The Kansas City Royals have rostered a total of 7 Hall of Famers. Three of them were picked up in the final year of their career. Gaylord Perry was a well-traveled pitcher. He played for 8 different teams during his 22 year career, winning the Cy Young award in both the A.L. and N.L. He won it for the Indians in 1972 and Padres in 1978. In his final season he was 4-4 in 14 starts for the Royals.
The Royals also picked up.Orlando Cepeda for a short stint at the end of his career in 1974. I had created this card for an earlier installment on this page back in 2011. Similarly, after 21 years in the Senators/Twins organization, Harmon Killebrew spent his final season wearing Royal blue. This beautiful card can be found on the Royal Heritage blog.
The Royals also had 3 Hall of Famers at the helm. In their inaugural season the Royals manager was Hall of Fame second baseman Joe "Flash" Gordon. In 1970 the Royals hired Hall of Fame pitcher Bob Lemon to run the show. In the middle of the 1975 season Whitey Herzog replaced a relatively young Jack McKeon. Unlike Gordon and Lemon, Herzog was inducted into the Hall as a manager not a player. Unfortunately, it was mostly due to his career with the Cardinals after he left the Royals. None of these managers were Hall of Famers during their tenure with the Royals. Bob Lemon was inducted in 1976, Tom Gordon in 2009 and Whitey Herzog was enshrined in 2010.
Spoiler alert: the Royals had one more Hall of Famer and he is the subject of my next post.