May 2010

First Interleague Game

jose rosado.jpgTonight is the first game of interleague play this season as the Rockies make only their second visit to Kauffman Stadium (the first was a three-game sweep by the Royals – June 23-25, 2008). The Royals enter the game with a 26-22 overall record against National League West squads.

The first-ever interleague game at Kauffman Stadium was against another, now somewhat familiar, NL West opponent  – the Houston Astros on Monday, June 16, 1997. On that night, Jose Rosado pitched a six-hit complete game with the Royals rallying for four runs in the seventh inning to post a 5-2 win.

Each of those two 1997 starting line-ups featured a player still active almost 13-years later – Can you names those two now grizzled veterans? (Hint: Neither still plays for their respective 1997 clubs).

 

Answer: For the Royals it is former A’s, Red Sox, Yankees and current Detroit Tiger Johnny Damon who started in leftfield. For the Astros it is former Padres, Tigers, Astros, Tigers (again), Astros (again), and current Los Angeles Dodger Brad Ausmus who was the starting catcher.

Astros starting pitcher Mike Hampton is close. He actually returned to pitch for Houston in 2009 after stops with the Mets, Rockies and Braves – but has not returned to pitch in 2010.

5/20/10 – Happy Royals Day

Nice win. Good roadtrip. Homestand tomorrow. Interleague play & fireworks…

HAPPY ROYALS DAY!











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Been Here & Done That

“Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.” George Santayana

 

We’ve all heard that Santayana quote many times, but I’d say there is also a corollary which might go something like this: “Those that do not know the past are not aware of what is possible.’ Looking back on Royals history for this date alone provides an example.

 

May 18, 1970

The Royals had just swept a DH against the Chicago White Sox at Municipal Stadium the night before – yet their record stood at 13-21; and they were 10 games behind the AL West front-running Minnesota Twins.

 

The bad news is the fact the1970 Royals went on to lose 97 games. However the team was not without talent. They had young left-handed named Paul Splittorff who would debut late that year. They had a dynamic centerfielder in his first full MLB season who would make the All-Star team in Amos Otis. They acquired Cookie Rojas as a veteran leader at second baseman later that summer.

 

For 1971 the Royals acquired both Fred Patek and John Mayberry. The team was building and they finished that year with the club’s first winning record at 85-76.

 

Over the next several seasons players began to emerge from the Royals farm system . In 1972, pitcher Steve Busby arrived, but the Royals retreated a bit with only 76 wins. Even still the franchise was starting to develop it’s own players and identity.

 

Then – seemingly overnight – the Royals work in scouting and player development starting producing a string of players that would truly make baseball history in Kansas City. In 1973 alone, Frank White and George made their MLB debuts and the ballclub acquired Hal McRae in a trade with Cincinnati. Jack McKeon’s 1973 ballclub opened Royals Stadium and finished with 88 wins in second place behind the World Champion Oakland A’s.

 

Kansas City had caught baseball fever again by 1974. During that season the Royals farm system produced another key component in RHP Dennis Leonard along with outfielder Al Cowens. At season’s end only 77 wins, but the system was starting to produce quality players each year.

 

In 1975 the Royals took another step to really challenge the perrienial powerhouse Oakland A’s. With the club 50-46 on July 24, the Royals replaced Jack McKeon with Whitey Herzog. Under Whitey the Royals posted a 41-25 mark to finish the season with 91 wins. But in second place again.

 

Which brings us back to todays date…

 

May 18, 1976

That night the Royals hosted the first place Texas Rangers at Royals Stadium – with the Royals just one game behind. Al Fitzmorris tossed a complete game, Hal McRae had two doubles and Amos Otis blasted a HR. The Royals won 3-1 and moved into a first place tie.

 

They never fell out of first the rest of the season and clinched the Royals first divisional championship on October 1, 1976.

 

From May 18, 1970 – 13-21 and 10 games back – to May 18, 1976 taking over first place for good on the way to a championship. In between was the development of a group of significant players from the Royals farm system. It can be done.

 

What came after was six division titles, seven post season appearances and 12 of the next 15 years with attendance of two million plus. There are no guarantees in baseball, but the possibilities are endless. It can be done and the best proof is that is has already been done before.

 

(Curt Nelson, Director – Royals Hall of Fame)

 

 

Royals Post Win In Yost Debut

Ned Yost.jpgWith the Royals 6-1 victory tonight, Ned Yost becomes the third straight Royals Manager to win his debut game with the ballclub. The 16th full-time skipper for the boys in blue also evens the score for managerial debuts in Royals History at 8-8.

