clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

The most beloved Royals of all-time - Howser bracket

New, 15 comments

Remember the 80s?

Howser Cheers From The Dugout Photo by Bruce Bennett Studios via Getty Images Studios/Getty Images

There is no college basketball, but we still have brackets! We’re stacking up the best Royals of all-time in a 64-man bracket, and picking the most beloved players to advance.

We divided the players into four eras - the Herzog bracket (1969-1980), the Howser bracket (1981-1994), the Muser bracket (1995-2010), and the Yost bracket (2011-2019).

You can vote on the Herzog bracket here. Now, we vote on the Howser bracket. Remember, you are voting for who is your FAVORITE Royals player, not necessarily who was the best.

Dick Howser Bracket

#1 Frank White vs. #16 Wally Joyner

Frank White was a Kansas City native who spent his entire 18-year career with the Royals. He collected 2,006 career hits, second-most in club history, batting .255/.293/.383 with 160 home runs. He is considered one of the greatest defensive second basemen of all-time, and his eight Gold Gloves are the most in club history. He was a five-time All-Star and won a Silver Slugger Award in 1986. He was the 1980 ALCS MVP after hitting .545 (6-for-11).

Wally Joyner signed with the Royals in 1992 after starting out with the Angels. In four seasons with the Royals, he hit .293/.371/.434 with 44 home runs. He has the sixth-highest on-base percentage in club history for anyone with at least 1,000 plate appearances. He was renowned as a gifted defender at first base.

Poll

Who was your favorite Royals player?

This poll is closed

  • 95%
    Frank White
    (1166 votes)
  • 4%
    Wally Joyner
    (58 votes)
1224 votes total Vote Now

#8 Kevin Seitzer vs. #9 David Cone

Kevin Seitzer spent six seasons with the Royals, hitting .294/.380/.394 in 741 games. He burst onto the scene in 1987, hitting 323/.399/.470 with 15 home runs as a rookie and finishing second in Rookie of the Year voting. His 207 hits that year led the league and were ten shy of the rookie record. He drew 103 walks in 1989, the last Royals hitter to draw 100+ walks in a season.

David Cone originally began with the Royals, but was traded to the Mets in one of the worst deals in club history. The Kansas City native returned to the Royals on a big free agent deal in 1993, and won the Cy Young Award in 1994 with 16 wins in a strike-shortened season, the third-best ERA in the league at 2.94, and led all AL pitchers in WAR with 6.9. In three seasons with the Royals, he won 27 games and had a 3.29 ERA in 448 1/3 innings.

Poll

Who was your favorite Royals player?

This poll is closed

  • 57%
    Kevin Seitzer
    (700 votes)
  • 42%
    David Cone
    (514 votes)
1214 votes total Vote Now

#4 Mark Gubicza vs. #13 Tom Gordon

“Gubie” spent 13 seasons with the Royals, winning 132 games with a 3.96 ERA. He was a two-time All-Star, winning 20 games in 1988, finishing third in Cy Young voting. A groundball artist, he led the league in lowest home run rate three times. He finished in the top ten in strikeouts twice, then re-made his career as a strike-thrower later in his career, and had the lowest walk rate in the league in 1994.

Tom Gordon had a meteoric rise through the minor leagues in 1988, going from A ball to Double-A, to Triple-A, and dominating at each level with a combined 1.55 ERA and 263 strikeouts in 185 23 innings before he finished the year on the Royals’ pitching staff. He had a sensational rookie season, winning 17 games with a 3.64 ERA and finishing second in Rookie of the Year voting. Known for his big curveball, Gordon finished top ten in the league in strikeouts four times with the Royals. In eight seasons with the Royals, he won 79 games with a 4.02 ERA.

Poll

Who was your favorite Royals player?

This poll is closed

  • 77%
    Mark Gubicza
    (942 votes)
  • 22%
    Tom Gordon
    (271 votes)
1213 votes total Vote Now

#5 Dan Quisenberry vs. #12 Mike MacFarlane

“Quiz” was known as one of the best closers in baseball with his unique submarine delivery. He led the league in saves five times, and finished his Royals career with 238 career saves and a 2.55 ERA. He was named “Rolaids Relief Man of the Year” five times and was a three-time All-Star. He finished in the top five in Cy Young voting five times and was a runner up in 1983 and 1984.

Only Salvador Perez has caught more games in Royals history than Mike MacFarlane. Mac spent 11 seasons with the Royals, hitting .256/.327/.439 with 103 home runs. He smacked 20 home runs in 1993, becoming just the second Royals catcher ever to reach that number, and his 93 career home runs as a backstop are second in club history. MacFarlane was also known to take a beating, he twice led the league in getting hit by pitches.

Poll

Who was your favorite Royals player?

