1964 – Roberto Hernandez (Pitcher – 2001-02)
Did You Know: You probably remember that Roberto Hernandez came to the Royals in the ‘Johnny Damon’ trade, but that trade was a bit more complicated than that and involved three teams…
The Royals catcher A.J. Hinch? SS Angel Berroa and cash from the A’s? and Roberto from the Devil Rays; the A’s receive P Cory Lidle from the Devil Rays? and OF Johnny Damon? IF Mark Ellis? and a player to be named from the Royals; and the Devil Rays receive OF Ben Grieve and a player to be named from the A’s. Did you get all that?…
Roberto would later go on to record his 300th save with the Royals on May 25, 2002 – only the 15th pitcher to ever reach that milestone.
1957 – Jeff Twitty (Pitcher – 1980)
Did You Know: Keith Lockhart spent eight full seasons in the minor leagues before making his big league debut with the San Diego Padres in 1994. He signed with the Royals and was a valuable utility player for the Royals before his trade (with Micheal Tucker for Jermaine Dye and Jaime Walker) to Atlanta on 3/27/97. Lockhart played college baseball at Oral Roberts University in Tulsa, OK.
* The picture above is ‘the other’ Keith Lockhart, the noted conducter of the Boston Pops. I wonder if they’ve even been mistaken for each other?
1974 – Jose Rosado (Pitcher – 1996-00)
1974 – Jeff D’Amico (Pitcher – 2000)
1971 – Jon Nunnally (Outfielder – 1995-97)
1931 – RHOF Member – Whitey Herzog (Manager – 1975-79)
Did You Know: Whitey Herzog still holds the Royals Franchise record for wins by a manager with 410. However he was also the losing manager for the visting club on two big moments in Royals history.
The first is obviously Game Seven of the 1985 World Series win Whitey’s Cardinals were defeated by the Royals 11-0 on October 27, 1985. He was also the manager of the Texas Rangers at the first-ever game at Royals Stadium on April 10, 1973. It was another Kansas City blowout with the Royals beating the Rangers 12-1.
1969 – Shane Halter (Infielder – 1997-98)
1968 – Jose Offerman (Infielder – 1996-98)
1962 – Rey Palacios (Catcher – 1988-90) pictured
Did You Know: Former Royals Bench Coach Joe Nossek was also born on this date in 1940. Nossek is best known for his uncanny ability to decipher the signs of opposing teams – a skill that keep him in major league dugouts as a coach for almost three decades.
Nossek also played here in Kansas City for the A’s in 1966 and 1967.
1974 – Glendon Rusch (Pitcher – 1997-99)
1969 – Dave Fleming (Pitcher – 1995)
1948 – Buck Martinez (Catcher – 1969-71, 1972-77) pictured above with Ewing Kauffman
Did You Know: Buck Martinez was one of thirty-nine players to play for the Royals during their inaugural 1969 season – making his major league debut on June 18. He made his last appearance in a Royals uniform on October 1, 1977 and was traded (with Mark Littell) to St. Louis for Al Hrabosky on 12/9/77.
He was the last player from the original 1969 club to appear in a Royals uniform.
Did You Know: This is also the birthdate of pitching legend Walter Johnson who was born on November 6, 1887 in Eudora, Kansas. Listen to this – Walter Johnson made 666 starts in his big league career and completed 531 of them. 531 Complete Games!
He had 417 wins, 3,508 strikeouts (most ever in the American League until Roger Clemens surpassed him in 2001), an all-time record of 110 shutouts and posted a 2.17 ERA over his entire 21-year career.
Just imagine, that would about like repeating Zack Greinke’s 2009 performance for 21 consecutive years. Wow…
Happy Birthday to ‘The Big Train’ – one of Kansas’ native sons!
Looking to shore up the shortstop position, the Royals decided to deal from their strength in starting pitching at the time and pieced together a memorable swap the Reds. The Royals send unsung 1985 World Series stalwart Danny Jackson along with incumbent shortstop Angel Salazar to the Reds for 22 year-old shortstop Kurt Stillwell and veteran pitcher Ted Power.
Local Trivia Question – Where did Ted Power play his college baseball?
The Reds had two strong shortstop prospects at the time in Stillwell and Barry Larkin. The Royals had a surplus of pitching (if there is such a thing) with Bret Saberhagen, Mark Gubicza, Charlie Leibrandt, Buddy Black and Tom Gordon on the way. It seemed like the perfect win/win trade and both of the main players (Stillwell and Jackson) represented their new teams in the 1988 All-Star Game at Riverfront Stadium in Cincinnati.
Unfortunately 1988 was probably Stillwell’s best of his four seasons with the Royals. He hit 10 HRs that years but never reached double figures again. He left the Royals in free agency after 1991 and played briefly for the Padres, Angels and Rangers before retiring in 1996 at age 31.
Jackson was tremendous for the Reds winning 23 games in 1988 and finished second in the National League Cy Young balloting to the Dodgers Orel Hershiser. But he would not win more than six games in either of his last two years with the Reds. DJ did resurface with Phillies posted two double digit win seasons in 1993 and 1994, even earning another All-Star nod in Philadelphia (1994).
Just A Bit More: To my knowledge, this trade is still the only one in Royals history in which players acquired by both teams would go on to make All-Star appearances with their new respective teams.
Amos Otis was the first player the Royals ever acquired by trade to make an All-Star appearance in a Royals uniform. A.O. came in a trade with the Mets on 12/03/69 and was an All-Star for Kansas City in 1970. Actually Lou Piniella was the earliest trade where the Royals netted a future All-Star when he was acquired from the Seattle Pilots 4/1/69 – however Lou didn’t make the American League All-Star squad until 1972 (his one and only career All-Star berth).
The first player the Royals ever traded who went on to be named an All-Star for another team was the first Royals player ever traded. Hall of Famer Hoyt Wilhelm was taken in the Expansion Draft on 10/15/68 and then traded to the California Angels 12/12/68. He would be named to the 1970 National League All-Star team as a member of the Atlanta Braves.
Local Trivia Answer – Ted Power is the only K-State Wildcat to play a Major League game for the Kansas City Royals.
(Curt Nelson, Director – Royals Hall of Fame)
1973 – Johnny Damon (Outfielder – 1995-00)
1942 – Richie Scheinblum (Outfielder – 1972, 1974) pictured above
Did You Know: George Brett is #5 for the Royals and forever will be, but when he first came to the big leagues he wore #25 because #5 was already taken. The last player to wear #5 before George wore it into Royals history was Richie Scheinblum.