo 1992-98
RP- Mac Suzuki 1999-02