This Date In Royals History – October 22, 1985

Frank_White_S_0k001.jpgThis year’s World Series is angling towards two teams that bring some painful memories for the Royals. Heck even the Angels edged out Kansas City for Western Division titles by three games in both 1979 and 1982, so I’m not real big on the Halos either…thirty years ago it still stings. So let’s turn to a brighter moment.

Tuesday October 22, 1985 – I’m told downtown St. Louis that night was a huge party for what looked like a prelude to am inevitable Cardinals World Series Championship. Of course they had reason to celebrate, the Redbirds were up two games to none and had three games at home right in front of them surely it was a done deal. But frankly it really wasn’t…

Both teams wasted scoring opportunities in the opening inning, but the Royals would get on the board first with a pair of deftly manufactured runs in the fourth. Jim Sundberg led-off with a walk, Buddy Biancalana reached on an infield single, and both moved up on a sacrifice bunt by Bret Saberhagen. The Royals needed a key hit and Lonnie Smith got it with a two-out two-run double.

The next inning Frank White basically put the game away with a two-run HR in one of the key moments of the entire series. The Royals were in a must-win situation and Frank’s blast finally gave the Royals pitching staff some breathing room, although it would be a staff of one on this night.

Bret Saberhagen was making his World Series debut and any ill-effects from the shots the Blue Jays had taken on him in the ALCS seemed long gone. He scattered six hits (all singles), gave up only one run with one walk and eight strikeouts for a complete game 6-1 victory. The series clearly was not over and with one more Royals win it would make it way back to Kansas City – the comeback had begun.

Just A Bit More: The offense came alive in Game 3, led by Frank White who also doubled home a run in the seventh inning. Dick Howser showed tremendous confidence in Frank White’s ability to deliver keys hits when he decided to put him in the clean-up spot for the World Series. His confidence was richly rewarded.

Jackie Robinson had been the only previous second baseman to bat fourth for an entire World Series. That’s a pretty good tandem. Better yet Frank delivered – he lead all players with six RBI during the 1985 World Series.

(Curt Nelson, Director – Royals Hall of Fame) 

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