This Date In Royals History – October 28, 1996
Because the Major League Baseball postseason has become a bit longer there hasn’t been nearly as many ‘off-season’ moves made during the month of October in the last decade or so. In fact the last major league trade completed by the Royals in the month of October came way back in 1996 and it involved a future Royals Hall of Famer.
On Monday October 26, 1996 Royals righthander Mark Gubicza was traded along with minor league pitcher Mike Bovee to the then California Angels for OF/DH Chili Davis. Now that was a tough one because ‘Gubbie’ had been so good for the Royals in his first six seasons (double figures in wins each year from 1984-89) in Kansas City before injuries started to take their toll.
Chili Davis would only play one year in a Royals uniform before moving on to the New York Yankees as a free-agent. But that one year in Kansas City was one of the better offensive campaigns of his 19-year career. Chili had 350 career major league HRs, but 1997 in Kansas City was his lone 30 HR year (.279 with 30 HRs and 90 RBI).
Just A Bit More: The trade was a clear win for the Royals as Mark Gubicza would continue his injury battles and only appeared in two games for the Angels (two starts and a total of 4 2/3 innings pitched). Those would be his final two big league appearances. Mark went to Spring Training with the Dodgers in 1998, but retired when he did not make the squad.
We won the trade, but seeing Mark’s career come to an end in Kansas City was hard for Royals fans. He was the last member of the Royals 1985 World Championship team still with the ballclub – that team officially past into history on this date 13 years ago.
(Curt Nelson, Director – Royals Hall of Fame)