On This Day: KC Royals win despite Carlton Fisk's cycle
By Jacob Milham
The Chicago White Sox have fallen on hard times this season,but won the AL Central as recently as 2020. The KC Royals and White Sox have been playing each other since 1969, with Chicago holding a slim 432-411 all-time record lead. The two team's most competitive decade was in the 1980s when the Royals won 64 games compared to Chicago's 55. One such game during that decade was a Royals win, but Chicago catcher Carlton Fisk had the headlines.
The KC Royals spoiled Carlton Fisk's historic offensive performance, on this day in 1984.
On May 16, 1984, Fisk hit for the cycle, the first and only of his career. The feat came in front of the White Sox's home crowd at the historic Comiskey Park. His triple in the bottom of the seventh inning was his only of the 1984 season, and off of Royals great Dan Quisenberry. Oddly enough, Fisk's cycle was preceded by Baltimore Orioles legend Cal Ripken Jr. doign the same 10 days before.
Fisk's triple came in a pivotal moment of the game. The Royals had just taken a 7-6 lead, after trailing 5-1 earlier. Fisk made it to third base to lead off the bottom of the seventh, but his fellow White Sox batters stranded him there. According to Baseball Reference, the White Sox had a 57% chance of winning before Fisk was stranded. That fell to 26% by the end of the seventh inning. Neither team scored any more runs, and the Royals came from behind to win 7-6.
Fisk was one of only 10 catchers to hit for the cycle in the 20th century. That game also marked the first cycle by a catcher since Milwaukee Brewers' Charlie Moore did it on October 1, 1980.
Fisk played 182 games against the Royals in his career, finding offensive success against the AL foe. He had 26 home runs, 100 RBIs, and a .811 OPS facing Kansas City across his 24-year career. The Hall of Famer is one of the best catchers of the 20th century, this cycle being a notable feather in his cap.