Born: May 16, 1959 (Larned, KS)
Graduated: Larned H.S., 1977
Larned, Kansas, has a population of just over 2,000 today. In 1970, the US Census counted just over 4,500 people. Any way you slice it, Mitch Webster hit the big time when he was plucked from the small town in the 23rd round of the Major League draft by the Cleveland Indians in June of 1977.
Webster, a switch-hitting outfielder, went on to have a thirteen-year career in the big leagues.
While he did later play for the Indians, Webster made his MLB debut with the Toronto Blue Jays in 1983. He played just eleven games his rookie season, but after moving to Montreal in 1985, he became a mainstay at the big league level and notched three consecutive seasons with over 150 games played.
In 1986, Webster lead the entire National League with thirteen triples while setting career marks for: batting average hitting .290, stolen bases with 36, and doubles with 31. He also tallied a career high 167 hits in 1986 which ranked tenth in the National League. The following year in 1987, he set a career high for home runs with 15.
Webster played for a total of six clubs in his major league career, including the Toronto Blue Jays, Montreal Expos, Chicago Cubs, Cleveland Indians, Pittsburgh Pirates and Los Angeles Dodgers. Webster’s fielding ability at all outfield positions, combined with his speed and contact skills at the plate, made him a versatile and valuable asset to his team, which helps to explain Webster’s tremendous staying power at the major league level.
The career numbers tell the story. Webster appeared in 1,265 games throughout his career, compiling a .263 lifetime batting average, a career slugging percentage of .401 and a career OPS pf .730. He added 150 doubles, 55 triples, 70 home runs, and 170 stolen bases, for his career. Webster committed only 42 errors in his entire career and achieved an outstanding .979 fielding percentage. The Larned native could literally do it all.
After his playing days ended, Webster shifted to scouting. He scouted fourteen years for the Los Angeles Dodgers but moved closer to home in 2009 when he was named the Kansas City Royals Midwest Regional Scouting Director.
From a small town in central Kansas to the big leagues in major cities across North America. Today, Mitch Webster joins an illustrious list of Kansas baseball legends as an inductee of the Kansas Sports Hall of Fame.