Tonight 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.