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.

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.

UMKC

A University of Missouri-Kansas City assistant basketball coach under fire for allegedly paying for strippers at another program has resigned.

Kyle Palmer / KCUR 89.3

This story was rebroadcast as part of our best-of 2015 series. It was originally reported in October 2015.    

Ask a Royals' fan about FOX announcer Joe Buck, and you might get a response like Adam Jones'.  

"I think it's safe to say he did not call last year's World Series with any kind of objectivity."

Courtesy Photo / Mary Mathews

It turns out, some of the best Royals' stuff comes from family.

 

Every Christmas, fond memories rush over Mary Mathews of loved ones who are no longer with her — and the Kansas City baseball team.  

When we asked fans this week to share their most loved Royals stuff, Mathews, of Grandview, Missouri, took a photo of two simple Christmas ornaments that commemorate the team's 1985 World Series win.

Lisa Rodriguez / KCUR

It was a familiar scene on Wednesday: Once more, a team in ugly orange uniforms had come to the K for a series-deciding finale, and put up an early lead. But this time, the game, like Johnny Cueto, was nearly perfect. The Royals grounded the Houston Astros to claim their rightful place as hosts of the American League Championship Series, which starts tonight. The specter of last year’s heartbreak lingers, but its exorcism continues. 

Yet most of all, best of all, this is fun again.

A new report says five former players and recruits say McGee paid for strippers at on-campus parties.

This story was updated at 2:45 pm to include comments from UMKC officials.   

Right now, things don't look good for UMKC men's assistant basketball coach Andre McGee. 

A new report from ESPN's 'Outside the Lines' program corroborates allegations made by a self-described former escort that McGee paid her to provide strippers and sex for players and recruits. In the documentary, a portion of which aired Tuesday on ABC's "Good Morning America", Powell says McGee paid her $10,000 for "side deals", including sex with some players. 

Greg Echlin / KCUR 89.3

For the first time since 1998, a father is in one baseball dugout of a playoff team, while his son is in the other. In this case, Drew Butera is the Kansas City Royals back-up catcher while his father, Sal, is a Toronto Blue Jays coach.

The family matriarch is Gina Butera, who planned for this year’s playoffs.

“I actually had a T-shirt designed and it’s blue,” said Gina Butera. “On one side it is the Jays logo and on the side it’s the Royals logo. The back says, ‘Butera’s house divided.’ Yeah, I had no doubt that both of them were going to be in the playoffs. No doubt.”

Jeremy Bernfeld / / KCUR 89.3

Don’t ever count the Royals out.

Down three runs. Who cares?

Just nine outs to go. So what?

Facing a near-unhittable pitcher? Big deal.

A five-run rally in the bottom of the seventh inning Saturday vaulted the Royals from losers to winners over the Toronto Blue Jays and rewrote with a happy ending what had looked like a lost day for the home side.

The 6-3 win means the Royals will bring a two-game lead to the north as the best-of-seven series shifts to Toronto, and that the club needs just two more wins to book their place in the World Series.

Jeremy Bernfeld / KCUR 89.3

With baseball’s top offense coming town, the Royals were hoping to hit just enough to end the game on top.

Throwing a shutout will help.

An outstanding pitching performance led the Royals to a 5-0 win Friday over the Toronto Blue Jays and allowed them to take the first game of the best-of-seven American League Championship Series.

Kansas City starter Edinson Volquez fired bullets through the first five innings, allowing just one Toronto hit. Back-to-back walks to open the sixth caused trouble, but Volquez got himself out of the jam and the Royals never looked back.

Tell KCUR: Show Us Your Most Loved Royals Stuff

Oct 16, 2015

Hey Royals fans, you know all those T-shirts, baseball cards, banners and bobbleheads you've collected over the years?

We want to see them.

Tell KCUR: Show us your most loved Royals stuff.

Share photos of your most prized Royals gear and memorabilia on Twitter with the #TellKCUR hashtag or go to our Facebook page and leave your photo in a comment. 

Don't forget to tell us why you love it so much!!

