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For current information on this topic, see 2010 Kansas City Royals season.
Kansas City Royals
Established 1969
Kansas City Royals.svg
Team logo
Kansas City Royals Insignia.svg
Cap Insignia
Major league affiliations
Current uniform
Retired Numbers 5, 10, 20, 42
  • Royal Blue, Powder Blue, White


  • Kansas City Royals (1969–present)
Other nicknames
  • The Boys in Blue
Major league titles
World Series titles (1) 1985
AL Pennants (2) 1985 • 1980
Central Division titles (0) None
West Division titles (6) [1] 1985 • 1984 • 1980 • 1978
1977 • 1976
Wild card berths (0) None

[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.

Owner(s): David Glass
Manager: Trey Hillman
General Manager: Dayton Moore

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 1973 to the present, the Royals have played in Kauffman Stadium. The Royals have participated in two World Series, winning in 1985.

The "Royals" name originates from the American Royal, a livestock show, horse show, and rodeo held annually in Kansas City since 1899.[1]

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 from 1955 to 1967—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.

1980–84: 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 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 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 2-run home run off Gossage that put the Royals up 5–4 in the top of the 9th.

The baseball bat used by Kansas City Royals third baseman George Brett in the Pine Tar Incident on July 24, 1983.

After Yankee Manager Billy Martin came out of the dugout to talk to home plate umpire Tim McClelland, McClelland and the other umpires mulled over the bat(measuring it over home plate, touching it, etc.). McClelland then pointed to Brett in the dugout and then gave the out sign, thereby disallowing the home run. George Brett then stormed out of the dugout, angry and hysterical. McClelland ejected Brett. The homer was later reinstated by the commissioner and the Royals went on to win after the game was resumed several weeks later. "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 "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 6. 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 6, the Cardinals came undone in Game 7, 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 (which was always among the league's highest) was sliced from $40.5 million in 1994 to $18.5 million in 1996.[2]

As attendance slid and the average MLB salary continued to rise, rather than pay higher salaries or lose their players to free agency, the Royals traded their remaining stars such as Kevin Appier, Johnny Damon and Jermaine Dye. 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.

2002–06: 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.[3] During the season Baird was fired as GM and replaced by Dayton Moore.

2007–present: "New. Blue. Tradition."


Gil Meche pitching in 2008.

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. but was traded before seasons end. 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.[4] In 2008, the Royals also ditched their black and sleeveless jerseys, instead reviving their "old" jerseys from years past.[5] 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.[6] 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.


While undergoing stadium renovations, including the addition of a High definition scoreboard, the Royals introduced the "New. Blue. Tradition." slogan.

Kansas City's 2008 season began with the team searching for its new manager after the departure of Buddy Bell. Early candidates to succeed Bell included Royals bench coach Billy Doran,[7] former Royals stars George Brett (Brett denied his intentions) and Frank White,[7] and Triple-A Omaha manager Mike Jirschele. Former Major League managers such as Joe Girardi,[6][7] Jim Fregosi,[7] Ken Macha,[7] and Jimy Williams.[7] Atlanta Braves coaches Terry Pendleton and Brian Snitker were also in consideration.[8]. 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.[9]

2008 also began with the release of fan favorite Mike Sweeney, who had numerous injuries over the past five seasons and had declined in production. Angel Berroa was traded to the Dodgers for minor leaguer Juan Rivera on June 6, 2008. The acquisition of Jose Guillen, just like Gil Meche in 2007, was meant to be a boost to the young ball club. During the season many players from the minors came up and made their presence felt including Ryan Shealy, Mitch Maier and Mike Aviles.

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 wore powder blue for the first time ever at Kauffman Stadium.[10] 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.[10]

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.


Zack Greinke didn't allow an earned run in the first 24 innings of the 2009 season.

Starter Zack Greinke didn't allow an earned run in the first 24 innings of the 2009 season. His 2008 season ended with 14 scoreless innings, which meant he had a streak of 38 scoreless innings. Greinke also set a club record 15 strikeouts in a single game against the Cleveland Indians. Greinke who had a Major League leading 2.16 earned run average went on to win the American League Cy Young award by a overwhelming margin. He joined Bret Saberhagen and David Cone as the only three players in Royals history to receive the award.

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.[citation needed]

Forgotten in recent years is the old division rivalry between the Royals and the Oakland Athletics. In the early 1970s, Oakland won three World Series titles from 1972-1974, and after the A's left Kansas City under less than honorable terms, a strong rivalry existed between the two teams during this period. This was soon forgotten by the late 1970s when the Royals came to prominence and the terrific rivalry with New York began. Also strong in the late 70s was the rivalry against the California Angels, particularly in the fights for the American League West pennant in 1979.

