U.L. Washington (TRADING CARD DB)

U.L. Washington

This article was written by Malcolm Allen

U.L. Washington (TRADING CARD DB)Switch-hitting shortstop U.L. Washington played eight full major-league seasons and parts of three others from 1977 to 1987, most of them with a toothpick in his mouth. A product of the early-1970s Royals Baseball Academy, he played in three postseasons for Kansas City and started every World Series game for the franchise’s first pennant-winning team in 1980.

U.L. Washington was born on October 27, 1953, in Stringtown, Oklahoma. He was one of George Jr. and Ora Lee (Smith) Washington’s 11 children: seven boys and four girls.1 “People used to always ask me what the initials U.L. stood for,” he said. “I’d tell them, ‘U.L. That’s it. They don’t stand for anything.’”2 One of his uncles shared the name.3

Shortly before U.L. was born, an Atoka County Times article described his father driving as “a colored employee of Mr. [Marion] Winters.”4 The following year, the Marion Winters Drugstore5 survived a fire that destroyed most of Stringtown’s main business district.6 Stringtown’s population – 499 according to the 1950 census – declined to 414 by 1960.

U.L.’s baseball career began with three seasons apiece of Little League and American Legion ball. After turning pro, he cited “my first grand slam in the little league” as one of his biggest amateur thrills.7 At Stringtown High School, he played four years of basketball and baseball. The school’s diamond featured a clumpy, dirt infield, a 30-foot-tall tree in center field, and Missouri-Kansas-Texas Railway tracks a couple hundred feet parallel to the first-base line.8 “Until my junior year of high school, I was a 5-[foot-]2 pitcher,” Washington recalled. “People couldn’t believe the stuff I had to be so little.” Following his 1971 graduation in a class of 15, he matriculated at Murray State College, 50 miles to the southwest in Tishomingo. After playing one year of baseball, he left, explaining, “Too much partyin’ going on there. I was awful.”9

Meanwhile, his older brother James was living in Kansas City, Missouri and working as an usher for Royals games. James convinced Royals GM Lou Gorman to give U.L. a tryout.10 U.L. made the six-hour bus ride from Stringtown to Municipal Stadium.11 After another workout in Florida, scout Buzzy Keller signed him on August 4, 1972. “I shagged balls or busted my tail to catch foul balls nobody else chased,” Washington said. “They could tell I wanted to play more than my ability showed.”12

Washington entered the Royals Baseball Academy in Sarasota, a short-lived instructional school that was ahead of its time and ceased operations a year later. “I really didn’t know what I was getting into,” he recalled. “But I never would have known so much about the game if I hadn’t gone there. It was work, work, work.” Washington was generously listed at 5-foot-11, 175 pounds when he reached the majors, and Keller told him that the organization would rather have a good big man than a good little man. “That always stuck with me. It made me go harder,” he said. “And all the while, [5-foot-5 Freddie] Patek was playing shortstop for the Royals.”13

Although Washington listed his position as “2B” on a questionnaire shortly after signing, he debuted as a shortstop with the Kingsport (Tennessee) Royals in 1973.14 The team dominated the rookie-level Appalachian League with a 53-17 record, and he made the All-Star team, batting .283, driving in 51 runs to rank second in the circuit, and topping all shortstops in double plays.15

Washington started 1974 with the San Jose Bees in the Class A California League. Another Royals Academy product, Ron Washington (no relation), played second. Aided by former U.S. Olympic track and field coach Bud Winter, the Bees stole a league record 372 bases. The Washingtons were two of a half-dozen Bees authorized to run at will by manager Steve Boros.16 Although U.L. batted just .249, he swiped 34 bases in 68 contests before he was promoted to the Double-A Southern League on June 24. Three days later, he stroked a game-winning, ninth-inning single for the Jacksonville (Florida) Suns.17 On August 11, Washington’s home run decided a 1-0 victory over Birmingham.18 In 47 games with Jacksonville, he batted .257.

