On This Day: KC Royals set franchise record with 16-game winning streak

Al Cowens' decisive hit ensured the franchise record in dramatic fashion.
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The 2023 KC Royals may not have another impressive winning streak in their tank this season. Individuals have a lot to play for, but the team cannot do anything to change how this season ends. Their seven-game winning streak from July 28 through Aug. 4 had fans excited and entranced, but ended as quickly as it started.

The KC Royals set a franchise record 16-game win streak back in 1977.

The streak was the team's longest since the 2017 season and one of the 11 Royals winning streaks lasting at least seven games this century. Royals fans have to go back to 1977 to see the franchise's record winning streak though.

Less than ten years after joining MLB as an expansion club in 1969, the Royals were quickly becoming an AL powerhouse. They made their first postseason appearance in 1976 on the backs of players like George Brett, Amos Otis, and Hal McRae. The 1977 roster craved revenge against the New York Yankees and entered the playoffs red-hot.

On Sept. 15, 1977, the Royals won their club-record 16th consecutive game after a walk-off home run from Al Cowens. The streak started on Aug. 31 against the Texas Rangers, when the Royals had a 2.5-game lead in the AL West. By the time their winning streak ended, Kansas City had a commanding 10.5-game lead in the division and all but secured their second postseason berth.

The streak saw some impressive individual performances. George Brett and Al Cowens had a multi-HR game each, with Darrell Porter posting two home run games on consecutive days. Plus, pitchers Dennis Leonard and Paul Splittorff each had complete game shut-out performances during the 16-game span, showing the Royals were dangerous in all facets of the game.

The Royals record rose from a solid 76-54 to 91-54 through the streak and helped Kansas City record their one and only 100-win season. The streak is only a footnote in the early days of Royals baseball, but the franchise reached some great highs less than ten years after joining the league.