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 2009 season, the Cardinals hold the series advantage 33–24. St. Louis won five of six meetings in 2009, taking two of three May 22-24 at St. Louis and sweeping the Royals June 19-21 at Kansas City.

Baseball Hall of Famers

Kansas City Royals Hall of Famers
Affiliation according to the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum
Kansas City Royals

George Brett

Orlando Cepeda
Joe Gordon

Whitey Herzog

Harmon Killebrew
Bob Lemon

Gaylord Perry

Names in Bold Inducted as Royals

Ford C. Frick Award recipients

Kansas City Royals Ford C. Frick Award recipients
Affiliation according to the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum

Denny Matthews

Names in Bold received the award based primarily on their work as broadcasters for the Royals.

Other players of note

Missouri Sports Hall of Fame

Kansas City Royals in the Missouri Sports Hall of Fame
Number Player Position Tenure
2 Fred Patek Shortstop 1971—1979
5 George Brett Third baseman 1973—1993
6 Willie Wilson Outfielder 1976—1990
11 Hal McRae Outfielder/Designated hitter/Manager 1973—1987
16 Bo Jackson Outfielder 1987—1990
20 Frank White Second baseman 1973—1990
22 Dennis Leonard Starting pitcher 1974—1986
29 Dan Quisenberry Relief pitcher 1979—1988
34 Paul Splittorff Starting pitcher 1970—1984
36 Gaylord Perry Starting pitcher 1983

Retired numbers


3B: 1973-93

Retired 1994

M: 1981-86

Retired 1987

2B: 1973-90

Retired 1995

Retired by all
of MLB
Retired 1997

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:
















Current roster

Kansas City Royals 2010 Spring Training roster
40-man roster Spring Training
non-roster invitees



Designated hitters

  • None specified






60-day disabled list

* Not on active roster
† 15-day disabled list
Roster updated March 16, 2010
TransactionsDepth Chart
More rosters


Name Years Won Lost Winning % Games Post Season
Joe Gordon 1969 69 93 .426 162 -
Charlie Metro 1970 19 33 .365 52 -
Bob Lemon 1970–1972 207 218 .487 425 -
Jack McKeon 1973–1975 215 205 .512 420 -
Whitey Herzog 1975–1979 410 304 .574 714 1976, 1977, 1978
Jim Frey 1980–1981 127 105 .547 232 1980
Dick Howser 1981–1986 404 365 .525 770 1981, 1984, 1985
Mike Ferraro 1986 36 38 .486 74 -
Billy Gardner 1987 62 64 .492 126 -
John Wathan 1987–1991 287 270 .515 557 -
Bob Schaefer 1991 1 0 1.00 1 -
Hal McRae 1991–1994 286 277 .508 563 -
Bob Boone 1995–1997 181 206 .468 387 -
Tony Muser 1997–2002 317 431 .424 748 -
John Mizerock 2002 5 8 .385 13 -
Tony Peña 2002–2005 198 285 .410 483 -
Bob Schaefer 2005 5 12 .294 17 -
Buddy Bell 2005–2007 174 262 .390 436 -
Trey Hillman 2008–present 75 87 .460 162 -
All statistics through the conclusion of the 2008 MLB season
† Interim manager
American League championships in italics, World Series championships in bold.

Minor league affiliations

Season records

Radio and television

As of 2008, the Royals will carry games on KCSP 610AM and KMBZ 980AM depending on scheduling.[11] 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.[12]

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.[13]

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. [14]

In 2009, 99 games will be broadcast on FSKC HD being the highest total of Kansas City Royals games produced in HD to date[15]


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 Video

In Popular Culture

In an episode of The Simpsons called Please Homer, Don't Hammer 'Em they are referenced on a book title "Kansas City Royals: Champions Forever" and in another episode called All About Lisa the title of comic offered as trade "Radioactive Man meets The Kansas City Royals" in episode [16].

See also


External links

Preceded by
Detroit Tigers
World Series Champions
Kansas City Royals

Succeeded by
New York Mets
Preceded by
Baltimore Orioles
Detroit Tigers
American League Champions
Kansas City Royals

Succeeded by
New York Yankees
Boston Red Sox

Simple English

The Kansas City Royals is a Major League Baseball team based in Kansas City, Missouri. The team won a World Series title in 1985. From 1973 to the present, the Royals have played in Kauffman Stadium. They are owned by David Glass, managed by Ned Yost, and their General Manager is Dayton Moore.

Other websites

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