This upcoming weekend my dad and I were all set to attend a few Spring Training games in Surprise, AZ. As all of you have probably heard, these games are not going to take place across both the Cactus and Grapefruit League’s. A mixture of sadness and angry flow through my body as I have yet to attend an MLB spring training game in my 28 year old lifetime. As an avid baseball fan, coach, and guru one would have to assume that this little trip has been on my bucket list for quite sometime – and you’d be correct. With no baseball on the horizon I decided to come up with my hometown team’s “all-time” stating lineup. The Kansas City Royals have won two World Series titles and a good portion of this list and lineup helped bring those championships back to Kansas City.
For this evaluation I chose the best Royals player of all time for each position along with three starting pitchers and a relief pitcher. If the MLB lockout persists, I plan to post more where other teams are featured. My all-time Royals starting pitchers compiled 552 wins with a combined career ERA of 3.52 (Paul Splittorff, Zack Greinke, and Bret Saberhagen). Coming out the bullpens as the career saves leader for Kansas City with 304 career saves is Jeff Montgomery. The catcher for the Royals hold the single season homerun record for the club and holds a career batting average of .270. He is a fan favorite and brings a smile to everyone’s faces, especially children (Salvador Perez – 7x All Star, 5x Gold Glove, 4x Silver Slugger, World Series MVP). At 1st base, this player possesses a career .297 average while being the one bright spot for the Royals franchise during its darkest period in the late 90’s and early 2000’s (Mike Sweeney – 5x All Star). The second basemen for the Kansas City Royals dream team lead the MLB twice in number of hits and is a two time All Star (Whit Merrifield). Standing at the hot corner is a player who many would argue to be the greatest Royal of all time. This ball-player holds a career batting average of .305, leads the Royals franchise is number of base-hits along with many other statistical categories (George Brett – AL MVP, 13x All Star, 1x Gold Glove, 3x Silver Slugger, 3x Batting Title, ALCS MVP). The shortstop for this squad number is retired by the Royals and is now seen on television as a commercial spokesman and MLB Network analyst. He is a speedster and a muscle man with 160 career homeruns and 178 stolen bases (Frank White – 5x All Star, 8x Gold Glove, 1x Silver Slugger, ALCS MVP). Originally a third basemen in college, the quote-un-quote “hometown kid” was the Royal’s first round pick in 2005 out of the Nebraska University.
This player was one of three crucial pieces to winning the 2015 World Series against the New York Mets; your left fielder, Alex Gordon (3x All Star, 8x Gold Glove, 2x Platinum Glove). To Alex Gordon’s left, the center fielder for the all-time Royals was a late round draft pick out of a junior college in Florida. This outfielder was the third pivotal piece for the Royals World Series success in 2015 (Lorenzo Cain – 2x All Star, 1x Gold Glove, ALCS MVP). Our final player for the Royals all-time franchise team is not only our right fielder, but the oldest Royal in this particular line-up. This batting is a career .290 hitter while playing for the Royals for 15 seasons (Hal McRae – 3x All Star, 1x Silver Slugger).
Click through the slideshow to take a look at each of the “all-time” Royals to put a face to the name and all of the achievements that each of them has tallied up throughout their great careers. Tonight in NCAAB I like the Cornhuskers on Senior Night over the Hawkeyes as 12.5 point dogs and the UNDER on this game of 161.5 as Iowa shot lights out the other night against Michigan St. I do not foresee them shooting this well in back-to-back games; hence, siding with the lower TOTAL margin.