Kansas City Royals History: 1985 Team Completes ALCS Comeback
Entering the high-stakes finale, the Kansas City Royals clearly had the momentum. Toronto clearly, though, had home-field advantage—although road teams had already won twice in six games. Either way, the winner-take-all scenario after six hard-fought games proved the new format worked.
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The AL’s Cy Young award winner in 1985, Bret Saberhagen started on the mound for the Kansas City Royals. However, he lasted just three innings—albeit scoreless ones—before making way for Charlie Leibrandt, who had suffered two defeats already in the series. On the other side, Toronto started Dave Stieb, who had won his two previous starts in the series.
It didn’t seem to faze the Royals, though. Sheridan scored single runs in the second and fourth innings—the latter being a solo home run—for a 2-0 lead. Meanwhile, a Toronto offense that hadn’t scored more than three runs in a single game since Game 4 continued to struggle. The Blue Jays finally got on the board in the fifth inning, as they cut the deficit in half.
But the Royals came right back and jumped on Stieb in the sixth inning. Sundberg drove in his second, third and fourth runs of the day on a bases-clearing triple that hit literally the top of the wall and bounced back into play. He came in to score on White’s single for a commanding 6-1 lead.
Leibrandt kept things that way until Dan Quisenberry replaced him with two on and one out in the ninth inning. An RBI-groundout cut the deficit to 6-2, but Quisenberry forced another groundout to finish things off and complete the miraculous comeback.
The victory sent the Kansas City Royals to their second World Series—the other coming in 1980. It also famously set up an all-Missouri World Series. The St. Louis Cardinals had clinched the NL pennant earlier that same day with a win over the Los Angeles Dodgers in Game 6.
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The highly anticipated World Series started on Oct. 19, but we’ll have more on that soon enough.