In 1975, Washington advanced to the Omaha (Nebraska) Royals of the Triple-A American Association. On May 6, the townhouse he rented with two teammates suffered heavy tornado damage while they were in Indianapolis on a road trip.19 After Omaha’s first 59 games, Washington was batting just .184.20 “It was to be expected,” Kansas City farm director John Schuerholz observed that fall. “He was only [21] years old, in only his third season of professional ball, and in a tough league,”21 Washington improved to .238 by season’s end, including a two-run, walk-off homer to beat Tulsa, 5-4, on August 7.22 However, his 145 strikeouts led the league by a large margin.23 “I’d never seen a good slider before, and when they found out I couldn’t hit one, they kept throwing it to me,” he said.24

Reluctantly, Washington reported to the Florida Instructional League for the third straight fall. “I felt I needed some rest, but I guess it was more feeling sorry for myself,” he said.25 He learned to bat left-handed, explaining, “I had two options. I could keep batting from the right side and become a super fielder with no hits… or I could become a switch hitter.”26 Although he remained a more powerful right-handed swinger, Washington hit for nearly the same average left-handed in the majors. (.247 versus .259). At first, pitchers jammed him frequently. “I was hitting dribblers up the middle that wouldn’t even get to second base –but they were singles,” he said.27

Washington returned to Omaha in 1976 and paced the American Association with 14 steals in his first 30 games. On May 21, however, he tried to beat out a slow roller down the first-base line by leaping over Tulsa first baseman Leon Lee. Instead, he caught Lee’s shoulder, somersaulted, and broke his left fibula.28 Washington missed the rest of the season, but remained a top prospect. “[Omaha manager] Billy Gardner was raving about the kid, both his fielding and his hitting,” said Schuerholz. “He was making a lot of progress.”29

Healthy again in 1977, Washington played 131 games for Omaha and batted .255 with a team-high 10 triples. His 39 stolen bases trailed only center fielder Willie Wilson, who was also in his first full season as a switch-hitter. “Both players have been very receptive to it,” remarked Omaha skipper John Sullivan. “They’ve been out there and have worked at it. That’s all you can ask.”30 After trailing Indianapolis in the East Division by 10 games on July 8, Omaha rallied to win by 4½ games with the league’s best record.31 Washington was named the club’s “Most Popular Player” by fans.32 He missed Omaha’s championship series loss to Denver, though, because he was called up to the majors.33

Washington debuted on September 6, 1977, at the Seattle Kingdome. After entering as a pinch-runner for Patek with Kansas City leading, 10-0, in the seventh inning, he handled five chances in three innings at shortstop and turned a double play. He was walked by fellow rookie Greg Erardi in his only plate appearance. Washington went 0-for-1 in three games before making his first start on September 16 at Royals Stadium. Batting left-handed, he doubled to left against the Mariners’ Doc Medich his first time up and finished 2-for-3, with a stolen base and an error. For a Kansas City club that notched a franchise-record 102 victories, Washington batted .200 in 10 games.

After the season, the Royals released one infielder (Bob Heise) and lost another to retirement (Cookie Rojas). Free agent signee Jerry Terrell would fill one spot, but Washington sharpened his second-base skills in the FIL to improve his chances of winning the other.34 “We’ll give U.L. plenty of work at second during spring training,” said Royals manager Whitey Herzog.35 “U.L. has the range to play short or second, and he can run, which gives us more team speed.”

Washington started at shortstop in his 1978 debut. He committed two errors but stole three bases in a one-run victory in Cleveland. Nearly four weeks passed before his next plate appearance, however, and he logged only 11 at-bats through 49 games. Beginning July 31 though, he started 19 of 20 contests at short or second as the Royals were without three All-Star infielders for part of that stretch: Patek, second baseman Frank White and third baseman George Brett. “The injuries showed we have guys that can play who don’t play,” Brett remarked. “U.L. Washington showed he can play a great shortstop.”36 Washington batted .264 with 12 steals in 69 games as Kansas City won another division crown before falling to the Yankees in the ALCS for the third straight year.

In 1979, Washington didn’t make his first start until April 30 – Kansas City’s 21st game. He stroked two hits but made two errors at second base as the Royals surrendered four unearned runs in an 8-7 home loss to the Rangers. Eight nights later, a pitch broke White’s hand, causing Washington to start 31 of the next 32 contests. When the team returned to Royals Stadium on May 18, Washington heard boos as his batting average dipped below .200 briefly and he committed two more miscues in the first series of the homestand. “It bothered me,” he acknowledged. “But then I thought about what a great player Frank is and what’s expected of me… I made up my mind that they pay their money, so they can boo and cheer when they want to.”37

