As we approach the Midsummer Classic tonight, taking heed that "THIS TIME IT COUNTS!" let's go back and look at some of the top performances in the All-Star Game from Royals representatives. The Royals have been represented by a Hall of Famer, an NFL star, five Gold Glovers, two batting champs, two Cy Young Award winners, and Mark Redman. Here is your list of Royals All-Stars, in order of most appearances.
George Brett (1976*, 1977*, 1978*, 1979*, 1980, 1981, 1982*, 1983*, 1984*, 1985*, 1986, 1987, 1988)
Mike Sweeney (2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2005)
Frank White (1978, 1979*, 1981, 1982, 1986)
Amos Otis (1970, 1971, 1972, 1973*, 1976)
Cookie Rojas (1971, 1972, 1973, 1974)
Jeff Montgomery (1992, 1993, 1996)
Dan Quisenberry (1982, 1983, 1984)
Darrell Porter (1978, 1979*, 1980)
Hal McRae (1975, 1976, 1982)
Fred Patek (1972, 1976, 1978*)
Jose Rosado (1997, 1999)
Mark Gubicza (1988, 1989)
Bret Saberhagen (1987*, 1990)
Willie Wilson (1982, 1983)
Steve Busby (1974, 1975)
John Mayberry (1973*, 1974)
Joakim Soria (2008)
Gil Meche (2007)
Mark Redman (2006)
Ken Harvey (2004)
Mike MacDougal (2003)
Jermaine Dye (2000*)
Dean Palmer (1998)
Kevin Appier (1995)
David Cone (1994)
Danny Tartabull (1991*)
Kevin Seitzer (1987)
Bo Jackson (1989*)
Kurt Stilwell (1988)
Larry Gura (1980)
Lou Piniella (1972)
Richie Scheinblum (1972)
Ellie Rodriguez (1969)
Great Royals performances in the All-Star Game have been few and far between. Back when the Royals were good and were sending multiple stars, the American League was routinely getting its butt handed to it by the National League. By the time the American League had reversed that trend, the Royals were down to their obligatory representative who spent most of the game from the dugout. But there have been a few moments for Royals fans to cheer as the Junior Circuit and Senior Circuit clashed every July. Here are some of the top moments:
Honorable Mention: Royal Flush
2000 - This game was not really that great, but it was notable in that the then hapless-Royals actually got a guy voted into the starting lineup in Jermaine Dye. He went 0-2 in Atlanta, but in the fourth inning he walked. Mike Sweeney came on to pinch hit and he reached on an error by Barry Larkin, meaning there were two Royals on base at the same time, something we may never see again in All-Star history.
10. Ape Tosses No-No
1995 - Kevin Appier tossed two hitless innings, combining with Randy Johnson and Dennis Martinez for the longest no-hitter to start the All-Star Game, holding the NL hitless until the sixth. Appier got five hitters to ground out, including Barry Bonds, and struck out Vinny Castilla, but the AL would go on to fall 3-2 in Texas.
9. Sabes Starts
1987 - Bret Saberhagen became the only Royals pitcher to ever start an All-Star Game in 1987. He proved to be up to the task, tossing three shutout innings in Oakland. He retired nine of the ten batters he faced, allowing just a first inning double.
8. One Man Show
1984 - George would homer off Charlie Lea in the second inning to tie the game. That would be the only run the AL would muster in a 3-1 loss in Candlestick Park.
7. Sweet Home Chicago
1990 - Bret Saberhagen fulfilled a childhood dream by getting to pitch at Wrigley Field, just miles from his hometown. He tossed two shutout innings, striking out Mike Scioscia and collecting the win.
6. Goin' Back to Cali
1978 - George Brett started his third consecutive All-Star Game in San Diego and as a California native, he felt right at home. After a leadoff triple by Rod Carew to start the game, Brett would get things going early with an RBI double. He would go on to score to give the AL a 2-0 lead. He began a nice double play to end a threat in the second. In the fifth he would single and steal second off Ted Simmons. Brett's nemesis, Rich Gossage, would end up blowing the game for the AL by allowing four runs in the eighth.
5. Brett Aids a Blowout
1983 - The AL took out some frustration on the NL domination in the All-Star Game by romping over the Senior Circuit in a 13-3 blowout at Comiskey Park. George Brett was involved in the scoring, knocking in a run in the first on a sacrifice fly to tie the game. In the third, he tripled and scored in what would be a seven-run inning for the AL. In the eighth, Brett doubled and scored again to cap off the route. Willie Wilson would also have an RBI double and Dan Quisenberry would close the game out with a scoreless ninth.
4. Cookie Cracks a Homer
1972 - In 1972, the Royals sent a franchise record five players to the All-Star Game in Atlanta. Cookie Rojas was a huge fan favorite among Royals fans and was hitting nearly .300 when he was named as an American League reserve at second base. He entered the game in the eighth inning for Rod Carew with the AL trailing 3-2 with one on and two out. He promptly cracked a two-run home run off Bill Stoneman to give the junior circuit the lead. The AL would cough up the lead in the 9th, but Rojas would turn a nifty double play to keep the tie.
3. Frank Can Hit Too!
1986 - Frank White would see just one pitch in the 1986 All-Star Game, but it was the one he liked. He homered off the first pitch offered by Astros pitcher Mike Scott in the Astrodome to give the AL a 3-0 lead. It would be a huge run as the NL battled back to a 3-2 deficit in the ninth. But Frank would turn a double play in the ninth to end the game and preserve the AL victory.
2. KC Spotlight
1973 - This was the only All-Star Game played in Kansas City, a 7-1 National League victory. It was also the last All-Star Game for Hall of Famer Willie Mays. Two Royals made the starting lineup - centerfielder Amos Otis and first baseman John Mayberry, as well as former Kansas City Athletics shortstop Bert Campaneris. Mayberry would double in three at-bats, but Otis would thrill Royals fans with two singles, including an RBI single in the second, as well as a stolen base off Reds catcher Johnny Bench.
1. Bo knows All-Star Games.
1989 - The 1989 All-Star Game was all about Bo. He was the leading vote-getter that year, and he proved the fans right by homering off Rick Reuschel in the bottom of the first inning. It was a towering shot to dead center into the covered seats at Anaheim Stadium, an estimated 450 feet away. Bo wasn't done yet. He drove in a run and stole a base in the second inning, singled in the fourth, and made a running catch in the gap off a Pedro Guerrero liner. He became the only Royals player ever to be named All-Star Game MVP.
"When the ball hit the bat, it sounded like he hit a golf ball."
-Dodgers Manager Tommy Lasorda