KC Royals history: The first game for the new franchise

KC Royals, Lou Piniella (Photo by Ed Zurga/Getty Images)
KC Royals, Lou Piniella (Photo by Ed Zurga/Getty Images) /

The KC Royals have come a long way since their first days as a franchise, but on this date years ago, the team played their first of many games.

The days without the KC Royals playing baseball are starting to pile up, and many fans are likely finding themselves missing baseball more and more. There are plenty of games being played on various TV stations, or available on YouTube, but unfortunately, it’s just not the same.

During this time, many fans are finding themselves jumping into team and player stats, looking back on what was, what is, and what could be in the future. Today, if looking through past games or team history, one might find that April 8th hold’s a certain significance. On April 8th, 1969, the Kansas City Royals played their first game after becoming a new franchise.

Due to a move of the Athletics from Kansas City to Oakland, and a move for expansion in baseball, the Kansas City Royals became reality. With a lineup of Lou Piniella, Jerry Adair, Ed Kirkpatrick, Joe Foy, Chuck Harrison, Bob Oliver, Ellie Rodriguez, Jackie Hernandez, and Wally Bunker (pitcher), the Royals went into their first game against the Minnesota Twins.

Kansas City struck first in what was a slightly uneventful game, when Piniella doubled to left to start the bottom of the first, and soon after scored on an Adair single. The Twins answered in the second when GraigNettles smashed a home run into deep right field.

After a few scoreless innings, the Twins got a few over on Royals pitcher Tom Burgmeier in the 6th and put two more runs on the board. Wanting to stay in the game though, in the bottom of the 6th, the Royals responded with two runs of their own, again tying the game at 3-3.

The game continued to progress and neither team was able to break the tie in 9 innings, providing some free innings to the fans watching. Finally, in the bottom of the 12th, the Royals were able to get some runners on, allowing Joe Keough to single in Joe Foy for the winning run.

Whether an uneventful game or not, this particular game holds a special significance for the Royals organization. It may not have been a shut out, or a blowout win, but instead, it was the first game and first win of the organization that would make it’s home in Kansas City.

The Royals were at this time an unestablished and fresh expansion team, but for fans today, they are the two time World Series Champions, who have brought players such as George Brett, Alex Gordon, and Bret Saberhagen into the hearts and lives of fans everywhere.

Because of this, we should remember this game as the starting point for any fans who are Forever Royal.

Next. KC Royals Midweek Musings: Some numbers and other thoughts. dark

The Royals have had many great players and games come through Kansas City, and on this day, we remember it all had to start somewhere.