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Kansas City Royals

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AL Central
  • World Series titles:
  • American League champs:
    1980; 1985
  • Division champs:
    1976-78; 1980; 1984–85
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The Royals made a lofty sign this off-season when they acquired veteran right fielder Jose Guillen; this could be a sign that the franchise is finally beginning to move in the right dirrection.

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The 1985 Kansas City Royals were World Series Champions! They are the only team to ever bring this title to the big K.C.

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The Kansas City Royals are obviously in a rebuilding stage. It does not seem they will compete in the highly talented American League for at least a few more years. Well, they can still compete to stay off the bottom of the standings this year.

Team History

The Royals began play in 1969 in Kansas City, Missouri. In their inaugural game, on April 8, 1969, the Royals defeated the Minnesota Twins 4-3 in 12 innings. They would not win much that season and would finish 69-93.

In 1971, just their third year of existence, the Royals post their first winning season and finish in second place in the Western Division. At the time, it was the quickest an expansion team had achieved such success.

In 1973, the Royals move into brand new Royals Stadium. That first year the Royals also host the All-Star Game, which is won by the National League, 7-1. The new stadium features an artificial surface, and Royals management begins to build a team around speed and pitching—a move that would pay off in a short period of time. The year also sees the debut of a young third baseman named George Brett, who would become the centerpiece of Royals baseball for the next 20 years.

Under manager Whitey Herzog, the Royals quickly became the dominant franchise in the American League Western Division, winning three straight division championships from 1976 to 1978. However, the Royals lost to the New York Yankees in three straight American League Championship Series encounters.

After the Royals finished in second place in 1979, Herzog was fired and replaced by Jim Frey. Under Frey, the Royals rebounded in 1980 and advanced to the ALCS, where they again faced the Yankees.

In the 1980 ALCS, the Royals finally vanquished the Yankees in a three-game sweep punctuated by a George Brett home run off Yankees' star closer Goose Gossage. However, after reaching their first World Series, the Royals fell to the Philadelphia Phillies in six games.

In 1983, while the Royals were headed for a second-place finish behind the Chicago White Sox another chapter in the team's rivalry with the Yankees occurred in July. In the Pine Tar Incident, umpires discovered illegal placement of pine tar (more than 18 inches up the handle) on third baseman George Brett's bat after he had hit a home run. The umpires immediately disallowed the home run and ejected Brett, who stormed out of the dugout to argue his defense. The incident has now become part of baseball lore.

In the 1985 regular season the Royals topped the Western Division for the sixth time in ten years, led by Bret Saberhagen's Cy Young Award-winning performance. Throughout the ensuing playoffs, the Royals repeatedly put themselves into difficult positions, but improbably managed to escape each time. With the Royals down 3-games-to-one in the American League Championship Series against the Toronto Blue Jays, the Royals eventually rallied to win the series 4-3. In the 1985 World Series against the cross-state St. Louis Cardinals – the so-called "I-70 Series" because the two teams are both located in the state of Missouri and connected by Interstate 70 – the Royals again fell behind 3-1. The key game in the Royals' comeback was Game Six. Facing elimination, the Royals trailed 1-0 in the bottom of the ninth inning, before rallying to score two runs and win. The rally was helped by a controversial safe call at first base by umpire Don Denkinger, which allowed Royals outfielder Jorge Orta to reach base safely as the first baserunner of the inning.

Following Orta's single, the Cardinals dropped an easy popout and suffered a passed ball, before the Royals went on to win with a bloop base hit by seldom used pinch hitter Dane Iorg. Following the tension of Game Six, the Cardinals came undone in Game Seven, and the Royals won 11-0 to clinch the franchise's first World Series title.

In 1986, coming off their championship the Royals get off to a rough start, and fall way behind the eventual division Champion Angels early.

In the late 1980s and early 1990s, the Royals developed young stars such as Bo Jackson, Tom Gordon, and Kevin Seitzer, made some successful free-agent acquisitions, and generally posted winning records, but always fell short of the post-season.

The 1990s were bittersweet for the Royals and their fans. Kansas City saw the end of the careers of three of the club's legends.

George Brett won his third batting title and broke the 3,000-hit barrier before retiring in 1993. Frank White retired as baseball's premier second baseman, after winning eight Gold Gloves. Speedster Willie Wilson's career concluded with the Cubs, but he left as the Royals all-time stolen base king.

Sadly, Kansas City mourned the losses of owners Ewing and Muriel Kauffman, who brought excitement and success to baseball in Kansas City. The heartbreaking loss of legendary reliever Dan Quisenberry to cancer was another emotional hurdle for longtime fans of the club.

The city did celebrate the induction of Brett into baseball's Hall of Fame in 1999, with special events and honors for the hometown hero throughout the season.

While the 1990s presented many struggles on the field, fans got to see a glimpse of the future with the development of Mike Sweeney and 1999 Rookie of the Year Carlos Beltran.

In 2002, Mike Sweeney was named an All-Star for the third straight season and earned his second Royals Player of the Year Award as he turned in one the best seasons of his career. Sweeney posted a .340 batting average, the second highest in the American League in 2002 and the second highest in club history (Brett, .390 in 1980). He was in the batting race until the final weekend of the season, before falling to Boston's Manny Ramirez (.349). He also led the Royals in slugging percentage (.563) and on-base percentage (.417).

The 2003 season saw a temporary end to the losing, when manager Tony Peña, in his first full season with the club, improbably guided the Royals to their first winning record (83-79) since the 1994 season. He was named the American League Manager of the Year for his efforts and then shortstop Angel Berroa was named AL Rookie of the Year. The team spent a majority of the season in first, but ended up in third place behind the Chicago White Sox and Minnesota Twins, who won the AL Central.

The Royals ended the 2005 season with a 56-106 record (.346), a full 43 games out of first place. It was the third time in four seasons that the team reestablished the mark for worst record in the history of the franchise. During that season, the Royals also suffered a franchise record 19-game losing streak highlighted by a three-game stretch of blowout losses at home from August 6 through August 9; in that stretch the Royals lost 16-1 to the Oakland Athletics, were shut out 11-0 by Oakland, and then in the third game, against the Cleveland Indians, built a 7-2 lead in the ninth inning before allowing 11 runs to lose 13-7. During the season manager Tony Peña quit and was replaced by interim manager Bob Schaefer until the Indians' bench coach Buddy Bell was chosen as the next manager.

Retired Numbers


General Managers




Rookie Of The Year

Cy Young

All-Time Team Leaders & Stats

Career Records

Single Season Records

Record Per Season


Current Roster

40-Man Roster Spring Training Non-Roster Invitees Coaches/Other

* Not on active roster
† 15-day disabled list
Roster updated 2008-03-26
TransactionsDepth Chart




Designated hitters

  • None specified





60-day disabled list

  • Currently vacant

Suspended list

  • Currently vacant

Minor League Teams

See also

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