Kansas City coach Chuck Hiller said, “We encouraged him and tried to keep him from getting down on himself. He’s a very introverted kid and probably lets things bother him more than other guys would.”38 By the time White returned to the lineup, Patek was hobbled by a sprained ankle, but rookie Todd Cruz – acquired in a spring training trade – spelled the veteran at shortstop while Washington returned to bench duty for 64 games except for two starts at second. “I didn’t feel a part of the team, and it hurt,” he confessed.39 Cruz didn’t hit, however, so from August 21 through the end of the season, Washington started all but one of the Royals’ 38 remaining contests at shortstop. He committed only three errors. “I’m not surprised. I could see him come around once his confidence improved,” said Herzog. White observed, “U.L.’s just as quick as I am. It’s just a matter of getting his concentration and learning the hitters as well as how our pitchers pitch.”40 On September 21 in Oakland, Washington hit his first two major-league homers in a four-hit performance: the first left-handed off Rick Langford, the second right-handed off Craig Minetto. Both were three-run shots, so he tied a (then) Royals single-game record with six RBIs.41 Washington wound up batting .254 in 101 games, but Kansas City finished three games behind the Angels.

Washington traveled to Venezuela to play winter ball with the Tiburones de La Guaira. In 36 games, he scored 28 runs and batted .259.42 While he was in South America, Patek signed a free agent deal with the Angels and the Royals traded Cruz to the White Sox. “A.O. [Royals’ center fielder Amos Otis] picked me up at the airport and told me,” Washington said. “I’m very excited about this season. I can’t wait for spring training to start; I want to get that utility tag off my back.”43

Jim Frey, the Royals’ new manager for 1980, said, “Everything I saw during spring training indicated that he could play on an everyday basis, but you’re always concerned until a guy proves it once the season starts.”44 Washington started as the team’s ninth-place hitter, but batted second with nearly equal frequency after breaking out with 10 multi-hit games in May. Overall, he batted .273 in 153 games with career highs in runs scored (79) and triples (11). If Washington was happy about it, his countenance didn’t show it. “I’ve had people tell me my facial expression makes me look mean,” he said. “Jim Frey used to tell me to smile every now and then.”45

Despite making 32 errors, Washington formed a smooth keystone combination with White, as illustrated by a game-ending double play they turned on June 8 in Texas with one out, the bases loaded, and Kansas City leading, 5-4. After White ranged behind the second base to field a grounder, Washington turned to receive the ball, avoided the sliding runner and fired to first to complete the Royals’ four-game sweep.46 With the Yankees in town on July 27, Washington participated in four twin killings, including a seventh-inning beauty in which he dove to his backhand to snare a Lou Piniella line drive before popping up to double Reggie Jackson off first.47 Royals catcher John Wathan remarked, “[Pitcher] Paul Splittorff and I have said that U.L. is the player we could least afford to lose.”48 Brett – the 1980 AL MVP – said, “U.L.’s just been playing unbelievable shortstop and getting the key hits. I think U.L. has been a big difference between this year’s team and last year’s team.”49

The Royals returned to the ALCS and finally defeated New York, completing a three-game sweep with a come-from-behind, 4-2, victory at Yankee Stadium highlighted by Brett’s three-run homer off Goose Gossage. The blast occurred with two outs in the seventh after Washington extended the inning by beating out an infield hit. In the eighth, the Yankees loaded the bases with nobody out, but Washington gloved Rick Cerone’s line drive and doubled Jackson off second to complete a momentum-killing double play.50 Washington batted .273 in the World Series against the Phillies, but Philadelphia prevailed in six games.

In the playoffs, many viewers became aware for the first time that Washington played with a toothpick in his mouth – something he’d done his entire career. He developed the habit because he didn’t enjoy chewing tobacco, and his father had often sported a toothpick when U.L. was young. A Massachusetts newspaper columnist – apparently unaware of pitcher Sam Jones, who also made a toothpick his trademark in the 1950s and ’60s – called the American League office to ask how a guy could be allowed to compete with a sharp object between his teeth. “Right now, there’s nothing in the rules about it,” explained Bob Grim, a staff assistant for AL President Lee MacPhail. “There is a safety factor involved but I guess they’ve reasoned that any danger was to U.L. Washington himself.”51

