A sea of red and blue, united by I-70 and divided by baseball. As a Kansas City girl living in a St. Louis world, that’s the dream. And 29 years ago, that was the reality.
1985. That’s the last time the Kansas City Royals were in the MLB Playoffs. Since then, the St. Louis Cardinals have won two World Series titles, five National League Pennants, and ten Division titles.
Let’s see what else has happened since the Royals were last in the playoffs:
- 1986 – Geraldo Rivera hosts a live two-hour special on The Mysteries of Al Capone’s Vault. Finds nothing.
- 1987 – Bo Jackson joins the Royals roster and hits 22 home runs with 53 RBIs and 10 stolen bases. (Royals finished the season with an 93-79 record, second in the American League West.) #BoKnows
- 1988 – Royals release All-Star closing pitcher Dan Quisenberry, five years into his lifetime contract. He’s picked up ten days later by the St. Louis Cardinals.
- 1989 – Royals finish the season with a 92-70 record, third best in the major leagues. Do not qualify for playoffs.
- 1990 – Home Alone is released in theaters. Here is Buzz’s girlfriend, in case you have forgotten.
- 1991 – The USSR is dissolved, marking the end to the Cold War.
- 1992 – Royals Third Baseman, and Hall of Famer, George Brett gets his 3000th hit. The Royals finish the season 72-90, second worst record in the AL West.
- 1993 – Team owner Ewing Kauffman dies, leaving a complex succession plan to keep the team in Kansas City. After several bids, the team was sold to Wal-Mart executive David Glass in 2000 for $96 million.
- 1994 – “Friends” first airs on NBC. I guess you could say this is the point where Kansas City and baseball are “on a break”.
- 1995 – Chris Kirkpatrick, Joey Fatone, Justin Timberlake, JC Chasez and Lance Bass combine forces to create the greatest boyband in the world: ‘N SYNC
- 1996 – Sluggerrr makes his first appearance as the Kansas City Royals mascot.
- 1996 – The Kansas City Wiz (later Wizards and finally Sporting KC) play their first game at Arrowhead Stadium.
- 1996 – Team payroll slips from $40.5 million in 1994 to $18.5 million, the second-lowest in the major leagues.
- 1996 – Singer/songwriter Lorde is born. 17 years later, her hit song “Royals” hits the airwaves, inadvertently shedding light on the magnificence that is George Brett and the golden era of the Royals.
- 1998 – Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone is published in the United States. I (being 10 at the time) anxiously await my 11th birthday.
- 1999 – Royals set franchise low with .398 winning percentage and a 64-97 record.
- 2000 – American Beauty wins best picture at the 72nd annual Academy Awards. Ten years later, Katy Perry writes about feeling like a plastic bag, in an obvious homage to this film.
- 2001 – The International Hockey League is disbanded, leaving Kansas City without the Kansas City Blades, or any hockey team, for that matter.
- 2002 – The Royals set a new record…losing 100 games for the first time in franchise history. Tony Peña brought in as manager.
- 2003 – Team sees first winning record (83-79) since 1994 and finish third in the AL Central. Peña is named American League Manager of the Year, and shortstop Ángel Berroa is named AL Rookie of the Year.
- 2004 – Mean Girls is released in theaters, marking the apex of both the word “fetch” and Lindsay Lohan’s career.
- 2005 – After losing a franchise record 19 games in a row, Tony Peña quits.
- 2006 – The Royals become the 11th team in major league history to lose 100 games in three straight seasons.
- 2007 – Billy Butler joins the team, and they finish the season 69-93, the first season with fewer than 100 losses since 2003.
- 2008 – The Kansas City Chiefs win the Superbowl. Just kidding…they end the 2008 season with a franchise worst 2-14 record. (THEIR TIME IS COMING!!!)
- 2009 – Royals starter Zack Greinke does not allow an earned run in the first 24 innings of the season, later becoming one of only three players in Royals history to receive the American League Cy Young award.
- 2010 – Royals end the season in last place for the sixth time in seven years, including another record: allowing 42 runs in a three-day span from July 25-27.
- 2011 – The Oprah Winfrey Show ends it’s 25 season run, and women everywhere have no idea what to read.
- 2012 – The Royals host the 2012 Major League Baseball All-Star Game at Kauffman Stadium.
- 2013 – Sporting KC win the 2013 MLS Cup.
- 2014 – The Royals secure the franchise’s first ever wild card berth and first playoff appearance in 29 years, going on to beat the Oakland Athletics 9-8 in the 12th inning.
So as you can see…we’re due.
As a St. Louis transfer, it’s been great living in a city with such a successful baseball team…Octobers sure have been eventful! But I don’t look good in red…
I’ve cheered for a team that won, and I have every intention of doing it again, but this time in Royal Blue.
It’s time for a Blue October.