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Category Archives: Royals

Ed Kirkpatrick – 1973 Topps #233


EdKirkpatrick_73topps#233_a Edgar Leon Kirkpatrick (October 8, 1944 – November 15, 2010), nicknamed “Spanky”, was a baseball utility player for the Los Angeles/California Angels, Kansas City Royals, Pittsburgh Pirates, Texas Rangers, and Milwaukee Brewers. He helped the Pirates win the National League Eastern Division in 1974 and 1975. In 16 seasons, he played in 1,311 games and had 3,467 at-bats, 411 runs, 824 hits, 143 doubles, 18 triples, 85 home runs, 424 RBI, 34 stolen bases, 456 walks, .238 batting average, .327 on-base percentage, EdKirkpatrick_73topps#233_b.363 slugging percentage, 1,258 total bases, 25 sacrifice hits, 39 sacrifice flies and 70 intentional walks. He was involved in an automobile accident in 1981 that left him in a coma for 5½ months and permanently paralyzed. He died at the age of 66 in Anaheim, California.

Former Angels outfielder Ed Kirkpatrick, who played parts of 16 major league seasons with five clubs from 1962-77, died Monday after a long struggle with throat cancer. He was 66.

Al Fitzmorris – 1973 Topps #643

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AlFitzmorris_73topps#643_a Alan James Fitzmorris (born March 21, 1946 in Buffalo, New York), a former professional baseball player who pitched in the Major Leagues from 1969 to 1978. Al signed as a non-drafted free agent with the Chicago White Sox in 1966. In October 1968, he left the White Sox as the 40th overall pick by the Kansas City Royals. He stayed with the Royals until 1976. In November, the Toronto Blue Jays picked him up as the 13th pick overall. AlFitzmorris_73topps#643_bHe was traded by the Jays to the Cleveland Indians in exchange for Alan Ashby and Doug Howard. The Indians released him in 1978, and within a month he was signed by the California Angels. Granted free agency in November of that year, he signed on with the San Diego Padres in February 1979. Fitzmorris won a career high 16 games for the Royals in 1975.

Cookie Rojas – 1973 Topps #188

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Octavio Victor Rojas Rivas(born March 6, 1939 in Havana, Cuba), better known as Cookie Rojas, is a former Major League Baseball second baseman and outfielder who played for the Cincinnati Reds, Philadelphia Phillies, St. Louis Cardinals, and Kansas City Royals. After retiring as a player he went on to both coach and manage in the Major Leagues. He is currently the Miami Marlins Spanish language TV color commentator. After the 1962 season, Rojas was traded to the Philadelphia Phillies for relief pitcher Jim Owens. Although the Phillies already had an All-Star second baseman in fellow-Cuban Tony Taylor, Rojas had seen the last of the minor leagues and would man second in 27 games in 1963. Although he became the regular Phillies second baseman in 1965, Rojas would go on to play at every fielding position, including catcher and pitcher, but would see the bulk of his playing time in the outfield and shortstop in addition to second base. Getting more playing time helped improve his batting as Rojas hit .291 in 1964 and a career-high .303 in 1965 when he was named to his first All-Star team. Currently, Cookie Rojas serves as the Marlins’ Spanish television announcer. Rojas also serves as a member of the board of the Baseball Assistance Team, an organization dedicated to helping former Major League, Minor League, and Negro League players through financial and medical hardships.

Kansas City Royals 1974 Team Photo – 1974 Topp #343

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The Kansas City Royals are a Major League Baseball team based in Kansas City, Missouri. The Royals are a member of the Central Division of Major League Baseball’s American League. From 1973 to the present, the Royals have played in Kauffman Stadium. The Royals have participated in two World Series, winning in 1985. The “Royals” name originates from the American Royal, a livestock show, horse show, and rodeo held annually in Kansas City since 1899. The “Royals” name may also have been selected as a respectful recognition of the Kansas City Monarchs of the Negro League and a nod to the Kansas City Blues franchises of the Western League and American Association. This is reflected in the similarity of the Royals logo to that of the Monarchs. The name also followed a theme of the other professional franchises in the city, including the Kansas City Chiefs football team and the-then Kansas City Kings basketball franchise. Entering Major League Baseball as an expansion franchise in 1969, the club was founded by Ewing Kauffman, a Kansas City businessman. The franchise was established following the actions of Stuart Symington, then-United States Senator from Missouri, who demanded a new franchise for the city after the Athletics—Kansas City’s previous major league team from 1955 to 1967—moved to Oakland, California. The new team quickly became a powerhouse, appearing in the playoffs 7 out of 10 seasons from 1976 to 1985, including one World Championship and another pennant, led by stars such as George Brett, Frank White and Bret Saberhagen. The team remained competitive through the mid-1990s, but more recently has struggled, posting a winning record only once in the past 15 seasons.