The following spring, Royals trainer Mickey Cobb described how Washington was once “a bloody mess” after his upper lip was shoved into his nose in an exhibition game collision. “It was like a car crash,” Washington confirmed, even though he insisted that the toothpick didn’t cause any of his cuts.52 Still, he announced that his toothpick days were over prior to Opening Day. “Just tired of answering questions about it,” Washington explained. “I’d change my name, too, if I could, so they’d quit asking me what it stands for.”53

When the 1981 season was interrupted by a players’ strike in June, Washington was batting just .210 and the Royals were 10 games below .500. He took up karate with Willie Wilson to shed extra pounds during the work stoppage.54 After the Royals replaced Frey with Dick Howser, they rallied to win the AL West in the second half of baseball’s split season, but they were swept by Oakland in the best-of-five divisional playoffs before heading to Japan for a goodwill tour. Although Washington’s .973 fielding percentage was his best as an everyday player, he batted only .227 in 98 regular season games and was caught stealing on half of his 20 attempts.

Washington’s toothpick returned in 1982. “If you hit .273 with it and .227 without it, what would you do?” he asked.55 He was batting only .183, however, when he left the game on April 29 because of lower back spasms and wound up hospitalized and in traction.56 By the time he returned from the disabled list nearly four weeks later, he’d lost his position to Onix Concepción, a rookie who batted .329 in May. When Concepción slumped, Washington reclaimed his starting job on June 20 and notched two hits in Seattle against right-hander Gaylord Perry – including a double over the head of the Mariners’ center fielder.57 With 12 hits in 18 career at-bats, Washington’s .667 batting average against Perry was the highest by any player with at least 10 hits off the Hall of Famer. Washington went on to hit a career-best .266 batting left-handed in 1982, using a bat four inches shorter and two ounces lighter than his right-handed model to better handle inside pitches.58 Right-handed, Washington batted .323 in 1982, with a .561 slugging percentage and nine of his personal-best 10 home runs. In July, he was named the Royals Player of the Month.59 When Washington pulled three homers into the left-field seats in Baltimore during a series in August, teammate Lee May started calling him “Boom.”60

Despite winning 90 games, the Royals finished behind the Angels, but Washington’s .286 overall batting average and career-high 60 RBIs in 119 games earned him a three-year guaranteed contract that winter. “He’s the only player on this team who’s better than what I thought he was when I came here,” said Howser.61 “I know [1982 AL MVP] Robin Yount is a great player, but as an unheralded player, I don’t think there’s a better shortstop than U.L.”62

On April 11, 1983, Washington lined an inside-the-park homer down the left-field line at Royals Stadium.63 Before turning 30 that fall, he would steal a career-high 40 bases in 47 attempts, benefiting from first-base coach José Martínez’s notebook tracking opposing pitchers’ and catchers’ tendencies. “I outran the ball when I had good wheels,” Washington said. “I’ve had to become more of a student of pitcher’s moves, instead of relying just on speed.”64 The rest of his season was a disappointment, however.

Washington’s batting average was below .200 as late as the last week of May, and he finished at .236. Nevertheless, Howser said, “I like Washington’s makeup. He’s not a pouter, moody or down on himself. He’s a worker, no excess, no rips at other people. Very professional.”65 Royals closer Dan Quisenberry – who relied heavily on his infield as a submarine sinkerballer – saved a (then) major-league record 45 games that season while striking out just 3.1 batters per nine innings. “Frank White and U.L. Washington spear a lot of balls and turn a lot of mystical double plays in tight situations,” Quisenberry said.66 But Washington also committed 36 errors to lead the American League.

The Royals were only a handful of games behind the White Sox in early August when reports of cocaine use by some of the team’s players first emerged. Washington was one of the players named as having been interviewed by federal investigators.67 Unlike Vida Blue, Willie Wilson, Willie Aikens and Jerry Martin – all of whom served jail time – Washington was not among the dozen people indicted shortly after the season concluded with Kansas City 20 games behind the White Sox. Nevertheless, when Kansas City agreed to trade Washington for first baseman Pat Putnam and pitcher Bryan Clark at the winter meetings, “Drug rumors reportedly were a major reason why the Seattle Mariners backed out of a deal,” according to Royals beat writer Matt Fish. Meanwhile, Concepción was playing so well in the Puerto Rican winter league that Howser declared him “dead even” with Washington heading into 1984, before adding, “I’d even give Onix the advantage.”68

