Honors overdue, but well-deserved, for 2 KC Royals architects

Cedric Tallis and John Schuerholz get the Hall of Fame treatment.

Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports
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John Schuerholz takes the Royals to the top

The Yankees stymied Kansas City in the playoffs for three straight seasons from 1976-78, but the Royals finally got the Yankee monkey off their backs in 1980 before coming up short against the Phillies in the World Series. The following year, Tallis protégé Schuerholz was promoted to the general manager position.

By that point, many members of the core Tallis built were aging out, but Brett and White were in their primes, having been joined by the likes of Willie Wilson and Dan Quisenberry. Still, the Royals were entering a transition period in the early 80s; moving on from older players, Schuerholz supplemented his still viable club by acquiring significant position players like slugger Steve Balboni and catcher Jim Sundberg.

His greatest feat, though, was overhauling the pitching staff. As mainstays Splittorf and Leonard faced the downside of their careers, Schuerholz's critical draft acquisitions included Bret Saberhagen, Mark Gubicza, and Danny Jackson, and he brought aboard Bud Black and Charlie Leibrandt. He also hired legendary skipper Dick Howser to be his manager.

After a three-year absence, the Royals returned to the postseason in 1984 but fell short of their second trip to the World Series when they lost the American League Championship Series to the Detroit Tigers. The following year, however, the Royals rode their young rotation to the franchise's first World Series championship. And Schuerholz deservedly took his place in the club's victory parade.

Shuerholz oversaw another revamp of the team in the late '80s by ushering in new stars Bo Jackson, Danny Tartabull, Kevin Seitzer, and Jeff Montgomery, among others. The Royals won 92 games in 1989, but had the misfortune of playing in the same division as the Oakland A's, who were in the midst of their run to three straight World Series championships, won the AL West by seven games, and added another Fall Classic title to their resume. The Royals ran out of steam in the years that followed.