This Date In Royals History – October 19, 1985
What is the perfect match-up for a Royals fan in the World Series? To be honest, any team in the National League will do – we just want to see the boys in blue play on the biggest stage. But leaving that aside, there had always been a dream to battle with our red feathered cousins to the east for baseball’s ultimate prize. Twenty-four years ago on this date that dream became reality.
Saturday, October 19, 1985 was the start of the I-70 World Series with the Cardinals traveling west to Royals Stadium for Game One. When it was over the most memorable emotion from that first game for the Royals was utter frustration. Though Kansas City scored first with a run in the second inning, it was the lost chance at a big inning that still lingers. With one-out, a run home and runners on first and third – Darryl Motley was caught off third base for the second out of the inning. The Cards then walked Buddy Biancalana to face the pitcher Danny Jackson who struck out with two runners on. It was just the start of lost chances.
Lonnie Smith started the Royals third with a single, but was immediately picked-off first. Scoring chance lost. In the fourth Jim Sundberg led off with a double, but would eventually be thrown out at the plate on a short foul pop up that turned into a double play. Scoring chance lost. Willie Wilson started the sixth with a single, but was stranded there. Another scoring chance lost. By this time St. Louis had pushed across single runs in the third and fourth to lead 2-1.
The most agonizing lost opportunity was in the Royals seventh. With two out pinch-hitter Lynn Jones tripled. Dick Howser went back to the bench for a pinch hit at-bat from Hal McRae, who was hit by a pitch. Lonnie Smith followed that with a walk and the bases were loaded. But Todd Worrell got Willie Wilson on a foul pop-up to left and the Royals could not cash another scoring chance.
The Cardinals scored again in the ninth and though Pat Sheridan led-off the Royals final at-bat with a double, he too was stranded and St. Louis had a 3-1 win. There was more frustration and angst to come the next night – much of which we don’t remember because we know where the trophy would ultimately reside. Trust me, it’s still here – I saw it this morning…
Just A Bit More: The 1985 World Series was not the first to feature two teams from the state of Missouri. Actually 41 years earlier, the 1944 World Series pitted the National League Champion St. Louis Cardinals against the American League Champion St. Louis Browns. The Browns were making their first and only World Series appearance. Sportsman’s Park was home to both teams so all six games were played at the stadium at Grand Boulevard and Dodier Street.
The Cardinals won the series in six games. Ten years later the St. Louis Browns flew east to become the Baltimore Orioles.
(Curt Nelson, Director – Royals Hall of Fame)