Washington remained with Kansas City in 1984, but said in spring training, “I wish they’d do something – trade me or quit talking about it. I’m the kind of person who’s never wanted to be where I’m not wanted.”69 He started the season on the disabled list with a left ankle injury.70 The 160-pound Concepción failed to hit his weight in April, though, so Washington reclaimed his position when he returned – only to lose it again three weeks later by hitting for an even lower average. Both players were still under .200 by the end of June when Washington – starting again – began hitting. But the Royals were in sixth place on July 18 when he went back on the DL with an inflamed ulnar nerve in his throwing elbow. He appeared in only four games in August before the same injury sidelined him again.71 By the time Washington came back in the final week of the regular season, the Royals were in first place and Concepción was one of the team’s hottest hitters. Washington only pinch-hit and pinch-ran in Kansas City’s three-game ALCS sweep by the Tigers.

On January 7, 1985, Washington was traded to the Montreal Expos for two players who’d been released by other organizations: reliever Mike Kinnunen and minor-league outfielder Kenny Baker. The Royals agreed to pay half of the $650,000 Washington was owed in the final year of his contract as part of the deal.72 “I understand Montreal wants me as a backup player, but that doesn’t mean I accept it,” he said. The Expos planned to convert third baseman Hubie Brooks –acquired from the Mets a month earlier – into a shortstop. “Washington gives us great insurance,” said Montreal manager Buck Rodgers. “I mean a man who can take over and play for a length of time when needed.”73

Only once did Washington start more than three consecutive games for Montreal. He played well initially, batting .333 in 35 games before making two more trips to the disabled list in June with an injured hamstring.74 After the All-Star break, Washington batted just .127 to finish at .249 overall in 68 games. He declined an offer to remain with Montreal, becoming a free agent – but found little demand for his services, something he later attributed to collusion by major league owners to hold down player salaries.75

The 1986 season was already underway when Washington signed with the Pittsburgh Pirates. After 36 games with the Hawaii Islanders in the Triple-A Pacific Coast League, he joined the Pirates on June 20 and batted .200 in 72 contests for the majors’ worst team. He returned to the PCL in 1987 and spent the entire season as a utility infielder for Pittsburgh’s Vancouver Canadians affiliate. That September, the Pirates called him up and he went 3-for-10 in his final 14 major league games. Washington, 34, went to spring training with the Cincinnati Reds in 1988 but didn’t make the team. “It got to where every time out, I was fighting pain off here or there anyway. I really admire the guys who play until they’re 40,” he said.76

The Pirates hired Washington to manage their Class A, New York-Pennsylvania League affiliate in Welland, Ontario in 1989. During an otherwise forgettable 32-44 season, Washington gave a corner infielder on the verge of being released a chance as a knuckleball pitcher.77 That player, Tim Wakefield, reached the majors with Pittsburgh three years later and won 200 games in a 19-year career.

In the fall of 1989, Washington batted .338 for the Orlando Juice to earn All-Star recognition in the inaugural season of the 35-and-over Senior Professional Baseball Association.78 He was with the San Bernardino Pride when the circuit folded the following year.

Washington spent most of the 1990s as a hitting coach/infield instructor in the Royals organization. Following brief stints with the Los Angeles Dodgers and Minnesota Twins in the same role, he joined the Boston Red Sox from 2003-2014; a fruitful period in which the franchise won three World Series titles. Although Washington was retired by the time the Red Sox won another championship in 2018, he played a key role in their victory. Boston’s Mookie Betts, the 2018 AL MVP, was a struggling singles hitter with the Class A Greenville (South Carolina) Drive in 2013 until Washington helped him shorten his leg kick, gain better balance and sting the ball consistently. “Betts and U.L. had an unbelievable relationship,” recalled Carlos Febles, Greenville’s manager that season.79

As of 2022, Washington resides in Atoka, Oklahoma with his wife Sandra (Kosco), with whom he had daughter Shawnté and son Chris. “I never dreamed I’d even play big league baseball. It’s just something that happened. Playing pro ball is something I’ll always cherish,” Washington said, “I’d much rather be remembered as a pretty good player, but I realize most people will remember me as the guy with the toothpick.”80

Last revised: February 11, 2022

 

Acknowledgments

This biography was reviewed by Rory Costello and Keith Thursby and fact-checked by David Kritzler.

 

Sources

In addition to sources cited in the notes, the author consulted www.ancestry.com, www.baseball-reference.com and www.retrosheet.org.

