The Kansas City Royals are in the 2014 Major League Baseball playoffs – for the first time since 1985!
As a fan from the Kansas City side of Missouri, I have fond memories of the 1985 World Series win against the St. Louis Cardinals. It was tough just getting to the World Series.
I remember the Royals being beaten by the New York Yankees in the American League Championship Series in 1976, 1977, and 1978. Those were heartbreaking losses.
In 1980, I was in Kansas City’s famed Kemper Arena watching an Elton John concert when Sir Elton announced that the Royals were heading to the World Series. The game was being played at Yankee Stadium. That game is when George Brett pounded a Goose Gossage pitch into the upper deck for a three-run homer to seal the win for the Royals. After the concert it seemed everyone headed to the Plaza area in Kansas City to celebrate. It was a party.
The Royals then lost the World Series to the Philadelphia Phillies 4-2.
Finally in 1985 the Royals made it to and won the World Series against their cross-state rivals, the St. Louis Cardinals. Fans celebrated, but I bet nobody ever figured that twenty-nine years would pass before the Royals would reappear in the postseason.
We’re back baby – we play Tuesday night in the Wild Card game in Kansas City. Monday and Tuesday, Kansas City is in the center of the sports universe – The Kansas City Chiefs host the New England Patriots on Monday Night Football, and the Royals host the Oakland Athletics on Tuesday night.
The days of George Brett, Frank White, Dan Quisenberry, Bret Saberhagen, Hal McRae, Willie Wilson, Fred Patek, and others may be long gone, but let’s hope a new era is starting for playoff baseball in Kansas City.
Jackie M. (Mike) Brown was born in Missouri and has followed the Kansas City Chiefs, Royals, and the Missouri Tigers since his youth.