This poll is closed

  • 91%
    Dan Quisenberry
    (1117 votes)
  • 8%
    Mike MacFarlane
    (110 votes)
1227 votes total Vote Now

#2 Willie Wilson vs. #15 UL Washington

Willie Wilson is one of the most prolific base-stealers in MLB history. His 668 career swipes are 12th in baseball history and he led the league with 83 steals in 1979. He led the league in triples five times, and his 147 career triples are the second-most by any player since World War II. Wilson led the league in hits with 230 in 1980, finishing fourth in MVP voting and winning his only Gold Glove. He was a two-time All-Star, and two-time Silver Slugger winner. He won a batting title in 1982 by hitting .332. In 15 seasons with the Royals, he hit .289/.329/.382 with 1,968 hits and 1,060 runs scored, third-most in club history.

UL Washington graduated from the famed Royals Academy as an unpolished athlete who had not played organized baseball. Known for always chomping on a toothpick, the shortstop hit .254/.316/.347 with 120 steals in eight seasons with the Royals. He hit .364 (4-for-11) in the 1980 ALCS against the Yankees.

Poll

Who was your favorite Royals player?

This poll is closed

  • 96%
    Willie Wilson
    (1174 votes)
  • 3%
    U L Washington
    (41 votes)
1215 votes total Vote Now

#7 Charlie Leibrandt vs. #10 Bo Jackson

Leibrandt pitched six seasons with the Royals, winning 76 games with a 3.60 ERA. He won 17 games in 1985 and finished fifth in Cy Young voting. He finished in the top ten in WAR in the American League three times. He also finished top ten in ERA three times. Leibrandt started two games in the 1985 World Series, including the pivotal Game 6, keeping the team in the game by allowing just one run over 7 23 innings.

Bo Jackson was a phenomenon and one of the greatest athletes in baseball history. The former Heisman Trophy winner turned down football to sign with the Royals, although he later returned to play in the NFL as a “hobby.” He finished top ten in the AL in home runs in 1988, 1989, and 1990, and he finished fourth in RBI in 1989 with 105. He was an All-Star that year, and led the first inning off with a home run. He became the first player since Willie Mays to homer and steal a base in the game, and he was named the game’s MVP. In five seasons with the Royals, he hit .250/.308/.474 with 109 home runs and 81 steals.

Poll

Who was your favorite Royals player?

This poll is closed

  • 17%
    Charlie Leibrandt
    (221 votes)
  • 82%
    Bo Jackson
    (1007 votes)
1228 votes total Vote Now

#3 Bret Saberhagen vs. #14 Danny Jackson

Sabes is the only two-time Cy Young winner in club history, bringing home the award in 1985 and 1989. He led the league with 23 wins in 1989 as well as a 2.16 ERA and a whopping 9.7 WAR. He is a two-time All-Star with the Royals and won the Gold Glove in 1989. He won two games in the 1985 World Series at the age of 21, giving up just one run in 18 innings, and was named World Series MVP. In eight seasons with the Royals he won 110 games with a 3.21 ERA. He also tossed the last no-hitter in club history, a matchup against the White Sox in 1991.

Danny Jackson spent five seasons with the Royals and won 37 games with a 3.69 ERA. Twice with the Royals he led the league in lowest home run rate. He was huge in the 1985 post-season for the Royals, giving up just three runs in 26 innings. His complete game shutout against the Blue Jays in Game 5 of the ALCS helped stave off elimination and allowed the Royals to comeback from a 3-1 deficit to win the series. He also shut down the Cardinals in Game 5 of the World Series, allowing just one run in a complete game victory.

Poll

Who was your favorite Royals player?

This poll is closed

  • 96%
    Bret Saberhagen
    (1183 votes)
  • 3%
    Danny Jackson
    (39 votes)
1222 votes total Vote Now

#6 Jeff Montgomery vs. #11 Danny Tartabull

Monty spent 12 seasons with the Royals, collecting 304 saves, most in club history. He was a three-time All-Star, leading the league with 45 saves in 1993, a year in which he finished 13th in MVP voting. He topped 30+ saves in five separate seasons. His breakout year came in 1989 when he posted a 1.37 ERA in 92 innings, and led all relievers with a 4.6 WAR. He is fifth among all relievers for WAR in the 1990s.

Danny Tartabull was a feared slugger who was acquired from the Mariners after the 1986 season. In his first year with the Royals he smacked 34 home runs, at the time tied for the second-most in a season in club history. He topped the 100+ RBI mark three times with the Royals and was an All-Star in 1991, a year in which he led the league in slugging at .593. His 124 career home runs with the Royals are 12th in club history and he hit .290/.376/.518 overall in five seasons with the Royals.

Poll

Who was your favorite Royals player?

This poll is closed

  • 75%
    Jeff Montgomery
    (922 votes)
  • 24%
    Danny Tartabull
    (297 votes)
1219 votes total Vote Now

Monday: The Muser Bracket