The Kansas City Royals began the fan portion of their Royals Hall of Fame voting today with a ballot that was, well, odd.
Rules stipulate that any player who played for at least three years and accumulated at least 150 innings pitched or 1500 plate appearances automatically makes the ballot once. AUTOMATICALLY is the key word in that sentence. This means the Royals had a few bizzare inclusions to go along with names like Bo Jackson, John Wathan, Jermaine Dye, Al Fitzmorris, Kevin Seitzer, Darrell Porter and Al Cowens.
Here are the important Royals you can #Vote for on twitter to join the Royals Hall of Fame.
One time starter, part-time reliever, most of the time run allower Jimmy Gobble “earned” a spot on the Royals Hall of Fame ballot. He spent six seasons with the Royals from 2003 to 2008, totaling a 5.23 ERA in 423.2 innings pitched with Kansas City. His final stop, a one year stint with the Chicago White Sox in 2009, managed to go worse, allowing 10 runs in 12 innings. He would never pitch in the Majors again.
Even though Gobble allowed one-and-a-half base runners per inning and a home run every four outings, he still somehow managed to go 22-23 in his career as a pitcher. In short, he was a winner.
Special Hall of Fame Note: Jimmy Gobble led all Royals pitchers in strikeouts in 2006. He had 80.
Kindly listed as weighing 250 pounds by Baseball-Reference, Runelvys Hernandez was the second best starter on the last Royals team to have a winning season. Hernandez pitched in four seasons for the Royals from 2002-2006, missing the 2004 season due to Tommy John surgery, and totaled a 25-33 record with a 5.38 ERA in 435.1 innings.
Hernandez was a warrior. Not necessarily on the mound but in that he incited a brawl during a pivotal July 17th game against the Detroit Tigers by hitting Carlos Guillen in the head with a pitch. Future Royals reliever Kyle Farnsworth would body slam future World Series winner Jeremy Affeldt in that tussle.
Opponents were not the only ones subject to abuse from Hernandez. John Buck and other Royals also had to watch out for his fierce competitive spirit spilling into the dugout and clubhouse. Hernandez was once so excited about striking out Ryan Garko he started a fight with Buck on his way back to the dugout. This is team leadership at its finest.
From 2005 to 2006, the beginning of his “Championship Years” as Dayton Moore would say, Hernandez went 14-24 with a 5.91 ERA in 50 starts, allowing 40 home runs and 317 hits in 269.1 innings. Over that same span he struck out 138 batters while walking a mere 118. In 2005 he was second on the team in strikeouts with 88. He was a true stud in the Royals rotation.
Special Hall of Fame Note: Hernandez had an ERA over 6 in 2006, but that didn’t stop him from throwing a complete game shutout against the Toronto Blue Jays and Roy Halladay. The acheivement lowered his ERA to 6.67.
Greatest Royal of All-Time or THE Greatest Royal of All-Time?
The debate will continue for future generations of Royals fans when it comes to Emil Brown, whose musings still live on today in a totally and completely real (*wink*) twitter account for all of humanity to enjoy.
Brown played for the Royals from 2005-2007 batting .279/.340/.428 (101 OPS+) with 38 home runs and 229 runs batted in, leading the team in RBI twice and finishing second in home runs twice. He was quietly the Royals second best run producer behind the corpse of Mike Sweeney. Inexplicably, the Royals were 187-299 in Brown’s three seasons with the Royals.
His prowess with the bat was legendary, but his presence in the clubhouse and savvy ways with the media is what will live on in the minds of fans. His friendship with local television anchor Karen Kornacki turned into something deeper when he shot her in the eye with a plastic pellet gun after a game in July of 2007. The Royals said it was an accident but everyone knew it was Brown’s way of urging his teammates to play better. Kansas City would win 69 games that year, their second highest total in seven years, because of Brown’s leadership.
Special Hall of Fame Note: Brown was traded by the Pittsburgh Pirates for San Diego Padres minor leaguer Shawn Camp. Both were on the 2005 Royals team.
The inclusion of such Royals legends in the Hall of Fame vote has led many fans to suggest others who deserve a spot on the ballot. Here are some of the best.
— kc571 (@kc571) March 19, 2013
— Greg (@grogg) March 19, 2013
— Royals Free Out (@RoyalsFreeOut) March 19, 2013
#VoteThatTimeKerryRobinsonJumpedToRobAHomeRunWhileBallLandedInTheFieldOfPlay — Ross Martin (@PCBearcat) March 19, 2013
— Bryan Reiman (@drivingthebus) March 19, 2013
— Chris Bragaw (@kcchiefsfan73) March 19, 2013
— Clinton Thomas (@ClintT13) March 19, 2013
Feel free to continue voting below in the comments.