Here is a rundown of those maiden voyages:

 

Manager

Joe Gordon

Date

April 8, 1969

Ballpark

Municipal Stadium (Kansas City)

Win

Minnesota Twins 3 – Royals 4 (12 Innings)

 

Manager

Charlie Metro

Date

April 7, 1970

Ballpark

Municipal Stadium (Kansas City)

Loss

Oakland A’s 6 – Royals 4

 

Manager

Bob Lemon

Date

June 9, 1970

Ballpark

Municipal Stadium (Kansas City)

Win

Washington Senators 1 – Royals 8

 

Manager

Jack McKeon

Date

April 6, 1973

Ballpark

Anaheim Stadium (Anaheim)

Loss

Royals 2 – California Angels 3

 

Manager

Whitey Herzog

Date

July 25, 1975

Ballpark

Royals Stadium (Kansas City)

Win

Texas Rangers 3 – Royals 6

 

Manager

Jim Frey

Date

April 10, 1980

Ballpark

Royals Stadium (Kansas City)

Loss

Detroit Tigers 5 – Royals 1

 

Manager

Dick Howser

Date

August 31, 1981

Ballpark

Royals Stadium (Kansas City)

Loss

Milwaukee Brewers 5 – Royals 1

 

Manager

Billy Gardner

Date

April 6, 1987

Ballpark

Royals Stadium (Kansas City)

Loss

Chicago White Sox 5 – Royals 4

 

Manager

John Wathan

Date

August 27, 1987

Ballpark

Royals Stadium (Kansas City)

Win

Texas Rangers 2 – Royals 3 (10 Innings)

 

Manager

Hal McRae

Date

May 24, 1991

Ballpark

Metrodome (Minneapolis)

Loss

Royals 2 – Minnesota Twins 3

 

Manager

Bob Boone

Date

April 26, 1995

Ballpark

Kauffman Stadium (Kansas City)

Win

Baltimore Orioles 1 – Royals 5

 

Manager

Tony Muser

Date

July 10, 1997

Ballpark

Kauffman Stadium (Kansas City)

Loss

Chicago White Sox 6 – Royals 3

 

Manager

Tony Pena

Date

May 15, 2002

Ballpark

Kauffman Stadium (Kansas City)

Loss

Minnesota Twins 8 – Royals 6

 

Manager

Buddy Bell

Date

June 1, 2005

Ballpark

Kauffman Stadium (Kansas City)

Win

New York Yankees 1 – Royals 3

 

Manager

Trey Hillman

Date

March 31, 2008

Ballpark

Comerica Park (Detroit)

Win

Royals 5 – Detroit Tigers 4 (11 Innings)

 

Manager

Ned Yost

Date

May 14, 2010

Ballpark

Kauffman Stadium (Kansas City)

Win

Chicago White Sox 1 – Royals 6

 

Interesting Notes: Only three of the sixteen debuts have come on the road and two of those were the first game of the season (Jack McKeon – 1973 & Trey Hillman – 2008).

 

The only Royals Manager to debut on the road in a non-Opening Day game is Hal McRae back on May 24, 1991 at the Metrodome in Minneapolis.

 

(Curt Nelson, Director – Royals Hall of Fame)

Missing Trophy? – Not At All…

1976 AL West Trophy - KC Royals.jpg…actually, its in the ‘Hall’ – the National Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown.

As you probably know, Royals Hall of Fame Manager Whitey Herzog is part of the 2010 National Baseball Hall of Fame Class with Andre Dawson and umpire Doug Harvey. The trio will be inducted on Sunday, July 25th with Herzog becoming the 43rd NBHOF Member with a direct baseball career tie to Kansas City.

The team in Cooperstown have created a year-long exhibit highlighting the accomplishments of their three new inductees and the Royals 1976 American League Western Division Championship Trophy is part of the display. Whitey won his first championship as a manager by guiding the Royals to their first championship in that bicentenial year.

Though Whitey will go into the Hall wearing a Cardinals cap, his ties to Kansas City are even more extensive. Years before he managed the Royals to three straight division titles in 1976, 1977 and 1978 – he played for the Kansas City Blues in 1952 and returned with the Kansas Athletics from 1958-1960.

We’re honored to salute Whitey as he takes his place in Cooperstown! 

(Curt Nelson, Director – Royals Hall of Fame)

Kansas City’s Largest Classroom

Next to Opening Day, this is the most rambuctious, energized and usually the loudest day of the season here at Kauffman Stadium (though the pitch of the cheers is a bit higher than normal). It’s FOX4 and the Royals School Day at ‘The K’ when the ballpark becomes the biggest classroom in the country – thousands of students from foul pole to foul pole.

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Right now they are learning
 about severe weather from the FOX4
Weather Team led by Mike Thompson. If today’s weather holds out – and it looks like it will – they will watch Zack Greinke go to the mound to take on the Cleveland Indians at 1:10pm.

So later this afternoon the country’s largest classroom will revert back to a ballpark sure to feature the highest pitched roar in support one of the best pitchers in the game. 

Then tomorrow night…Girls Night Out and Hy-Vee Pepsi Fireworks Friday. ‘The K’ won’t lack for energy and sheer noise level. 


(Cut Nelson, Director – Royals Hall of Fame)

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