A two-time all star and the author of two no-hitters, Busby was one of the best pitchers in baseball for three years before arm injuries knocked his career off course. He pitched in five games for the Kansas City Royals in 1972, then won 16 games in 1973, helping him finish third in the American League Rookie of the Year vote. He won 22 games to go along with a 3.39 ERA and 198 strikeouts in 1974, a year that saw him make his first all-star team and finish in the MVP race as well. Busby was an all star again in 1975 as he won 18 more games for Kansas City. However, arm troubles caught up with him in 1976 and he pitched in just 13 games that season. He missed 1977 completely and appeared in seven games in 1978. He saw action in 22 games for the Royals in 1979, but struggled the following year and was done in professional baseball at the end of the season, finishing with a 70-54 record.
Busby’s first no-hitter came on April 27, 1973 against the Detroit Tigers. The Royals won the game 3-0. It was the first no-hitter in Royals’ history as well as the first no-hitter thrown in the designated hitter era. Busby did it again on June 19, 1974 against the Milwaukee Brewers. Fran Healy, who we featured in a Swings and Misses, was the catcher for both Busby’s no-hitters.
As noted, Busby was part of the Royals’ team that reached the 1976 American League Championship Series where they took on the New York Yankees. Busby did not pitch in the playoffs and Kansas City lost to New York in five games.
Busby was one of the first two men elected to the Kansas City Royals Hall of Fame. The other being Amos Otis who we featured last December.
Steve Busby – career stats