 

Notes

1 “James Washington,” https://www.findagrave.com/memorial/140144900/james-washington (last accessed July 28, 2021).

2 Mike Baldwin, “The Toothpicks Always Stuck Out U.L.: Washington Wants Fans to Remember His Playing,” Oklahoman, June 14, 1988, https://www.oklahoman.com/article/2229077/the-toothpicks-always-stuck-out-ul-wants-fans-to-remember-his-playing (last accessed July 28, 2021).

3 “Services Held for U.L. Washington,” Atoka County Times, August 27, 1959: 1

4 “Civil Cases Heard,” Atoka County (Oklahoma) Times, February 19, 1953: 1.

5 “Stringtown News,” Atoka County Times, February 28, 1957: 3.

6 “Stringtown Has Big Fire,” Jeffersonian (Atoka, Oklahoma), July 15, 1954: 4.

7 U.L. Washington, Publicity Questionnaire for William J. Weiss, December 21, 1972.

8 Dave Pego, “‘Successtown’ That’s Stringtown, Where Athletics is the New ‘Crusher’,” Oklahoman, February 29, 1984, https://www.oklahoman.com/article/2059495/successtown-thats-stringtown-where-athletics-is-new-crusher (last accessed July 27, 2021).

9 Mike McKenzie, “U.L. Kicks That Toothpick Habit,” The Sporting News, April 4, 1981: 43.

10 Peter Gammons, “Mariners Need Unity,” The Sporting News, August 23, 1980: 7.

11 Sid Bordman, “U.L. to Shed Utility Label,” The Sporting News, January 19, 1980: 36.

12 McKenzie, “U.L. Kicks That Toothpick Habit.”

13 McKenzie, “U.L. Kicks That Toothpick Habit.”

14 Washington, Publicity Questionnaire for William J. Weiss.

15 2021 Appalachian League Media Guide: 50.

16 John Lindblom, “Bees Base Stealing Has Caloop Buzzing,” The Sporting News, June 15, 1974: 41.

17 “Southern League,” The Sporting News, July 20, 1974: 42.

18 “Southern League,” The Sporting News, August 31, 1974: 42.

19 “American Assn.” The Sporting News, May 31, 1975: 32.

20 “Batting and Pitching Records,” The Sporting News, July 12, 1975: 35.

21 John Brockman, “Washington Surprise: A Quick FIL Getaway,” The Sporting News, October 18, 1975: 44.

22 “Washington Goes Long,” The Sporting News, August 30, 1975: 34.

23 Washington’s Omaha teammate, Gary Martz, was second in the American Association with 108 strikeouts.

24 “Unusual Road to Success,” Daily World (New York, New York), August 1, 1980: 12.

25 Brockman, “Washington Surprise: A Quick FIL Getaway.”

26 “Unusual Road to Success.”

27 “Unusual Road to Success.”

28 “Washington Injured in Spectacular Collision,” The Sporting News, June 12, 1976: 48.

29 Joe McGuff, “McClure and Olsen Earn Top Billing in Royals Plans,” The Sporting News, February 26, 1977: 43.

30 “Speedsters Try Left Side,” The Sporting News, July 16, 1977: 38.

31 “American Assn.” The Sporting News, August 20, 1977: 40.

32 U.L. Washington’s 1978 SSPC baseball card.

33 “Caught on the Fly,” The Sporting News, October 8, 1977: 34.

34 Sid Bordman, “Royals Sign Jerry Terrell as Their New Cookie,” The Sporting News, November 26, 1977: 52.

35 Del Black, “Terrell Eager to Fill Royal Utility Role,” The Sporting News, January 28, 1978: 45.

36 “Royals Win A.L. West,” Chillicothe (Missouri) Constitution-Tribune, September 27, 1978: 2.

37 Del Black, “Washington Earning Royal Raves,” The Sporting News, September 22, 1979: 7.

38 Black, “Washington Earning Royal Raves.”

39 McKenzie, “U.L. Kicks That Toothpick Habit.”

40 Black, “Washington Earning Royal Raves.”

41 As of 2021, the Royals single-game RBI record is held by Mike Moustakas: nine on September 12, 2015.

42 U.L. Washington’s Venezuelan League statistics from https://www.pelotabinaria.com.ve/beisbol/mostrar.php?ID=washul001 (last accessed July 29, 2021).

