Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Top 100 & KC Connections: 81—90

81. Buck Leonard • 1B • 1934—1953

As a member of the Homestead Grays between '34-'48, was a central player in the epic Grays vs. Monarchs battles of the '40s. For some reason it was usually the Monarchs heading east to face the Grays, but Leonard made at least a couple of trips to play in KC.

82. Arky Vaughan • SS • 1932—1948

May have appeared in an exhibition game against the Blues in 1942, though it was reported that several Dodgers regulars failed to play.

83. Mike Piazza • C • 1992—2007

Made one trip to Kauffman with the Mets in 2004 and DH'd all three games. Hit a dinger off Zack Greinke.

84. Ray Dandridge • 3B • 1933—1953

Good chance he traveled to Muehlebach/Ruppert (later Municipal) Stadium to play the Monarchs while he was in and out of the Negro leagues between '33-'44, and definitely came to play the Blues while with the Minneapolis Millers of the American Association between '49-'52.

85. Ron Santo • 3B • 1960—1974

Started the '73 All-Star Game at Royals Stadium.

86. Mike Mussina • P • 1991—2008

15 starts at Kauffman Stadium: 9-2, 3.04 ERA.

87. Roy Halladay • P • 1998—2013

Five starts at Kauffman Stadium: 3-1, 2.67 ERA.

88. Reggie Jackson • RF • 1967—1987

Drafted by the KC A's with the second pick of the 1966 draft, made his MLB debut in Kansas City on June 9, 1967. Played just 35 inauspicious games with the KC A's (.574 OPS) before the franchise moved to Oakland for the '68 season. As a career-long American Leaguer, he made a lot of trips back to KC to face the Royals. Played in 135 regular season games in KC (55 at Municipal, 80 at Royals). Did not hit especially well at Royals Stadium: .715 OPS there, compared to a career .846. Faced the Royals in the playoffs in '77, '78, and '80.

Tied Johnny Bench's mark for home runs by a catcher at Royals Stadium on August 8, 1990 (with yours truly in attendance). Played five games at Municipal Stadium, 83 regular season games at Royals Stadium, and was the starting catcher at the 1973 All-Star Game in KC.

90. Ivan Rodriguez • C • 1991—2011

Cracked 12 homers and a .911 OPS in 90 games at Kauffman.

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