Sports

KCUR 89.3 covers community-related topics about sports in the Kansas City region. Do you have a story idea? E-mail News Director Maria Carter, maria@kcur.org.

Sandwiched between bigger programs in Lawrence and Columbia, the UMKC men's basketball team can get lost. But the program is growing and thriving under head coach Kareem Richardson, who came to Kansas City three years ago after coaching at the University of Louisville. 

Courtesy Kathleen Kunkler

Alex Gordon has called Kansas City home for every season he's been in the MLB, and it looks like the 32-year-old may spend the rest of his career here.

Gordon, a four-time Gold Glove recipient, has signed to a four-year, $72 million contract with the Royals.

Gordon helped the Royals win the World Series in 2015 as a left fielder and with crucial at bats, including a solo home run that led to a 1-0 series lead versus the New York Mets.

When the weekly college basketball rankings were released before Monday night’s game between the Kansas Jayhawks and Oklahoma Sooners, each team was ranked number one— KU in the AP poll and OU in the coaches poll.

Then the Jayhawks battled OU for three overtimes before winning 109-106.

Down by one with 12 seconds left in the third overtime, Oklahoma had the ball and the chance to end the frustration of 14 straight losses at Allen Fieldhouse. But KU guard Frank Mason stole the inbound pass and was fouled. His free throws then sealed the Jayhawks win.

The Kansas City Chiefs beat the Oakland Raiders Sunday, 23-17, to finish the season with 10 wins in a row and an 11-5 record.

But it wasn’t enough to overtake the Denver Broncos in the AFC West since they also won.

When the Chiefs players were on the field, the score of the Broncos game wasn’t shown on the scoreboard at Arrowhead Stadium. Chiefs coach Andy Reid claims they didn’t care.

“They wanna play. You put somebody in front of them. They go play,” said Reid.

The St. Louis Board of Aldermen gave its blessing to a measure aimed at keeping the St. Louis Rams in town.

Now, it’s up to the NFL’s owners to see if this potentially expensive gambit paid off.

After the first semifinal match between Texas and Minnesota Thursday at the NCAA women’s volleyball championship, the Kansas Jayhawks play the second match of the evening against Nebraska.

The Jayhawks are bracing themselves for a crowd that won’t be in favor of them. KU junior Maggie Anderson grew up in Lincoln, Nebraska, and followed the Huskers throughout high school, so she knows the volleyball pulse.

Hannah Copeland / KCUR 89.3

Kansas City and Independence will host the U.S. Figure Skating Championships in January 2017.

The Sprint Center in downtown Kansas City will host the senior and junior championships, and the Silverstein Eye Centers Arena in Independence will host the novice, intermediate and juvenile level events.

Kansas City Mayor Sly James says Kansas City area is a good fit for figure skating.

“Kansas City as you all know is a tremendous sports city,” Kansas City Mayor Sly James said. “We have the best sports fans in the world in my personal opinion.”

University of Kansas

He sounds like he could be your grandpa, recounting a snow day long ago.

“I showed them two peach baskets I’d nailed up at each end of the gym,” says 77-year-old James Naismith in a 1939 radio interview recently unearthed by a University of Kansas professor, “and I told them the idea was to throw the ball into the opposing team’s peach basket.”

Jeremy Bernfield / KCUR

The year is winding down, and if this wasn’t already one of the greatest years in local sports history, here come the re-energized Kansas City Chiefs. The Royals took the crown, but as commentator Victor Wishna explains in the latest edition of A Fan’s Notes, this might really be “our time.”

So. how ’bout them Chiefs? No, really — if you'd asked a month or so ago, most would’ve said, “Uh…what about ’em?”

Courtesy of KU Athletics (Instagram)

This fall, the three area major college football teams—Kansas, Kansas State and Missouri—haven’t provided much to cheer about. That is, unless you think a bowl game for a team with a 6-6 record grabs your attention. But there’s a sport that’s been a hidden gem in the Kansas City area—volleyball.

