Then again, during the eighties, relievers often pitched over 100 innings a season. Quisenberry was the Royals designated closer for 5 of those seasons, compiling at least 33 saves in each of those years and topping out with 45 in 1983. He saved 37 games for the World Champion Royals in 1985.
Quisenberry was a three time All-Star, being selected in 1982, 1983, and 1984. His best season was in 1983, when he compiled 5.5 Baseball-Reference WAR, saving 45 games with a 1.94 ERA in 139 innings. His tough arm angle and devastating sinker made up for the fact that he rarely struck out any batters (3.3 K/9 career). He didn't walk too many batters, though, either (1.4 BB/9 career). He also didn't give up many home runs (only a 0.5 HR/9 career mark).
He started burning out in 1988. That year, the Royals decided to release him after 20 only OK games. The Royals knew something was up, because when he signed later that season with the Cardinals, he was awful, posting a 6.16 ERA in 33 games (-0.7 WAR). He recovered a bit in 1989 for the Cardinals, however, when he posted 0.9 WAR in about 78 innings. But in 1990, he got into only 5 games with the Giants. In most of them, he was bombed. That was the career for Dan.
While Quisenberry isn't a Hall-of-Famer, he had quite a great career as one of the best relief pitchers of the 1980's. He was a part of the truly great Royals teams of the 80's and was a kind of pitcher we may never see again. Also, he's a published poet! Sadly, Quisenberry passed away in 1998 of a brain tumor. He left behind his wife Janie and two children. His wit and humor will be greatly missed, but he left behind a lot of great memories.
How Much is a Dan Quisenberry Baseball Card Worth?
The one Dan Quisenberry baseball card that's worth a fair amount is the 1980 Topps Future Stars #667 card that he shares with fellow Kansas City Royals pitchers Renie Martin and Bill Paschall. This would be considered Quisenberry's rookie card. Renie Martin would only have one good year in relief in 1981, but was worth -1 WAR in his short 6-year MLB career. Paschall pitched in only 11 major league games. Still, because Quisenberry had a notable career, this card can go for $40 to $50 when graded by PSA in Gem Mint 10 condition. You can find the card in good shape ungraded for as little as $2, however.
Other Dan Quisenberry cards such as his 1982 Topps, 1983 Topps, and 1984 Donruss issues do pop up for sale occasionally in graded PSA 10 condition. Unfortunately, due to being fairly common and because Quisenberry isn't a Hall of Famer, these cards typically don't sell for much more than $10-12. Still, if you're a Kansas City Royals collector, these are nice cards to own for your collection, even if they don't hold much value.