Major League Baseball

In the latest balloting for the July 14 All-Star game in Cincinnati, the Kansas City Royals lead the voting this week at eight positions.

The trend from Royals fans indicate that online votes for their favorite players won’t let up. But Royals fans are making their presence felt in more ways than just All-Star balloting — the blue wave hit Busch Stadium in St. Louis last weekend. 

Whitney Findley, a Royals fan who lives in Lee’s Summit, saw familiar friends in no time at all across the street from the stadium.

Two retired MLB players--Rex Hudler of Fox Sports (now a Royals announcer) and Fred Kipp of the Dodgers and the Yankees--share their experiences on and off the field, then and now. 

John Spertus / for KCUR

“Never lose sight of winning on the field at the major-league level.”

That is advice he will never forget, the Kansas City Royals’ General Manager Dayton Moore told Up to Date's Steve Kraske on Wednesday.

Mysteryman28/Google Images -- CC

After last season's incredible run, the national spotlight has been on the Kansas City Royals — and the team's recent bench-clearing brawl and skirmishes with opposing teams. We invite KCUR's sports reporter and sports columnist at the Kansas City Star to discuss the unspoken code of conduct in baseball — and how the Royals are changing the game.

Guests:

  • Lee Judge, cartoonist and sportswriter, Kansas City Star
  • Greg Echlin, sports reporter, KCUR

  

  The last time the Oakland A’s came to town, the result was one of the wildest come-from-behind victories in Kansas City sports history. Tonight’s rematch at the K marks an historic comeback of another sort, at least for one longtime fan favorite. Commentator Victor Wishna explains in “A Fan’s Notes.”

In the history of Kauffman Stadium, only a handful of men have stepped up to the plate more often than William Raymond Butler, Jr. His 2,422 appearances include seven home openers, one All-Star debut, and, of course, the bottom-of-the-ninth in Game Seven of the World Series. Tonight, he’ll be there again for the first time since. And, for the first time ever, this home plate won’t be home.

The Royals have started this year with the same intensity that electrified the city in October. It’s as if they don’t realize the season ever ended. Which makes it even harder to believe that Billy Butler, the man known as “Country Breakfast,” is now an Oakland Athletic. It’ll be tough to see him in that green-and-gold, only in part because no one looks good in those colors. The A’s will come in here looking to avenge their Wild-Card humiliation. But for Butler and fans, the sure-to-be-bittersweet reunion calls for a warmer brand of payback.

Keith Allison / Flickr-CC

The Oakland Athletics confirmed Wednesday that Billy Butler will play for the team starting in 2015.

Despite showing a desire to remain a Kansas City Royal, Butler's $12.5 million option for 2015 was too much for Royals managers.

Oakland approached Butler with a three-year, $30 million contract and $5 million signing bonus.

Some had mixed emotions about seeing Butler leave the only professional team for which he's played. Dean Tangeman posted this response on Twitter:

Keith Allison / Flickr--CC

The outlook wasn't brilliant for the Royals at the end.

The score stood three to two, with only one chance to extend
This magnificent, magical season. And from where we sat,
With Bumgarner in, hope was dim as K.C. came to bat.

Hosmer: down. Butler: out. Is this how we’d end the story?
Would the heroes of ’85 not pass on their glory?
Gordo stepped to the batter’s box, locked in, and snapped his gum,
And thousands—make that millions—pondered just how far we’d come.

Celebrating A Remarkable Royals Season

Oct 30, 2014
Frank Morris / KCUR

The month of October has been a rollercoaster ride for Kansas City. The Royals made it through an amazing postseason, all the way to Game 7 of the World Series. We may have lost that final game to the San Francisco Giants 2-3, but our boys in blue gave this city an unbelievable and unforgettable postseason. Kansas City celebrated the remarkable accomplishments of our Royals at Kauffman Stadium today. On this edition of Up to Date, we bring you part of the festivities at the K including a chat with Mayor Sly James. 

Julie Denesha / KCUR

Here in Kansas City, the hotels are booked solid, and people are snatching up anything in royal blue. For some sectors of the business community, life is very, very good right now. For others, the baseball action doesn't translate into extra dollars.

On Wednesday's Up to Date, we take a look at how the World Series is having an impact on the local economy and why it might not be pumping in extra money as much as redistributing business success.

Guests:

Missouri State Archives

The Royals came along in 1969 after a U.S. senator from Missouri, Stuart Symington, put the squeeze on Major League Baseball. But before the boys in blue a team called the Philadelphia Athletics came to our fair town.

Courtesy photo / KCUR

Five-hundred pounds of Rice-A-Roni?

