2013 Kansas City Royals Preview
Check back in the Spring for the Royals 2013 Season Preview.
KANSAS CITY ROYALS INFORMATION:
Location: Kansas City, Missouri
Stadium: Kauffman Stadium
Conference: American League
Division: Central Division
Rivals: St. Louis Cardinals, New York Yankees
Notable Players: George Brett, Bo Jackson
Kansas City Royals World Series Title: 1 - 1985
Kansas City Royals AL Championships: 2 - 1985, 1980
The Kansas City Royals were one of four teams to be added to the Major Leagues in 1969, and like many expansion teams in the American League, they had to overcome several well-established franchises to make it to the top. The team began play in the old and crumbling Kansas City Municipal Stadium, but soon moved into their glittering new home, Kauffman Stadium, in 1973. While it was known as Royals Stadium for much of its history, the team renamed the building after the franchise's founding owner, Ewing Kauffman. The stadium has been the site of many of the team's greatest moments and has given Royals fans plenty of warm memories over the years.
As an expansion team, the Royals gradually built up talent in their farm system, and by the late 1970s, the team had put together a stellar core of players. The Royals first big taste of playoff success came in 1976, when the squad experienced a series of franchise firsts. The team won their first division title and made their first appearance in the American League Championship Series against the New York Yankees. The Royals were the ultimate underdogs against the playoff-proven Yankees, and they managed to force a pivotal Game 5. The Royals managed to take a one-run lead into the ninth inning, but the Yankees scored three times in the bottom of the ninth to end the Royals' title hopes.
With an impressive showing in the postseason, the Royals laid the groundwork for the most successful period in their history. With division championships in 1977, 1978, 1980 and 1984, the team came tantalizingly close to taking their first title. Royals' fans finally got their wish in 1985 when the team finally won their first World Series championship. With the steady bats of George Brett, Dane Iorg and Steve Balboni and the pitching prowess of Bret Saberhagen and Charlie Leibrandt, the Royals and St. Louis Cardinals played a heated World Series. After a stunning Royals game-winning rally in Game 5, the Cardinals couldn't overcome their frustration and were knocked out 11-0 to give the Royals their first and only World Series title.
In today's world of modern baseball, the Royals have had to overcome a low payroll to compete in the ultra-competitive American League, but they have made significant strides in recent years. With a talented farm system and a bevy of Major League-ready ballplayers, the Royals are sure to be a major factor in the AL Central race in the foreseeable future.
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