Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Fred Patek (#244)

This card was signed in person at the Toronto FanFest in 1991. In his first season with the Royals, Patek hit for the cycle on July 9, 1971, and led the American League with eleven triples to finish sixth in A.L. M.V.P. balloting. He earned his first of three All-Star selections the following season, and was a staple of the Royals line-up that won the American League West from 1976 through 1978. He was a 3 time All-Star and was primarily known for his speed on the basepaths and his defense abilities. He retired in 1981 after mainly being a utility player with the California Angels. Whitey Herzog called Patek the best artificial turf shortstop he ever managed, ranking him even higher than Ozzie Smith.

Baseball analyst Bill James has ranked Patek, a member of the Kansas City Royals Hall of Fame, the 14th best player in Royals' history. Fred career numbers are:

Batting average .242
Hits 1,340
Runs batted in 490
Stolen bases 385

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