The Royals have seven All-Stars tonight, six of which will be available to play in the game, so there is a good chance someone tonight could make this list of best All-Star performances in franchise history. Let's first take a look at who has appeared for the Royals in the All-Star Game:
|Player||All-Star selections with the Royals (*-starter)||Career All-Star numbers with the Royals|
|George Brett||1976*, 1977*, 1978*, 1979*, 1980, 1981, 1982*, 1983*, 1984*, 1985*, 1986, 1987, 1988||7-for-24, 1 HR, .292/.355/.583|
|Mike Sweeney||2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2005||0-for-4, 1 K|
|Frank White||1978, 1979*, 1981, 1982, 1986||1-for-7, 1 HR|
|Amos Otis||1970, 1971, 1972, 1973*, 1976||2-for-7, 1 RBI, 1 SB|
|Cookie Rojas||1971, 1972, 1973, 1974||1-for-2, 1 HR, 2 RBI, 1 BB|
|Alex Gordon||2013, 2014, 2015*||0-for-1, 1 R|
|Salvador Perez||2013, 2014*, 2015*||1-for-2, 1 R|
|Jeff Montgomery||1992, 1993, 1996||1 2/3 IP 2 H 2 ER 1 K|
|Dan Quisenberry||1982, 1983, 1984||3 IP 4 H 1 ER 0 BB 2 K|
|Darrell Porter||1978, 1979*, 1980||1-for-5, 1 2B|
|Hal McRae||1975, 1976, 1982||0-for-2, 1 BB|
|Fred Patek||1972, 1976, 1978*||1-for-3|
|Greg Holland||2013, 2014||1 1/3 IP 1 H 0 ER 1 K|
|Joakim Soria||2008, 2010||1 2/3 IP 2 H 0 ER 2 BB 2 K|
|Jose Rosado||1997, 1999||2 IP 3 H 1 ER 1 BB 2 K|
|Mark Gubicza||1988, 1989||3 IP 3 H 1 ER 3 K|
|Bret Saberhagen||1987*, 1990||5 IP 1 H 0 ER 1 K|
|Willie Wilson||1982, 1983||1-for-3, 1 2B, 1 RBI|
|Steve Busby||1974, 1975||2 IP 4 H 1 ER|
|John Mayberry||1973*, 1974||1-for-4, 1 2B, 1 BB|
|Billy Butler||2012||0-for-2, 1 K|
|Aaron Crow||2011||Did not play|
|Zack Greinke||2009||1 IP 0 R 2 K|
|Gil Meche||2007||Did not play|
|Mark Redman||2006||Did not play|
|Ken Harvey||2004||0-for-1, 1 K|
|Mike MacDougal||2003||Did not play|
|Jermaine Dye||2000*||0-for-2, 1 BB, 1 R|
|Dean Palmer||1998||0-for-1, 1 K|
|Kevin Appier||1995||2 IP 0 R 1 K|
|David Cone||1994||2 IP 4 H 3 ER 3 K|
|Danny Tartabull||1991*||0-for-2, 1 K|
|Bo Jackson||1989*||2-for-4, HR, 2 RBI, SB|
|Kurt Stillwell||1988||1 putout|
|Kevin Seitzer||1987||0-for-2, 1 BB|
|Larry Gura||1980||Did not play|
|Ellie Rodriguez||1969||Did not play|
Interestingly, Royals Hall of Famers Dennis Leonard and Paul Splittorff were never named All-Stars. Johnny Damon and Carlos Beltran were fantastic players, but neither were named as All-Stars for the Royals either. In 25 of the franchise's 47 seasons, they have sent just the required one All-Star representative. They sent just one player every year from 1990-1999, and from 2004-2012.
Of course, three Royals managers have skippered the American League, the reward for winning the previous season's pennant - Jim Frey in 1981, Dick Howser in 1986, and Ned Yost in 2015. The 1986 All-Star Game sadly would be the last game Howser would ever manage, as poor health during the game caused Howser to seek medical attention that would reveal the brain tumor that would end up taking his life.
