John Wathan

“Duke” became known for his John Wayne imitations. His surprisingly good speed and ability to adequately play first base and the outfield kept the catcher in the majors for a decade. From 1977 to 1979, he played 92 consecutive errorless games at 1B, a Royals record. Despite missing six weeks with a broken ankle, in 1982 he set an ML record for catchers by stealing 36 bases. He was good at working with young pitchers but was below average at throwing out base stealers. He had managed less than one season in the minors, and was in his 17th year with the Royals organization, when he was named to succeed Billy Gardner as Kansas City manager on August 27, 1987.