Jeremy Bernfeld / KCUR

On the field, the Kansas City Chiefs are on a roll with five victories in a row. In the courtroom, however, the Chiefs haven’t fared as well lately — they’re fighting an age discrimination lawsuit.

Unless it’s settled out of court, the case, which reaches the very top of the Chiefs’ hierarchy, is a long way from reaching a resolution.

In 2010, Chiefs’ fans watched quarterback Matt Cassel and wide receiver Dwayne Bowe on the field. Meanwhile, Steve Cox, a maintenance supervisor at Arrowhead Stadium, put in long, behind-the-scenes hours.

Laura Gilchrist / Flickr -- CC

Professional soccer club Sporting Kansas City announced on Thursday that the name of its home field in Kansas City, Kansas, will be changed on January 1, 2016, from Sporting Park to Children’s Mercy Park.

The Kansas City-based pediatric hospital will have exclusive naming rights for the next 10 years. The financial terms weren’t disclosed, but Children’s Mercy will also expand its partnership with Sporting Kansas City in other ways.

Courtesy of mutigers.com

University of Missouri football coach Gary Pinkel says he will resign at the end of season.  The announcement is the latest twist in a dramatic week for the team.

On Friday, the 63-year-old Pinkel announced his resignation, effective at the end of this season.  Doctors have been treating Pinkel for lymphoma, a type of blood cancer, since May.  Pinkel says his health and not the turbulent week at MU drove his decision.

Hundreds of thousands of Kansas City Royals fans lined the parade route and gathered at Union Station to celebrate the World Series championship.

As loud as Kauffman Stadium gets when Kansas City Royals fans make their voices heard, never before has it sounded like this amphitheater around Union Station when the fans chanted, “Let’s go Royals!”

The player fans wanted to hear from the most was the World Series Most Valuable Player Salvador Perez. “Today we are No. 1 in the whole world, guys,” said Perez.

The Kansas City Royals became World Series champions last night and their hometown is buzzing with excitement. Up To Date retraces the team's incredible journey and hears from fans around the city.

Guests:

City of Kansas City

It's been a long 30 years since the Royals last earned the title "World Champions," but Sunday's 7-2 victory over the New York Mets has put Kansas City back in the winning mood.

To keep the good vibes flowing, the city has decided to hold a parade and celebration Tuesday to honor the boys in blue. Since it's been a generation since the last local World Series parade, we decided it might help to give Kansas Citians a quick primer on the ins and outs of the party.

Kansas City Royals Fans Celebrate Being #Crowned

Nov 2, 2015
Cody Newill / KCUR 89.3

If you went to bed Sunday night thinking the Royals would return to Kansas City to finish off the World Series this week, by now you know you were dead wrong.

Sam Zeff / KCUR

Late Sunday afternoon the Port Authority of Kansas City put out a Tweet and a Facebook post. They were going to have a party.

The authority and the Friends of the River KC put up a 26-foot screen, brought in some food trucks and created a brand new place for Royals fans to watch the World Series.

About 1,500 Royals faithful gathered at a park by the Missouri River just north of downtown.

Cody Newill / KCUR

A generation’s worth of Kansas City hopes and prayers and pleading was finally answered Sunday night in New York. The Kansas City Royals are World Series champions.

It took 30 years for the Royals to once again reach the top of the baseball mountain. Thirty years of Opening Days pregnant with promise. Thirty years of long, hot summers drifting aimlessly toward autumn.

Thirty years of disappointment turned in a flash to shock, and quickly on to joy, when in the twelfth the Royals took the championship 7-2 after a turn in the ninth when the Mets left in their starting pitcher, Matt Harvey, with more than 110 pitches.

The Kansas City Royals defeated the New York Mets, 5-3, to move closer to winning a World Series championship with a three games to one lead.

The Royals rallied late to take the lead and turned to their closer, Wade Davis. Davis protected the lead with a six-out save in the eighth and ninth innings.

Davis says it was something he knew he could do, especially in the World Series. "A couple more outs really doesn’t change anything," says Davis.

The Royals and Mets will play Game Five on Sunday night in New York. 

