This Date In Royals History – September 24, 1984

Bret Saberhagen 1985.jpg
The morning of Monday, September 24, 1984 the Royals looked at the American League Western Division Standings and found themselves in a dead-even tie with the Minnesota Twins for first-place (both with 80-75 records).

Just one and a half games back, with seven games left in the season, were the California Angels in Kansas City for a four game series starting with a Doubleheader at Royals Stadium. Royals Manager Dick Howser sent a one-two punch of rookie pitchers to the mound to battle for Kansas City in the a very tight pennant chase.

In Game One, Bret Saberhagen tossed his first career complete game and shut-out the Angels on just three hits for a 4-0 win. In Game Two, Danny Jackson got the win working seven innings and giving up three runs while the Royals offense expoded for a 12-4 victory. Darryl Motley led the way with a six RBI night that included a Grand Slam HR.

The sweep all but eliminated the Angels from the chase, and though the Twins also won, the Royals were in first all alone by one-half game at the end of the night. Minnesota didn’t win again the last week of the season and four days later the Royals clinched their fifth and perhaps most surprising division title with a win in Oakland.

Just A Bit More: The World Champion Detroit Tigers started the 1984 season with a nine-game winning streak and after forty games had a record of 35-5. It was a truly amazing performance that saw the Tigers hold first-place from wire-to-wire that year. But their first loss of 1984 came at Tiger Stadium on Thursday, April 19 to a rookie pitcher for Kansas City making his first-ever major league start. Bret Saberhagen pitched six innings and gave up only one run to capture the first win of his great Royals career with three innings of help from Dan Quisenberry (with the save of course).

(Curt Nelson, Director – Royals Hall of Fame) 

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