kansas city royals history
kansas city royals history
Charley Finley’s Kansas City Athletics left for Oakland after the 1967 season, abandoning this fine midwestern town. Local politicians put up such a stink while threatening baseball’s hierarchy that the city was awarded an expansion franchise in 1971.Why Charley Finley ever left this great sports town is anybody’s guess, but leave he did. Yes, he produced great teams in northern California but he struggled to get people to watch. So, it was with great satisfaction that Owner Ewing Kaufmann bought the Royals and built a successful franchise that rendered the Athletics an insignificant memory. The locals may have felt jilted at first but they soon embraced their new team and purchased Kansas City Royals tickets enthusiastically.
The Royals produced an abundance of young stars during their early years. Hal McRae, Amos Otis, Lou Piniella and Paul Splitorff were mainstays on the great Royal teams of the 70’s. The team started out playing in old Municipal Stadium then moved to beautiful Royals Stadium with its emerald green outfield landscaping and lush waterfalls. The great George Brett came along, Whitey Herzog signed up to manage and the Royals quickly became a Major League power house, winning their division three straight years.
Finally, the Royals made it to the World Series in 1980 but were defeated by the Phillies. Another generation of stars came along including pitcher Bret Saberhagen and outfielder Willie Wilson as the Royals won another division 1984. A year later they returned to and won the World Series besting the Cardinals. In 2003, team prospects were looking up as the Royals finished 83-79 under Tony Pena but it was only a mirage as things went from good to lousy culminating in a 106-loss season in 2005.
In order to turn things around, the Royals must pitch better and they seem to have some promising arms. Zach Greinke has the stuff, if not the maturity. Runelvys Hernandez must turn around his 8-14 season and Scott Elarton needs to regain past form. After that, it’s a crapshoot, with former twin Joe Mays waiting for a chance. Mike McDougal will be closing games again for Manager Buddy Bell.
The Royals feature a good mix of youth with outfielders David DeJesus and Emil Brown and veteran talent with the likes of Mike Sweeney, Doug Mientkiewicz, Reggie Sanders and Mark Grudzielanek. It remains to be seen whether this crew can generate enough offense to support a suspect pitching staff.
If you are purchasing Kansas City Royals tickets, don’t get bogged down dreaming of past glories. It may take a while but GM Allard Baird and Manager Bell are working to get things back on track.