43 Sid Bordman, “U.L. to Shed Utility Label,” The Sporting News, January 19, 1980: 36.

44 Del Black, “U.L. Proving Worth in K.C.” The Sporting News, June 21, 1980: 12.

45 “U.L. Revises Player Ratings,” The Sporting News, April 18, 1983: 12.

46 Sid Bordman, “Royalties,” The Sporting News, June 28, 1980: 11.

47 Lowell Reidenbaugh, “K.C.’s Chance to Crow,” The Sporting News, August 9, 1980: 3.

48 Peter Gammons, “Role Players Glitter in Their Own Style,” The Sporting News, August 2, 1980: 9.

49 Mike DeArmond, “Brett’s Goal: Second Bat Crown,” The Sporting News, August 2, 1980: 23.

50 Mike DeArmond, “One Swing by Brett – A Moment to Savor,” The Sporting News, October 25, 1980: 26.

51 Bob McCoy, “What Hath U.L. Wrought?” The Sporting News, November 29, 1980: 6.

52 McKenzie, “U.L. Kicks That Toothpick Habit.”

53 Mike McKenzie, “Royalties,” The Sporting News, March 28, 1981: 26.

54 Mike McKenzie, “Royalties,” The Sporting News, August 1, 1981: 31.

55 Mike McKenzie, “Royalties,” The Sporting News, April 3, 1982: 40.

56 Mike McKenzie, “Royalties,” The Sporting News, May 17, 1982: 34.

57 Mike McKenzie, “U.L. Regains Job with Bat Spree,” The Sporting News, July 5, 1982: 24.

58 Mike McKenzie, “U.L. is Looking to Get Full Worth,” The Sporting News, February 7, 1983: 35.

59 Mike McKenzie, “Royalties,” The Sporting News, August 16, 1982: 21.

60 Stan Isle, “O’Malley Misses ‘Flat’ Curve,” The Sporting News, August 23, 1982: 31.

61 Peter Gammons, “Six HRs at Lodi? Don’t Worry,” The Sporting News, April 25, 1983: 31.

62 Mike McKenzie, “U.L. Can’t Catch a Break –or Cab, Either,” The Sporting News, May 23, 1983: 28.

63 Peter Gammons, “Royals Dump Sox,” Boston Globe, April 12, 1983: 1.

64 Mike McKenzie, “Older, Wiser U.L. Racking Up Thefts,” The Sporting News, August 15, 1983: 25.

65 McKenzie, “U.L. Can’t Catch a Break –or Cab, Either.”

66 Jonathan Rand, “Dan Quisenberry,” The Sporting News, August 22, 1983: 2.

67 Associated Press, “Blue is Questioned in Cocaine Inquiry: Some Royals Interviewed,” New York Times, August 10, 1983: B11.

68 Mike Fish, “K.C. Shortstop Race Dead Even,” The Sporting News, December 26, 1983: 47.

69 Mike Fish, “Royals Are Showing Surprising Optimism,” The Sporting News, April 2, 1984: 21.

70 Mike Fish, “Royalties,” The Sporting News, April 16, 1984: 16.

71 Mike Fish, “Concepcion’s Loss a Blow to Royals,” The Sporting News, August 27, 1984: 34.

72 Mike Fish, “Washington Traded to Montreal,” The Sporting News, January 21, 1985: 41.

73 Ian MacDonald, “U.L. to Battle for Expos’ Job,” The Sporting News, January 21, 1985: 36.

74 Ian MacDonald, “Exposes,” The Sporting News, July 15, 1985: 27.

75 Baldwin, “The Toothpicks Always Stuck Out U.L. Washington Wants Fans to Remember His Playing.”

76 Baldwin, “The Toothpicks Always Stuck Out U.L. Washington Wants Fans to Remember His Playing.”

77 Bernd Franke, “Welland’s World Series,” Tribune (Welland, Ontario), October 23, 2004: B1.

78 U.L. Washington’s 1989 Topps Senior League baseball card.

79 Alex Smith, “How Mookie Betts Went from Homer-less to Slugger,” Boston Globe, June 2, 2016: 2.

80 Baldwin, “The Toothpicks Always Stuck Out U.L. Washington Wants Fans to Remember His Playing.”

Full Name

U L Washington

Born

October 27, 1953 at Stringtown, OK (USA)

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