More than 200 Kansas natives have stood up to the plate in the major leagues, but only 10 of them recorded at least 1,000 career hits.
Below is a glance at the best hitters in the history of Major League Baseball who were born in Kansas.
Johnny Damon — 2,769 hits
Although Damon attended high school in Florida, the two-time All-Star and owner of World Series rings with the Boston Red Sox and New York Yankees was born in Fort Riley, Kan.
Finishing his 18-year career within spitting distance of the 3,000 hit milestone, Damon boasts the 54th most hits in MLB history. He’s the only Kansas native with at least 2,000 hits.
Bill Russell — 1,926 hits
No, not that Bill Russell.
This Pittsburg, Kan., native didn’t win any NBA titles with the Boston Celtics, but he did play 18 seasons in the majors and helped the Los Angeles Dodgers to a World Series title in 1981.
Russell was a three-time All-Star with the Dodgers, playing most of his career with fellow infielders Ron Cey, Davey Lopes (who played at Washburn), and Steve Garvey. He played particularly well in the postseason with a .294 batting average, 57 hits, five doubles, three triples, 19 RBI, and three stolen bases in 49 games.
After his playing career, he took over for the legendary Tom Lasorda as Dodgers manager for three seasons.
Joe Tinker — 1,690 hits
The Hall of Famer and Chicago Cubs legend was born in 1980 in Muscotah, Kan. He finished in the top 10 of the National League MVP voting in 1911 and 1912 and he helped the Cubs win the World Series in 1907 and 1908, but he may be best known for his role in the double-play combination of Tinker to Evers to Chance.
According to Tinker’s biography by the Society of American Baseball Research, he later moved to Kansas City and played for a semipro team based out of Parsons, Kan.
Tinker was voted into Cooperstown in 1946.
Enos Cabell — 1,647 hits
Like Damon, Cabell was born in Fort Riley, Kan. And like Damon, he attended high school in another state.
Cabell, who attended high school in California, played 15 MLB seasons for Baltimore, Houston, San Francisco, Detroit, and the Los Angeles Dodgers. He stole at least 20 bases in five consecutive seasons from 1976-80.
Duff Cooley — 1,579 hits
Born in Leavenworth, Kan., Cooley spent much of his childhood in Topeka. While not known for his power, Cooley was respected for his speed and ability to hit. He recorded at least 160 hits in five of his 13 MLB seasons. Cooley also posted 102 career triples and 224 career stolen bases.
An outfielder for the Detroit Tigers in 1905, Cooley’s spot was eventually taken by an 18-year-old named Ty Cobb. After Cooley’s big league career ended, he later served as a player and manager for minor league teams in Topeka.
George Grantham — 1,508 hits
The slugger, who played the majority of his career with the Chicago Cubs and Pittsburgh Pirates, was born in Galena, Kan., in 1900.
There’s no doubt that Grantham could hit. He finished his 13 seasons in the MLB with a career batting average of .302. Grantham also posted at least 20 doubles nine seasons and at least 10 homers in four.
However, Grantham did have his flaws. He was nicknamed “Boots” for his struggles on defense. In 1923, he committed 55 errors for the Cubs to lead the national league in that category. That season, he also led the league in caught stealing (28), and strikeouts (92).
David Segui — 1,412 hits
The son of big leaguer Diego Segui, David was born in Kansas City, Kan., and later attended high school at Bishop Ward in Kansas City, Kan.
Segui played 15 seasons in the majors, including eight with the Baltimore Orioles.
However, Segui’s best season may have been in 2000 when he split time with the Texas Rangers and Cleveland Indians. That year, he combined to bat .334 with 192 hits, 42 doubles, 19 homers, and 103 RBI.
Tony Clark — 1,188 hits
Born in Newton, Kan., in 1972, he went on to attend high school in California before enjoying a 15-year career in the major leagues. In addition to recording nearly 1,200 hits, Clark logged 251 home runs and 824 RBI.
Clark was an All-Star with the Detroit Tigers in 2001, and he finished third in the Rookie of the Year voting in 1996.
Don Gutteridge — 1,075 hits
The Pittsburg, Kan., native started his major league career as a member of the St. Louis Cardinals’ Gas House Gang in 1936. Later on, he proved to be a sparkplug for the St. Louis Browns, earning MVP votes as a member of the Brownies in 1942, 1943, and 1944.
Gutteridge led off for the Browns in the 1944 World Series against the Cardinals. He also played in the 1946 World Series as a member of the Boston Red Sox.
He batted .256 for his career with 200 doubles, 64 triples, and 95 stolen bases.
After his playing career, he served as a manager for the Chicago White Sox.
Bob Horner — 1,047 hits
Born in Junction City, Kan., Horner later attended high school in Arizona. A slugger for the Braves, he was the NL’s Rookie of the Year in 1978 with 23 homers in only 89 games.
Horner hit at least 20 home runs in seven of his 10 seasons. He finished his career with 218 round-trippers.