Kansas City Royals

Kansas City Royals

MLB infobox
name = Kansas City Royals
established = 1969
misc =
owner = David Glass


colors = Royal Blue, Whitecolor box|#15317E color box|white
WS = (1)
P = (2)
PENNANTS = 1985 • 1980
misc1 =
DIV = Central
DV = (0)
Division Champs = None
manager = Trey Hillman
gm = Dayton Moore
misc5 = West Division titles (6) [1]
OTHER DIV CHAMPS = 1985 • 1984 • 1980 • 1978
1977 • 1976
WC = (0)
Wild Card = None
misc6 = [1] In 1981, a players' strike in the middle of the season forced the season to be split into two halves. Kansas City won the division in the second half, but lost the division playoff to the Athletics. The Royals finished three games under .500 and had only the fourth best record in the division when considering the entire season, eleven games behind the A's, Texas and Chicago.
current league = American League
y1 = 1969
division = Central Division
y2 = 1994
misc2 =
**West Division (1969–1993)
nicknames = The Boys in Blue
y3 = 1969
pastnames =
ballpark = Kauffman Stadium
y4 = 1973
pastparks =*a.k.a. Royals Stadium (1973–1993)
*Municipal Stadium (1969–1972)
Uniform = ALC-Uniform-KC.png retirednumbers = 5, 10, 20, 42
Team = Royals
Team1 = Royals

The Kansas City Royals are a Major League Baseball team based in Kansas City, Missouri. The Royals are a member of the Central Division of Major League Baseball's American League. From Baseball Year|1973 to the present, the Royals have played in Kauffman Stadium.

The "Royals" name originates from the American Royal, a livestock show, horse show, and rodeo held annually in Kansas City since 1899.Fact|date=September 2008 Th "Royals" name also echoes the name of a legendary Negro League club, the Kansas City Monarchs.Fact|date=October 2008

Entering Major League Baseball as an expansion franchise in 1969, the club was founded by Ewing Kauffman, a Kansas City businessman. The franchise was established following the actions of Stuart Symington, then-United States Senator from Missouri, who demanded a new franchise for the city after the Athletics—Kansas City's previous major league team—moved to Oakland, California.

Franchise history

1969–1979: Taking off

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.

The team was quickly built through a number of trades engineered by its first General Manager, Cedric Tallis, including a trade for Lou Piniella, who won the Rookie of the Year during the Royals' inaugural season. The Royals also invested in a strong farm system and soon developed such future stars as pitchers Paul Splittorff and Steve Busby, infielders George Brett and Frank White, and outfielder Al Cowens.

In 1971, the Royals had their first winning season, with manager Bob Lemon leading them to a second-place finish. In 1973, under manager Jack McKeon, the Royals adopted their iconic "powder blue" road uniforms and moved from Municipal Stadium to the brand-new Royals Stadium (now known as Kauffman Stadium).

Manager Whitey Herzog replaced McKeon in 1975, and the Royals quickly became the dominant franchise in the American League's 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.

1980–1984: From pennant to pine tar incident

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. The Royals vanquished the Yankees in a three-game sweep punctuated by a George Brett home run off of Yankees' star relief pitcher Goose Gossage. After after reaching their first World Series, the Royals fell to the Philadelphia Phillies in six games.

The Royals returned to the post-season in 1981, losing to the Oakland Athletics in a unique divisional series resulting from the split-season caused by the 1981 Major League Baseball strike. In July of 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 what has come to be known as "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. Home plate umpire Tim McClelland immediately disallowed the home run, and George Brett stormed out of the dugout, angry and hysterical. McClelland ejected Brett. "The Pine Tar Incident" has now become part of baseball lore.

Under the leadership of manager Dick Howser, the Royals won their fifth division championship in 1984, relying on Brett's bat and the young pitching staff of Bret Saberhagen, Mark Gubicza, Charlie Leibrandt, Bud Black and Danny Jackson. The Royals were then swept by the Detroit Tigers in the American League Championship Series. The Tigers went on to win the World Series.

1985: Missouri's finest and the "I-70 Series"

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 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.

1986–1994: Staying in the picture

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. For example, in 1989, the Royals won 92 games and posted the third-best record in baseball, but did not qualify for the playoffs.

Many of the team's highlights from this era instead centered around the end of Brett's career, such as his third and final batting title in 1990 – which made him the first player to win batting titles in three different decades – and his 3,000th hit. Though the team dropped out of contention from 1990 to 1992, the Royals still could generally be counted on to post winning records through the strike-shortened 1994 season.

