This Date In Royals History – October 14, 1980
If you are a Royals fan, then this date is not a cherished one, but it is memorable in club history. For a city that has had professional baseball every year save one since 1884 (we’ll just call 1968 the Finley Gap – Thanks Charlie it was worth the one year hiatus), this date 29 years ago was a true watershed moment.
Tuesday, October 14, 1980 and the Royals were in Philadelphia at Veterans Stadium for Game 1 of the World Series. This was of course the first-ever World Series game for Kansas City and it was a long-time coming. The Royals got started with a bang – literally. In the second inning Darrell Porter led-off with a walk (off Phillies starter Bob Walk – sorry had to include that pun) and Amos Otis followed with a long HR. Then in the third Willie Aikens added to the Royals lead with another two-run shot. Everything seemed to be humming for KC – 4-0 lead and Dennis Leonard had retired the first six Phillies in order.
But Philly rallied for a five-spot in the bottom of the third including a two-out three-run HR by Bake McBride and then followed that with single runs in the fifth and sixth to lead 7-4. Willie Aikens would launch his second two-run HR of the game in the eighth inning, but the Royals scoring ended there and Philadelphia took Game 1 by a score of 7-6. Heartbreaking loss when you recall the circumstances, with a win here the entire series may have ended very differently for the Royals.
Just A Bit More: There was another event that happened on October 14 four years earlier and was much more painful for Royals fans. I’ll say this as quickly as possible to minimize the sting you can still feel three and a third decades later, it’ll just take two words…Chris Chambliss. I won’t go any further it’s just to gut wrenching. If you remember it you know what I’m talking about, if not you can find the details here.
(Curt Nelson, Director – Royals Hall of Fame)