Jeremy Bernfeld / KCUR 89.3

By virtue of winning the most games in the American League this season, and a win for the AL team in the All-Star Game, the Royals have home-field advantage throughout the playoffs.

But does the potential to play more at home really give the Royals a leg-up? Isn’t that just another one of those sports myths, like the one about the team with more heart and hustle always winning?

“The home field advantage: definitely no myth,” says Jon Wertheim, executive editor of Sports Illustrated.

Jeremy Bernfeld / KCUR 89.3

It just seems the Royals wouldn’t have it any other way. And now they’re headed to the American League Championship Series.

Kansas City defeated the Houston Astros Wednesday to win the decisive game in their best-of-five series.

Down in a two-run hole, the Royals rallied in a three-run fifth inning to go up 4-2 and take a lead they’d never give back.

The Toronto Blue Jays, who beat the Texas Rangers to advance Wednesday, are next up for Kansas City.

The story of the night: Royals starting pitcher Johnny Cueto.

Jeremy Bernfeld / KCUR 89.3

This story was rebroadcast as part of our best-of 2015 series. It was originally reported in October 2015.    

When the Royals take the field for their do-or-die Game 5 Wednesday night, all eyes will be on the players. But during the game, there will be a largely invisible team at work behind-the-scenes doing everything they can to get the Kauffman Stadium crowd whipped into a frenzy.

Jeremy Bernfeld / KCUR

Just because Kansas City has seen this before, it’s not any less thrilling.

With their back against the wall, the Royals scored 5 in the eighth inning Monday and rallied to beat the Houston Astros 9-6.

The win prolongs the Royals’ season for another game. With the best-of-five American League Division Series tied at two games apiece, the Royals will host the do-or-die Game 5 at Kauffman Stadium on Wednesday.

Jeremy Bernfeld / KCUR 89.3

It’s do-or-die time for the Royals.

After dropping Game 3 Sunday, Kansas City can’t afford another loss in their best-of-five American League Division Series against the Houston Astros.

On the strength of solid starting pitching by ace Dallas Keuchel, the Astros held off the Royals 4-2 Sunday to claim a 2-1 series lead.

Jeremy Bernfeld / KCUR

After finding themselves in an early hole, the Royals rallied Friday night to take Game 2 of the American League Division Series and knot the best-of-five game series at one.

The win was a crucial victory for Kansas City, which risked traveling to Houston to face the Astros’ ace starting pitcher while staring at elimination. Now, it’s a race to two wins to move on to the American League Championship series.

First-baseman Eric Hosmer said the win would give the team some confidence.

Jeremy Bernfeld / KCUR

The Royals fell behind in the first inning and a punchless offense never allowed them to catch up.

In the end, Kansas City dropped the first game of the best-of-five American League Division Series at home to the Houston Astros, 5-2.

“It’s a five-game series,” said Royals manager Ned Yost. “It’s not a death-sentence to lose Game 1.”

Royals starter Yordano Ventura surrendered two runs in the first inning and another one in the second, leaving the Royals to enter a 49-minute rain delay down 3-1. Ventura did not return after the showers.

Courtesy Kathleen Kunkler

Despite finishing the regular season with the best record in the American League, the Royals aren’t the AL team most-likely to win the World Series, at least according to FiveThirtyEight, the statistical analysis sports blog headed by Nate Silver.

Sportswriter Neil Paine lists the Toronto Blue Jays as the team most-likely to take the title after crunching the numbers. Paine gives the Jays a 19 percent chance to end the season as winners.

Laura Ziegler / KCUR

Draped in fashion of Royal blue, caps bobbing up and down in a sea of fans, they lined up Grand Avenue and wrapped around 13th Street to squeeze into the noon rally at The Power & Light District Wednesday.

There was Royals swag and spirit, and the chance to get nostalgic with veterans of the 1985 Championship Royals team.

Outfielder and speedster Willie Wilson, five-time All Star second baseman Frank White, and starter Dennis Leanord were among those who shared stories about their careers and cheered on the 2015 team.

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