1995–2001: The decline

At the start of the 1990s, the Royals had been hit with a double-whammy when General Manager John Schuerholz departed in 1990 and team owner Ewing Kauffman died in 1993. Kauffman's death left the franchise without permanent ownership until Wal-Mart executive David Glass purchased the team for $96 million in 2000. Partly because of the resulting lack of leadership, after the 1994 season the Royals decided to reduce payroll by trading pitcher David Cone and outfielder Brian McRae, then continued their salary dump in the 1995 season. In fact, the team payroll was sliced from $40.5 million in 1994 to $18.5 million in 1996. [http://www.kansascity.com/mld/kansascity/sports/15496052.htm]

As attendance slid and the average MLB salary continued to rise, the Royals found it difficult to retain their remaining stars, and the club traded players such as Kevin Appier and Johnny Damon for prospects, and Jermaine Dye for perennial underachiever Neifi Perez rather than pay higher salaries or lose them to free agency. Making matters worse, most of the younger players that the Royals received in exchange for these All-Stars proved of little value, setting the stage for an extended downward spiral. Indeed, the Royals set a franchise low with a .398 winning percentage (64-97 record) in 1999, and lost 97 games again in 2001.

In the middle of this era, in 1997, the Royals declined the opportunity to switch to the National League as part of a realignment plan to introduce the Arizona Diamondbacks and Tampa Bay Devil Rays as expansion teams.

2002–2006: Rock bottom

In 2002, the Royals set a new team record for futility, losing 100 games for the first time in franchise history. They fired manager Tony Muser and he was replaced by Tony Peña.

The 2003 season saw a temporary end to the losing, when manager Tony Peña, in his first full season with the club, 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.

Picked by many to win their division in 2004 after faring well in the free agent market, the Royals got off to a disappointing start and by late June were back in a rebuilding mode, releasing veteran reliever Curtis Leskanic before financial incentives kicked in and trading veteran reliever Jason Grimsley and superstar center fielder Carlos Beltrán for prospects, all within a week of each other. The team subsequently fell apart completely, establishing a new low by losing 104 games. The Royals did, however, see promising seasons from two rookies, center fielder David DeJesus and starting pitcher Zack Greinke. Among the many mistakes of 2004, was acquiring Juan Gonzalez, Benito Santiago, and keeping pitchers Darrell May and Brian Anderson, both of whom underachieved after a great 2003 season. They all were let go during the season or after the season's end.

In 2005, the Royals continued a youth movement, with one of the smallest payrolls in the Major Leagues. 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.

Looking for a quick turnaround, general manager Allard Baird signed several veteran players prior to the 2006 season, including Doug Mientkiewicz, Mark Grudzielanek, Joe Mays and Scott Elarton. Nevertheless, the Royals struggled through another 100-loss season in 2006, becoming just the eleventh team in major league history to lose 100 games in three straight seasons. [http://www.kansascity.com/mld/kansascity/sports/baseball/mlb/kansas_city_royals/15634743.htm] During the season Baird was fired as GM and replaced by Dayton Moore.

2007–"present": "New. Blue. Tradition."

During the 2006 offseason, Kansas City appeared to be opening up its wallet, and entered the 2007 season looking to rebound from four out of five seasons ending with at least 100 losses. They outbid the Cubs and Blue Jays for free agent righty Gil Meche, signing him to five-year, $55 million contract. Reliever Octavio Dotel also inked a one-year, $5 million contract. The Royals have signed various new players, adding bulk to their bullpen and hitting, and the team has added several new promising prospects, including the likes of Alex Gordon and Billy Butler. Under general manager Dayton Moore the Royals were arguably the most aggressive team in the offseason. Among one of Dayton Moore's first acts as General Manager was instating a new motto for the team: "True. Blue. Tradition." The Royals plan on a slogan that will bank on new general manager Dayton Moore’s ability to restore the Royals’ once-rich history. [Flanagan, Jeffrey. [http://www.kansascity.com/mld/kansascity/16647959.htm Royals reach to past with newest slogan] "Kansas City Star", 28 February 2007.] In 2008, the Royals also ditched their black and sleeveless jerseys, instead reviving their "old" jerseys from years past. [http://kansascity.royals.mlb.com/news/article.jsp?ymd=20060127&content_id=1302088&vkey=news_kc&fext=.jsp&c_id=kc Royals unveil new uniforms in 2006] "MLB.com", 27 January 2006.] For 2008, to coincide with the introduction of powder blue alternate home jerseys, the new slogan changed from "True. Blue. Tradition" to "New. Blue. Tradition".

