The Kansas City Royals are a Major League Baseball team based in Kansas City, Missouri. They are in the Central Division of the American League.
- Founded: 1969 (American League expansion)
- Home ballpark: Kauffman Stadium (part of the Truman Sports Complex)
- Uniform colors: Royal Blue, black, and white
- Logo design: Entwined "KC" on a blue shield topped with a gold crown
- Wild Card titles won (0): none
- Division titles won (7): 1976, 1977, 1978, 1980, 1981, 1984, 1985
- American League pennants won (2): 1980, 1985
- World Series championships won (1): 1985
The Kansas City Royals were purchased as an expansion franchise by pharmaceutical magnate Ewing Kauffman in 1968 and played their first season the following year. Early Royals stars included 1969 Rookie of the Year Lou Piniella, Amos Otis , Paul Splitorff , Cookie Rojas, and Hal McRae. In 1971, the Royals had their first winning season, with manager Bob Lemon guiding them to a second-place finish.
In 1973, the Royals moved from Kansas City Municipal Stadium to brand-new Royals Stadium (now Kauffman Stadium). The stadium, which featured deep outfield walls and artificial turf, gave future stars such as George Brett and Frank White their first break as many of Kansas City's veteran players had difficulty playing on turf. The Royals quickly became successful, winning three straight division championships from 1976 to 1978 under manager Whitey Herzog.
The Royals made their first World Series appearance in 1980, losing to the Philadelphia Phillies in six games. That same year, Brett flirted with a .400 batting average and won his second batting title. Relying again on Brett's bat and the young pitching of Bret Saberhagen, Mark Gubicza , and Danny Jackson , the Royals won their fifth division championship in 1984 and went all the way to the World Series again in 1985 under manager Dick Howser, beating the cross-state St. Louis Cardinals in the so-called I-70 Series in seven games.
In the late 1980s and early 1990s, the Royals developed young stars such as Bo Jackson and Kevin Seitzer and made some free-agent acquisitions but always fell short of their early success. Most of the team's highlights centered around the end of Brett's career, such as his third and final batting title in 1990, which made him the first player to win batting titles in three different decades, and Brett's 3,000th hit.
The 1993 death of Ewing Kauffman left the franchise without permanent ownership until Wal-Mart executive David Glass purchased the team for $96 million in 2000. Escalating salaries made it difficult for the Royals to keep their young stars, and the small-market club usually chose to trade players such as Kevin Appier, Johnny Damon, and Jermaine Dye for whatever they could get rather than lose them to free agency.
In 2003, manager Tony Peņa, in his first full season with the club, guided the Royals to their first winning record since the strike-shortened 1994 season.
Picked by many to win their division in 2004 after faring surprisingly well in the free agent market, the Royals got off to a disappointing start and by late June were in rebuilding mode, releasing veteran reliever Curtis Leskanic before financial incentives kicked in and trading veteran reliever Jason Grimsley and superstar center fielder Carlos Beltran for prospects, all within a week of each other.
Players of note
Royals Hall of Fame
Current roster (Updated on April 19, 2005)
Not to be forgotten