Cody Newill / KCUR

Baseball is a notoriously superstitious sport for both players and fans. The superstition is so powerful that it has led two Royals fanatics to make a portable shrine to keep the boys in blue lucky during their battle for the World Series against the New York Mets.

Valdez Campos and Jon Watkins both love the Royals and they both work at Blvd. Tavern. One slow Sunday night at the bar, they got to thinking about how they could honor the team and create a good luck charm to see them through the Series.

Minda Haas / Flickr -- CC

When Kansas City Royals outfielder Paulo Orlando replaced Alex Rios as a late-inning defensive change last Tuesday, he made history. Orlando became the first native of Brazil to play in the World Series.

The next challenge is for Orlando, and the sport of baseball, to gain more notoriety in Brazil.

Sam Zeff / KCUR

Most Kansas Citians already knew it’s hard not to love the Kansas City Royals, but even die-hard Mets fans can’t help but like the boys in blue.

Cody Rogers drove 21 hours from Catskill, New York, to get to Kansas, where he's been working for the summer in the wind turbine industry.

A Mets fan, he was at Game 1 of the World Series at Kauffman Stadium. “The Mets mean everything to me,” says Rogers. 

Sam Zeff / KCUR

This was the pitching match up baseball fans had been waiting for. Power versus power. Ace versus ace. Hair versus hair.

In the end the Royals Johnny Cueto and his dreadlocks trounced the Mets Jacob deGrom and his flowing warrior locks 7-1 to go up two games to none in the World Series.

Keith Allison / Flickr -- CC

Game 2 of the World Series is Wednesday night with the Kansas City Royals up one after winning, 5-4, Tuesday in 14 innings. The Royals say they have the pieces to go all the way against the New York Mets, and the biggest splash was the acquisition of pitcher Johnny Cueto from the Cincinnati Reds last July.

Though it was difficult for some Reds fans to say goodbye, Cueto’s up-and-down performances since then have left the Royals feeling blue.

Sam Zeff / / KCUR

I wouldn't make a good Royal. 

In Game 4 of the ALDS in Houston, after the Astros hit back-to-back home runs in the seventh to go up 6-2, facing near-certain elimination from the postseason, I gave up. Stopped watching. Walked out of the bar, swallowed the bitter bile gathering in my throat, looked up resentfully at blue sky and thought it might be a good time to rake some leaves.  

Bring on football season, I thought. 

Sam Zeff / / KCUR

You knew from the very beginning it was going to be one of those Royals games. You just weren't sure which kind.

It took 14 innings and five hours for the Royals to take game one of the World Series, beating the New York Mets 5-4.

The game had drama, quirks and emotion.

To begin with, there was some question whether the game would even be played. It rained all day, and the tarp was on the field until about an hour before the first pitch. Batting practice and infield were canceled. Both teams warmed up in the locker room.

Sam Zeff / KCUR 89.3

It's a cliche but it must have some truth because you hear it before every World Series: good pitching stops good hitting. Who Royals Manager Ned Yost was going to pitch in Game 1 Tuesday evening at Kauffman Stadium had a lot of people worried.

Would he go with Johnny Cueto, the mid-season pick up who got shelled in his last start against Toronto (he gave up eight runs in just two innings) or would Yost hand the ball to the veteran Edinson Volquez?

Keith Allison / Flickr--CC

By now, many Royals' fans know these facts about Kansas City's World Series opponent, the New York Mets: they have tremendous starting pitching, infielder Daniel Murphy is on a historic postseason home run binge, and their season changed when they acquired Yoenis Cespedes in late July. 

But did you know the franchise was once managed by a Kansas City-native nicknamed the 'Old Professor'? Or that they once set the modern mark for regular-season futility? Or that their ticket prices to this year's World Series purport to be the most expensive in Major League Baseball history? 

Jeremy Bernfeld / KCUR 89.3

This is not a dream. The Kansas City Royals are headed to the World Series for the second-straight year.

Kansas City eliminated the Toronto Blue Jays four games to two, after winning Game 6 by a score of 4-3 to take the American League pennant. The team will face the New York Mets for the Major League Baseball title.

The clinching win was anything but easy.

Pages