Nov 3, 2015; Kansas City, MO, USA; Kansas City Royals catcherSalvador Perez
(13) and third basemanMike Moustakas
(8) celebrate the World Series championship at Union Station. Mandatory Credit: Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports
The KC Royals had a stellar 2015, winning the franchise’s second World Championship by becoming the best comeback team in major-league playoff history.
2015 was a banner year (literally) for the Kansas City Royals. They won 95 games, which was the most regular season wins since the 1980 team won 97 games on their way to the first pennant in franchise history. The KC Royals also won their first division title since the 1985 team won the American League West. That’s so long ago that baseball only had 26 rather than 30 teams and had only four divisions instead of six.
Among the team achievements included setting playoff records for most comeback wins in a post-season (8), most multi-run comebacks in a post-season (7), and the most runs scored after the sixth inning (51). The Kansas City Royals somehow managed to win a five-game World Series in which they led at the end of only 15 out of 53 innings (with the Mets holding a lead at the end of 24 innings).
In fact, the New York Mets held leads in EVERY World Series game, eighth inning leads in three out of the four games they lost, and ninth inning leads in two games that ended in KC celebrations. Mets closer Jeryus Familia blew all three of his save chances, after many pundits christened him the best reliever in baseball down the stretch.
Of course, no one wins a World Series without making numerous important plays. With a 162-game season consisting over 1,400 innings and more than 150,000 pitches there are more impressive plays than any single memory can hold.
In this story, I’ve attempted to select the plays that I believe defined the Kansas City Royals 2015 season. By paring the list down to five, I’ve left ample room for debate. Since I used a fuzzy standard like “important”, there’s bound be many differing opinions.
I’ve also excluded muffed play by the other team. Otherwise this list would consist of little more than a litany of post-season errors by Astros, Blue Jays, and Mets middle infielders.
Hey, that makes it personal. Along with giving a nutshell version of the 2015 season’s critical moments, my choices will say something about how I think. And for this admittedly subjective exercise, I chose to emphasize plays that I think had the biggest impact on the course of the season rather than individual games.
With the New Year coming at midnight, here’s a look a back at the Kansas City Royals biggest plays of 2015:
Next: April 18, 2015