In the 2007 MLB Draft, the Royals selected shortstop Mike Moustakas at #2 overall, signing him minutes before the deadline. In June, the Royals had their first winning month since July 2003, and in July had their second consecutive winning month of the season. On August 1, manager Buddy Bell announced his intentions to resign following the 2007 season. [http://kansascity.royals.mlb.com/news/article.jsp?ymd=20070801&content_id=2122768&vkey=news_kc&fext=.jsp&c_id=kc Bell stepping down as Royals skipper] ] On September 12, the Royals defeated the Minnesota Twins 6-3 to win their 63rd game, guaranteeing that they would not lose 100 games in 2007. The victory ended the team's string of three consecutive seasons of 100 losses or more from 2004-2006.

Kansas City's 2008 season began with the team searching for it's new manager after the departure of Buddy Bell. Early candidates to succeed Bell included Royals bench coach Billy Doran,Dutton, Bob. [http://www.kansascity.com/sports/story/299177.html Finding a manager tops Royals' offseason checklist] "Kansas City Star", 1 October 2007.] former Royals stars George Brett (Brett denied his intentions) and Frank White, and Triple-A Omaha manager Mike Jirschele. Former Major League managers such as Joe Girardi, Jim Fregosi, Ken Macha, and Jimy Williams. Atlanta Braves coaches Terry Pendleton and Brian Snitker were also in consideration. [Dutton, Bob. [http://www.kansascity.com/sports/royals/story/214535.html] "Kansas City Star", 1 Aug 2007] . On October 19, the Royals hired Trey Hillman, former manager of the Nippon Ham Fighters and minor league manager of the New York Yankees, to be the 15th manager in franchise history.Kaeger, Dick. [http://kansascity.royals.mlb.com/news/article.jsp?ymd=20071022&content_id=2276225&vkey=news_kc&fext=.jsp&c_id=kc Royals introduce Hillman as new manager] "MLB.com", 22 October 2007.]

As part of the Royals' "New. Blue. Tradition." motto, the Royals introduced a new rendition of their classic powder blue uniforms for the 2008 season. The team will wear the uniforms as alternates in weekend home games. The Royals previously wore powder blue uniforms from 1973 to 1991 in away games, and in 2008, the Royals will wear powder blue for the first time ever at Kauffman Stadium.Kaegel, Dick. [http://kansascity.royals.mlb.com/news/article.jsp?ymd=20071207&content_id=2320779&vkey=news_kc&fext=.jsp&c_id=kc Royals to bring back powder blues] "Royals.com", 6 December 2007.] The uniforms were introduced on December 6, 2007 at a special event for season ticket holders and were modeled by current players such as Alex Gordon and former players such as Frank White.

The Royals finished the 2008 season with a 75–87 record, the franchise's best since 2003. Closing pitcher Joakim Soria, the Royals' lone representative in the 2008 MLB All-Star Game, finished the year with 42 saves.

Rivalries and fan base

Historically, one of the Royals' major rivalries was with the New York Yankees. The rivalry stems largely from the period between 1976 and 1980, when both teams were in top form and met four times in five years for the American League Championship Series. An older factor in Kansas City-New York relations is the "special relationship" between the Yankees and the Kansas City A's during the 1950s, in which Kansas City's best players (such as Roger Maris and Ralph Terry) were repeatedly sent to New York with little compensation. The Royals' recent lack of success, however, as well as the Yankees' more popular and historic rivalry with the Boston Red Sox has caused this rivalry to lose its prominence. Also of note are division rivalries with the Cleveland Indians, Chicago White Sox, Detroit Tigers, and Minnesota Twins. In the early 2000s, Detroit and Kansas City had a number of bench clearing brawls. Also notable among these are the Minnesota Twins' fans, who travel well and make a more balanced and divided crowd when the Twins visit Kansas City.

The Royals' most prominent rivalry is with the intrastate St. Louis Cardinals, stemming back to the Royals' victory over the Cardinals in the 1985 World Series. The series is still a source of contention among fans, notably the controversial call in the bottom of the ninth of game 6 in which Jorge Orta was called safe on a play that replays later showed him out. A Royals rally let them tie and later win the game and then later the series.

