Eight reasons to be excited that Mike Moustakas is staying in Kansas City
After an offseason in which Royals fans experienced the departure of Lorenzo Cain and Eric Hosmer -- two icons of the 2015 team that won the World Series, Thursday night brought good tidings. That's right, the Royals re-signed third baseman Mike Moustakas for the 2018 season.
Eight is a significant number for Moose. For starters, the No. 8 resides prominently on the back of his uniform. Also, 2018 will mark his eighth season with the Royals' Major League club after debuting in 2011. In honor of the special place the No. 8 holds in Moustakas lore, let's celebrate his return to the Royals with eight choice GIFs.
The catch falling into the dugout
Though Moustakas is best known for his ability to hit dingers -- more on that later -- he's repeatedly proven to be more than up for the rigors of the hot corner. During the team's first playoff run in 2014, Moustakas stole the show in the ALCS when he dove into the dugout to make a catch in foul territory:
The nine-RBI game
During a mid-September game against the Orioles, Moose made Royals history by striking for nine RBIs -- grand slam, three-run homer, two-run single -- en route to a 14-6 Royals win. It wouldn't be the last time he made Royals history:
The ALCS home run
During the Royals' 2015 World Series run, Moustakas often found his way into the middle of big moments. In the clinching Game 6 of the intense ALCS against the Blue Jays, Moustakas scored two runs, including one on a solo homer in the second inning:
The Royals went on to win the game, 4-3, so Moustakas' two runs were obviously huge.
The diving stop
Let's dwell on that 2015 ALCS Game 6 for a couple more moments. With the Royals holding a 2-1 lead -- thanks to Moose's 2nd inning-dinger -- the Blue Jays were threatening with runners on first and second and Josh Donaldson at the plate with two outs. He ripped the first pitch he saw from Yordano Ventura toward third base.
Moustakas was there:
The World Series dive and throw
In Game 1 of the 2015 World Series, the Royals found themselves in a precarious position. With Kansas City already trailing, 3-1, in the sixth inning, the Mets had a runner on second with Wilmer Flores at the plate. He hit a hard grounder down the third-base line that would have likely extended the Mets' lead. Moustakas not only had the range to put a stop to that, but the arm for the task as well:
The Home Run Derby
After hitting 25 home runs in the first half of 2017, Moose represented the Royals in the Home Run Derby. Though he lost by one measly dinger to eventual finalist Miguel Sano, Moustakas represented his team admirably, most notably on this 442 ball to the upper deck of Marlins Park:
The record-tying home run
Following on the momentum of his 25-dinger first half, Moustakas entered the second half of 2017 in a chase for the Royals' single-season home run record of 36, held by Steve Balboni since 1985. On Sept. 1, he tied Balboni with a home run onto the porch at Target Field:
The record-breaking home run
Moose had to wait until Sept. 20 to break Balboni's record, but break it he did. His 37th home run of the season took place in Toronto and, like his 36th, was a line drive down the right-field line.
May 2018 lead to even more iconic Moose moments!