While the history of sports in Kansas City is largely tied to the Chiefs (NFL) and the Royals (MLB), the narration is threaded much deeper than the names on the front of the jerseys. The “team first” mantra will always ring true, however, there are some athletes that are Considered the anchors for their colleagues, Organizations, cities and even generations.
Though not as vast as some of the bigger cities of the – oftentimes resulting in an astronomical popularity – Kansas City has seen some of the best call it home.
Here are the 10 most beloved athletes of professional sports in Kansas City history.
Who sits atop this list for you?
* List is in alphabetical order
* List includes only athletes; no coaches or owners INVOLVED
Nate “Tiny” Archibald (Kings, 1972-76)
His nickname may be “Tiny,” but he had a big game. With the Kings / Omaha Kings, Archibald enjoyed some of his best years in the NBA.
In the 1972-73 season, his first year with the Kings, the point guard averaged 34 points and 11.4 assists per game – leading the league in both categories. In fact, Archibald Became one of the rare players to lead the NBA in both assists and points in one season.
With the Kings, Archibald was a three-time All-Star, and he was inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in 1991.
George Brett (Royals, 1973-93)
The unequivocal leader of the Royals during their glory days of the 1970s and 1980s, Brett’s name is synonymous with Kansas City sports – even leading the team to its lone World Series title over cross-state rival, the St.. Louis Cardinals, in 1985.
Having played his entire career with the Royals, the Hall-of-Fame third baseman is also the franchise leader in most major statistical categories.
Brett stayed in the Kansas City area following his playing days and has always been closely tied to the organization. He was named the team’s interim hitting coach Earlier this season.
Len Dawson (Chiefs, 1963-75)
Not originally a member of the Chiefs, Dawson’s career did not really get going until joining the Dallas Texans five years into his professional football days. The franchise moved to Kansas City one year later, and the rest is history.
Dawson led the Chiefs to two Super Bowl appearances, losing the very first one to the Green Bay Packers and winning the franchise’s lone Super Bowl title three years later against the Minnesota Vikings. He was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1987.
His close connection to the organization and the city after his player career keeps Dawson’s name among Kansas City’s elite.
Tony Gonzalez (Chiefs, 1997-2008)
Though Gonzalez is now a member of the Atlanta Falcons, he will be best remembered for his days donning Chiefs’ red at Arrowhead Stadium – at least in the eyes of Kansas Citians.
Gonzalez has made the best-tight-end-ever argument an open-and-shut case, having tallied 1,242 receptions for 14.268 yards and 103 touchdowns – all records for his position. These numbers, however, make it imperative to include his name among the greatest pass-Catchers of all time, Regardless of position. The 16-year veteran ranks second in catches, seventh in receiving yards and sixth in touchdown receptions in NFL history.
Even though he did not get a postseason victory until joining the Falcons, Gonzalez will forever be