Kansas City Royals
Everyone in Kansas City knows what the American Royal is…a massive annual combination of a horse show, a rodeo, livestock exhibitions, barbecue competitions, and much more. Little surprise then when a professional baseball team was established in 1969 they took the name of the Kansas City Royals because that name had already been adopted by other teams from the Kansas City area.
The Royals are members of the Central Division of the American :League playing their home matches in what is now known as the Kauffman Stadium. The highlight of their history were their World Series triumphs in 1980 and 2014, plus being runners-up in 1980 and 2014.
Pressure from a former US Senator helped the establishment of the Royals in the American League after Kansas City’s previous major league baseball team moved to Oakland, California in 1968. The new team quickly became highly successful, with seven playoff appearances from 1976 to 1985 which included one World Series championship and another AL pennant. The team remained competitive throughout the early 1990s, but then had only one winning season from 1995 to 2012. For 28 consecutive seasons (1986–2013), the Royals did not qualify to play in the Major League Baseball postseason, one of the longest postseason droughts during baseball's currently expanded wild-card era. Things improved in 2014 when they secured the franchise's first wild card berth and advancing to the World Series. They followed this up by winning their first Central Division title in 2015 on the way to to their first World Series title in 30 years.
In the first of these (1985), the Royals beat the St Louis Cardinals by four games to three in a match-off that was remarkable as both teams were in the same state, Missouri, and connected by Interstate 70. Thirty years on saw another remarkable Series which extended into November, won decisively by the Royals (4-1) over the NY Mets, this being the first time that a team won the World Series having been beaten the previous year.
Among many star players who have represented the Royals, pride of place goes to George Brett who played 21 seasons for the Royals, and is their all-time leader in almost every offensive category. He made the all-star team for 13 straight seasons, from 1976-1988.
Kevin Appier was a stalwart of Royals’ pitching over eight seasons culminating in 1997, starting 239 games over eight seasons. He led the AL in ERA in 1993, with a 2.56, going 18-8.
Amos Otis joined the Royals in 1970, immediately making the all-star team every year through 1973, then again in 1976. Otis was noticeably fast. He stole 340 bases for the Royals and he hit for power, compiling 193 home runs and 992 RBIs over the years.
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