Nine Royals managers have been asked to assist as coaches from the American League: Jack McKeon (1974), Whitey Herzog (1978), Dick Howser (1985), Hal McRae (1992), Bob Boone (1996), Tony Muser (2001), Tony Pena (2004), Trey Hillman (2009), and Ned Yost (2012).
Let's take a look back at the games where Royals All-Stars rose to the occasion.
Amos Otis was 2-for-2 with a stolen base in the first All-Star Game ever at Royals Stadium in 1973. Frank White saw just one pitch in the 1986 All-Star Game in Houstons' Astrodome, but he made the best of it, cracking a home run off Mike Scott. Kevin Appier was part of the longest no-hitter to start an All-Star Game, pitching two hitless innings in 1995.
5. Cookie Rojas, 1972
Cookie was one of five Royals at the 1972 All-Star Game in Atlanta, joining shortstop Fred Patek and the entire Royals outfield - Amos Otis, Richie Scheinblum, and Lou Piniella. Rojas entered the game in the eighth inning as a pinch-hitter for future Hall of Famer Rod Carew, with the American League trailing 2-1. Facing Expos pitcher Bill Stoneman, with a runner at first and two outs, Rojas drilled a pitch over the wall for a two-run home run, giving the American League the lead. The National League would rally to tie it in the eighth, although Rojas would then turn a nifty double play to preserve the tie before the National Leaguers won it in the ninth.
4. Bret Saberhagen, 1987, 1990
Sabes is the only Royals pitcher to ever start the All-Star Game, getting the assignment in 1987 in Oakland. He tossed three shutout innings for the American League, with a first-inning double by Chicago's Andre Dawson the only baserunner among ten hitters faced.
Bret came in relief in 1990, but got to do so at Wrigley Field, just miles from his Chicagoland childhood neighborhood. He tossed two perfect innings in the fifth and sixth innings, and was named the winning pitcher in a 2-0 American League victory.
3. George Brett, 1978
Brett returned to his native Southern California for the 1978 All-Star Game in Jack Murphy Stadium in San Diego. George was a starter for third consecutive season, and immediately got the American League off to a hot start in the first. After a Rod Carew triple to lead off the game, Brett doubled him home to put the Junior Circuit on top. Brett would later score as well, then prove his worth on defense by beginning a nifty double play to end a threat in the second. In the fifth Brett singled, then showed off his wheels by stealing second off Cardinals catcher Ted Simmons. The American League would end up blowing the game at the end, otherwise Brett might had had a case for game MVP.
2. George Brett, 1983
By 1983, George Brett was a super-duper star, and he played like it in the 1983 All-Star Game in Comiskey Park in Chicago. George was a one-man wrecking crew for the American League. His sacrifice fly in the bottom of the first tied the game 1-1. In the third, he tripled and scored as the American League sent ten hitters to the plate. In the eighth, Brett doubled and scored in what was already a laugher of a game. Despite his heroics, Brett would be passed over for game MVP for Fred Lynn, who hit the only grand slam in All-Star history.
1. Bo Jackson, 1989
Bo came into the 1989 All-Star game as the leading vote-getter, riding the popularity of his "Bo Knows" ad campaign for Nike. He was beginning to win over skeptics who thought he was a football player trying to pass as a baseball player. By mid-season he was among league leaders in home runs and slugging percentage.
He hit lead off for the American League and got the fireworks started early in the bottom of the first, depositing a Rick Reuschel pitch over the wall in dead center at Anaheim Stadium, some 450 feet away.
"When the ball hit the bat, it sounded like he hit a golf ball." -Dodgers Manager Tommy Lasorda
Bo would drive in another run in the second on a force out, then stole second, becoming the only player other than Willie Mays to homer and steal a base in the same All-Star Game. He ended the day with two hits and a nifty catch on a liner in the gap by Pedro Guerrero. He is the only Royals player ever to be named All-Star Game MVP.