Saturday, July 6, 2013

1993 TOPPS FINEST: #42 JEFF MONTGOMERY


POP QUIZ: WHO'S THE ROYALS' SAVES LEADER?




FINISHED HIS 13-YEAR CAREER WITH 304 SAVES.


DEFINING THE PLAYER

  • Sometimes a team casts a longing eye at a free agent to fill a need without realizing it already has the answer in house. For the Royals in 1990, Jeff Montgomery was that answer at closer despite the signing of Mark Davis. The '89 NL Cy Young winner who saved 44 games for the Padres, Davis inked a four-year $13 million contract in the off-season but lost the job in late May after blowing four games and saving six. Montgomery seized the role, saving 24 games to begin a nine-year run of averaging 30 with a 3.15 ERA. 

DEFINING MOMENT

  • Against the Rangers on April 29, 1990, Montgomery struck out the side on nine pitches in the eighth inning, the ninth AL pitcher and 23rd overall to accomplish that power play. 

DEFINING SEASON

  • By the time this card was being ripped from packs in late '93, Montgomery was well on his way to putting together a career year. He led the AL in saves with 45, added seven wins and made his second consecutive AL All-Star team. He blew only six saves and was the AL Rolaids Relief Award winner.

FIVE FINAL FACTS

  1. Montgomery was signed originally by the Reds, who shipped him to the Royals for Van Snider in February '88.
  2. Took over as closer from Steve Farr by mid-season in '89 after serving as the set-up man and finished with 18 saves, seven wins and a 1.37 ERA.
  3. The all-time Royals saves leader with 304; Dan Quisenberry is second with 238.
  4. Works with Fox Sports Kansas City as a Royals analyst.
  5. Inducted into the Royals Hall of Fame in '10.

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