Kansas City Royals 1973 Team Checklist

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The Kansas City Royals  are a Major League Baseball team based in Kansas City, Missouri. The Royals are a member of the Central Division of Major League Baseball’s American League. From 1973 to the present, the Royals have played in Kauffman Stadium. The Royals have participated in two World Series, winning in 1985. The “Royals” name originates from the American Royal, a livestock show, horse show, and rodeo held annually in Kansas City since 1899. The “Royals” name may also have been selected as a respectful recognition of the Kansas City Monarchs of the Negro League and a nod to the Kansas City Blues franchises of the Western League and American Association. This is reflected in the similarity of the Royals logo to that of the Monarchs. The name also followed a theme of the other professional franchises in the city, including the Kansas City Chiefs football team and the-then Kansas City Kings basketball franchise. Entering Major League Baseball as an expansion franchise in 1969, the club was founded by Ewing Kauffman, a Kansas City businessman. The franchise was established following the actions of Stuart Symington, then-United States Senator from Missouri, who demanded a new franchise for the city after the Athletics—Kansas City’s previous major league team from 1955 to 1967—moved to Oakland, California. The new team quickly became a powerhouse, appearing in the playoffs 7 out of 10 seasons from 1976 to 1985, including one World Championship and another pennant, led by stars such as George Brett, Frank White and Bret Saberhagen. The team remained competitive through the mid-1990s, but more recently has struggled, posting a winning record only once in the past 15 seasons.

George Brett – 1976 Topps #19


George Howard Brett (born May 15, 1953 in Glen Dale, West Virginia), nicknamed “Mullet”, is a former Major League Baseball third baseman, designated hitter, and first baseman. He played his entire 21-year baseball career for the Kansas City Royals. Brett’s 3,154 career hits are the most by any third baseman in major league history, and 15th all-time. Brett is one of four players in MLB history to accumulate 3,000 hits, 300 home runs, and a career .300 batting average with the others being Hank Aaron, Willie Mays, and Stan Musial. He was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1999. On July 24, 1983, the Royals played the Yankees at Yankee Stadium. In the top of the ninth inning with two out, Brett hit a two-run homer to put the Royals up 5–4. Upon Brett crossing the plate, Yankees manager Billy Martin cited to the umpires a rule that stated that any foreign substance on a bat could extend no further than 18 inches from the knob. The umpires measured the amount of pine tar, a legal substance used by hitters to improve their grip, on Brett’s bat; the pine tar extended about 24 inches. The home plate umpire, Tim McClelland, signaled the player out, ending the game as a Yankees win. An angry Brett charged out of the dugout and was immediately ejected. The Royals protested the game, and American League president Lee MacPhail upheld the protest, reasoning that the bat should have been excluded from future use but the home run should not have been nullified. Amid much controversy, the game was resumed on August 18 from the point of Brett’s home run and ended with a Royals win.

George Brett – 1991 Donruss #201

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George Howard Brett (born May 15, 1953 in Glen Dale, West Virginia), nicknamed “Mullet”, is a former Major League Baseball third baseman, designated hitter, and first baseman. He played his entire 21-year baseball career for the Kansas City Royals. Brett’s 3,154 career hits are the most by any third baseman in major league history, and 15th all-time. Brett is one of four players in MLB history to accumulate 3,000 hits, 300 home runs, and a career .300 batting average with the others being Hank Aaron, Willie Mays, and Stan Musial. He was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1999.

The Pine Tar Incident

On July 24, 1983, the Royals played the Yankees at Yankee Stadium. In the top of the ninth inning with two out, Brett hit a two-run homer to put the Royals up 5–4. Upon Brett crossing the plate, Yankees manager Billy Martin cited to the umpires a rule that stated that any foreign substance on a bat could extend no further than 18 inches from the knob. The umpires measured the amount of pine tar, a legal substance used by hitters to improve their grip, on Brett’s bat; the pine tar extended about 24 inches. The home plate umpire, Tim McClelland, signaled the player out, ending the game as a Yankees win. An angry Brett charged out of the dugout and was immediately ejected. The Royals protested the game, and American League president Lee MacPhail upheld the protest, reasoning that the bat should have been excluded from future use but the home run should not have been nullified. Amid much controversy, the game was resumed on August 18 from the point of Brett’s home run and ended with a Royals win.

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