KANSAS CITY -- While many people assume the expansion Kansas City Royals got their nickname in 1969 to honor kings or something monarchial, the Royals name actually was a salute to the city’s heritage in the livestock industry.
A contest among fans attracted thousands of entries, including suggestions such as “Cowpokes” and “Mules.”
A fan named Sanford Porte was named the winner for his “Royals” entry.
Porte wrote at the time: “Kansas City’s new baseball team should be called the Royals because of Missouri’s billion-dollar livestock income, Kansas City’s position as the nation’s leading stocker and feeder market and the nationally known American Royal parade and pageant.”
The American Royal is a livestock show held every year in Kansas City, which is now also known across the country for its barbecue contests.
Interestingly, the Royals opted to use a crown as their team logo, perhaps further adding to the confusion of their nickname’s origin.
Eventually, city officials tried to downplay the connection to the city’s stockyards, hoping to lose its national image as a “Cow Town.”
Another misconception is that the Royals were named after the Kansas City Monarchs, the famous Negro Leagues Baseball team which also featured a crown as its logo.