KC Royals outfielder Amos Otis spent 14 seasons with the team, ending his career as one of the best ball players ever in Kansas City. He never won a championship in Kansas City but did earn five All-Star appearances between 1970-1976. Otis has a great case for his jersey number to be retired, for all the purposeful good he did in a Royals uniform. But, on this date in 1978, the New York Yankees gifted Otis.
KC Royals legend Amos Otis beat the New York Yankees in storybook fashion on this day in 1978.
It was something out of a Hollywood script. Otis came to the plate against Yankees pitcher Rich Gossage, in the bottom of the ninth inning with two outs and Darrell Porter on first base. The Yankees were the Goliath of 1978, having won the World Series the year prior. In front of more than 33,000 fans in then-Royals Stadium, Otis did the unthinkable. He hit a routine fly ball that could end the game. But, New York outfielders Reggie Jackson and Paul Blair collided in the outfield.
The collision shook up Blair and Jackson and sent the ball away from the two Yankees! Porter came in to score from first, but Otis turned on the jets and scored a rare walk-off inside-the-park home run. The error was surprising, especially considering Blair's defensive prowess. He won eight Gold Glove Awards in his 17-year career.
The shocking loss did little to derail the Yankees that season. They finished with a 100-63 record and first place in the AL East. The Royals finished with an impressive 92-70 record and first place in the AL West. The two would meet once again in the AL Championship Series. Unfortunately, the Yankees would have the last laugh that season. The Royals lost that series 3-1, and New York went on to win the World Series 4-2 over the Los Angeles Dodgers.