A trolley car for Kansas City's new streetcar line?

C’mon, Kansas City. We want to know what you think San Francisco should pony up if the Royals beat the Giants in the World Series. And what should Kansas City dish out if the Royals lose?

Cody Newill / KCUR

By now, reality has sunk in for most of the Kansas City area.

The team with one of the most dramatic underdog stories in recent baseball history clinched a spot in the World Series Wednesday, when the Royals defeated the Baltimore Orioles, 2-1.  

From crying fans to a photo of a flabbergasted George Brett, here’s a look at how Kansas City tweeted the historic victory.

Kathleen Kunkler / KCUR

Sweeping away 29 years of heartbreak and bringing home an American League pennant to a rejoicing city, the Kansas City Royals clinched a trip Wednesday to the World Series.

Final score after a fast fall game under clear royal blue skies: Kansas City 2, Baltimore 1.

Screaming fans at Kauffman Stadium, on their feet for the ninth inning, counted down the outs until their beloved Royals were in the series.

"Three. More. Outs ... Two ... Strike out! ... One. More. Out ... Sweep! Sweep!"

Keith Allison / Flickr-CC

You’ve seen the boys in blue dominating the field in Baltimore and at the K, but they weren’t always pros.

We take a peek into the past of a few of the Royals… to see how they played in high school.

  • Tim Collins, pitcher
  • Hometown: Worcester, MA

Dave Nordman, deputy managing editor of sports at the Worcester Telegram & Gazette, remembers Collins who "was always the smallest player on his team" at 5'5", but "even for his size, he was just the best player on his team by far." (Collins is now 5'7".)

Michael Zupon / Flickr--CC

The Kansas City Royals are in a post-season winning streak that has local baseball fans in a frenzy. And with the World Series just one win away, the Royals staff at Kauffman Stadium is keeping extra busy — but despite all the extra work, they’re enjoying this post-season just as much as the players and fans.

Keith Allison / Flickr Creative Commons

The Kansas City Royals have worked a miracle. After clinching a spot in the Wild Card game, the team advanced into the playoffs with a nerve-wracking 12-inning match that ended in a 9-8 victory over the Oakland Athletics. The Royals kept Kansas City on edge as they took the first two games of the American League Division Series into extra-innings. In both games the Royals pulled through beating the Los Angeles Angels 3-2  and then 4-1. Sunday, the Royals came home to Kansas City and delivered a stunning victory, smashing the Angels 8-3.

SungWoo Lee - Twitter

The Kansas City Royals clinched their spot in the American League wild card game last week, taking the team to the playoffs for the first time since 1985. 

With the team's World Series hopes hinging on their performance against the Oakland A's Tuesday, Royals fans in Kansas City and around the world are showing their support for the boys in blue. 

Beth Lipoff/KCUR

In sports, we teach kids valuable lessons like, “Winning isn’t everything. The most important thing is that you did your best.” But if you’re a pro athlete, that goes out the window. Your job is to win.

On Friday's Up to Date, we look at the psychology of the clubhouse in a pennant race as the Royals gear up for possibly their first post-season appearance in a generation. We also hear from a team official about what it feels like to be at the K these days.

Guests:

KCUR-FM

The year got off to a promising start for the Royals and their fans. In January, the teen pop singer known as Lorde won Grammy Awards for Best Performance and Song of the Year for her hit “Royals,” which she claims was inspired by a picture of George Brett that she saw in an old copy of National Geographic. When she performed in Kansas City a few weeks ago, the Royals presented her with an autographed Brett jersey. Lorde, born 11 years after the team’s last playoff appearance, called it “one of the coolest things” she owns—and she owns two Grammies.

From the highs of professional baseball and even the World Series to the lows of drug addiction and bankruptcy, former Royals player Willie Wilson has had quite the journey.

Wikipedia Commons

This week the 2013 Little League World Series has bought teams from across the world to Williamsport, Pennsylvania. The championship game will be played on Sunday.

In this month’s “A Fan’s Notes”, commentator Victor Wishna tells us what Major League players could learn from their Little League compadres.

John Sleezer / The Kansas City Star

You think the road is long and difficult for the Kansas City Royals? Imagine how hard it must be for Royals fans.

Commentator Victor Wishna shares his thoughts on the roller-coaster team in this month's "A Fan's Notes."

__________________

The legendary broadcaster Ernie Harwell was not the first or the last to say that, “Baseball is a lot like life…full of ups and downs.”

Well, if Royals baseball is like life, then life has been hard.

A conflict with Major League Baseball that could have disrupted two successive “First Friday” events in the Crossroads Arts District has been resolved.