clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

The best Royals performances in All-Star history

Who will make this list tonight?

Rick Stewart/Getty Images

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
Lorenzo Cain 2015* TBD
Alcides Escobar 2015* TBD
Kelvin Herrera 2015 TBD
Mike Moustakas 2015 TBD
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
Lou Piniella 1972 0-for-1
Richie Scheinblum 1972 0-for-1
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.

Honorable mention:

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.