Interleague play in 1997 allowed the I-70 Series to be revived in non-exhibition games. The first few seasons of the series were rather even, with the Cardinals holding a slight advantage with a 14–13 record through the 2003 season. Through the 2008 season, the Cardinals hold the series advantage 28–23.

Players of note

Baseball Hall of Fame

Missouri Sports Hall of Fame

Retired numbers

The Royals have retired the numbers of former players George Brett (#5) and Frank White (#20). Former manager Dick Howser's number (#10) was retired following his death in 1987. Former Brooklyn Dodgers player Jackie Robinson's number (#42) is retired throughout Major League Baseball.

Royals Hall of Fame

Listed by year of induction:1986
* 40 Steve Busby, SP
* 26 Amos Otis, CF

* 10 Dick Howser, Manager
* 1 Cookie Rojas, 2B
* 34 Paul Splittorff, SP

* 22 Dennis Leonard, SP
* 11 Hal McRae, DH

*Joe Burke, GM and President
* 32 Larry Gura, SP
* 2 Freddie Patek, SS

*Ewing Kauffman, owner and tributary of name of Kauffman Stadium

* 5 George Brett, 3B

* 20 Frank White, 2B

* Muriel Kauffman, executive and wife of Ewing
* 7 John Mayberry, 1B

* 29 Dan Quisenberry, RP

* 24 Whitey Herzog, Manager
* 6 Willie Wilson, CF

* 21 Jeff Montgomery, RP

* Denny Matthews, radio announcer

* 18 Bret Saberhagen, SP

* 23 Mark Gubicza, SP

* Art Stewart, scout

Current roster


Minor league affiliations

* AAA: Omaha Royals, Pacific Coast League
* AA: Northwest Arkansas Naturals, Texas League
* Advanced A: Wilmington Blue Rocks, Carolina League
* A: Burlington Bees, Midwest League
* Rookie: AZL Royals, Arizona League
* Rookie: Burlington Royals, Appalachian League
* Rookie: Idaho Falls Chukars, Pioneer League
* Rookie: DSL Royals, Dominican Summer League

eason records

Radio and television

As of 2008, the Royals will carry games on KCSP 610AM and KMBZ 980AM depending on scheduling. [http://www.kansascity.com/sports/columnists/jeffrey_flanagan/story/213497.html] Most games are expected to be on KCSP, however. The stations replace WHB, which chose not to renew, and KCXM, now a Christian radio station (as KLRX). The radio announcers will be Denny Matthews and Bob Davis, with Steve Stewart and possibly Ryan Lefebvre doing fill-in work. [ [http://www.kansascity.com/sports/columnists/jeffrey_flanagan/story/436645.html www.kansascity.com | 01/08/2008 | Royals broadcasters ready for new season ] ]

Meanwhile, the Royals have shut down Royals Sports Television Network, and the full television schedule of 140 games will air on FSN Kansas City, a newly-created branch of FSN Midwest, leaving no over-the-air broadcast outlet for the Royals this season. The announcers there will be Lefebvre, Paul Splittorff, and Frank White. Frank White fills in for Splittorff on a few games. [ [http://www.kansascity.com/sports/columnists/jeffrey_flanagan/story/438236.html www.kansascity.com | 01/09/2008 | Royals’ newest broadcaster ready to get started ] ]

On February 22, 2007, Matthews was selected as the 2007 recipient of the Ford C. Frick Award, presented annually for major contributions to baseball broadcasting. [ [http://www.sportsline.com/mlb/story/10015210 Royals announcer Matthews wins Frick Award - MLB - CBSSports.com Live Scores, Stats, Schedules ] ]


Sluggerrr is the mascot of the Royals. Sluggerrr is a lion and made his first appearance on April 5, 1996.On game day, Sluggerrr can be found pitching in the "Little K" and firing hot dogs from an air cannon into the stands between innings. [http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Vj5wo3BpAjk YouTube.com Video]

ee also

* Kansas City Royals all-time roster
* Kansas City Royals award winners and league leaders
* Kansas City Royals records - statistical records and milestone achievements
* I-70 Series - Royals-Cardinals rivalry


External links

* [http://www.810baseball.com/ Royals on Radio]
* [http://royals.mlblogs.com/ Around the Horn in KC - Official MLBlog of the Kansas City Royals front office.]
* [http://sportsline.com/mlb/teams/page/KC CBS SportsLine.com]
* [http://www.sportsecyclopedia.com/al/kc/royals.html Sports E-Cyclopedia]

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