The first one toiled in obscurity for many years playing for his hometown Kansas City Royals. Steve Mingori was one of the first people I met when I moved to KC. I interviewed him on the air and he told me he had always wanted to be a "DJ" and work at KY 102. I told him I always wanted to be a pitcher. He was one nice guy who was really jazzed about being in the playoffs and representing his team. Unfortunately, the playoffs were less kind to him.
Steven Bernard Mingori (February 29, 1944 – July 10, 2008) was an American left-handed relief pitcher in Major League Baseball who played for the Cleveland Indians (1970-1973) and Kansas City Royals (1973-1979). He was born in Kansas City, Missouri, and went to Rockhurst High School; he is in the school's Hall of Fame.
His best season was 1976 when he won five games and saved ten.
Bobby Murcer was the man in the summer of 1971. He beat out Willie Mays in 1971 to lead the majors in on-base percentage. The next year, 1972, Murcer set career highs with 33 homers and 96 RBIs, and led the AL in total bases and runs. He first caught my eye when they said he would be "Mickey Mantle's replacement". Sorry, you can't replace Mantle and it was unfair for him to be shackled with that name. He DID however, pretty much span the gap from Mantle to Mattingly. When I was learning how to hit, one of my coaches told me to watch Bobby Murcer whenever he came on TV, and copy his style. "He was a great Yankee, but probably more importantly he was a great friend. He always put others first. He played the game the right way. He got what life was about, and that was making life better for the people around you." I hope that someone says that about me when I go. It would be enough.
Here's Murcer's story: