Updated: Nov. 2
This player is a devout New York Giants and Virginia Tech fan and is his team's all-time leader in hits, runs, walks, RBIs, doubles and game-winning RBIs. He was the third player in team history to hit 30 home runs and steal 30 bases in the same season. Who is this two-time Gold Glove winner?
Pitchers and catchers report Feb. 20, 2016, and as fate would have it, the Royals and Mets will begin the 2016 regular season with an Interleague series in Kansas City beginning on April 4.
The relentless Royals stayed true to form until the very end of the 2015 World Series, coming from two runs down to tie the score in the bottom of the ninth on a daring and aggressive race to home by Eric Hosmer, and winning the decisive Game 5 with a small ball-style rally in the 12th inning.
It was the eighth time in the postseason the Royals had come from behind to win, including all four World Series victories. The Mets were just outs away from a win in three of those games.
Heck, the Royals were down four runs and were six outs from losing their Division Series with the Astros before scoring five runs in the eighth inning to keep the series alive.
"I was thinking about how I was going to congratulate the Houston Astros in my press conference," manager Ned Yost said. "I mean, I really was."
They made believers of the Mets.
"We were pretty close to winning the World Series," said New York captain David Wright. "But there's no lead that's safe with these guys. You know they're going to make a run."
The daring run
Eric Hosmer scored the game-tying run in a very Royals way.
He drifted gradually down the line toward home on a soft one-bouncer that took third baseman David Wright to his left, then broke for home when Wright turned to throw to first, putting the pressure on first baseman Lucas Duda to make a perfect throw to the plate.
"It was realizing that at that point of the game, you have to take a chance," Hosmer said. "You have to be aggressive. That's how we've been all year. We don't play the normal style of baseball, according to most people."
"I just kept shuffling along with David. As soon as his head turned to go to first base, it's an opportunity for us to maybe steal a run."
There wasn't a good option for Wright. He had to decide whether to give up the out to keep Hosmer on third or throw to first -- a play that works out against most players on most teams -- and risk the dash home from Hosmer.
"I had my back to him and tried my best to check him and freeze him at third, but that's tough to do when nobody's over there covering," Wright said.
The play typified the mental preparation as well as the Royals' aggressive approach. Hosmer in an instant needed to process the fielders' abilities and make a dicey decision.
"That's the fastest I've ever felt," Hosmer said with a laugh. "I don't know if it's the fastest I've ever run."
The KC closer
Closer Wade Davis pitched in eight of Kansas City's 11 postseason wins, getting four saves and a win without giving up a run.
The 30-year-old right-hander, who took over the closer role for the Royals this season following Greg Holland's elbow injury in August, hasn't allowed a postseason run since Game 5 of last year's World Series -- a streak of 19 2/3 scoreless innings -- and has a career postseason ERA of 0.84 over 32 1/3 innings.
The darkest night
In the end, after all the controversy, Matt Harvey pitched just one too many innings for the Mets. The "Dark Knight" had pitched a World Series game for the ages through the eighth inning, shutting out the Royals on just four hits with nine strikeouts and no one getting as far as third base.
Informed he would be taken out, Harvey appealed to manager Terry Collins, who changed his mind and sent his ace starter back out for the fateful ninth inning. A walk and a stolen base to Lorenzo Cain followed by Eric Hosmer's run-scoring double made it a bad decision. When Hosmer came around to score on a delayed dash after a bouncer to third, it became a season-ending decision.
"I felt great all game," Harvey said. "I felt so great in the ninth. I wanted the ball and gave it everything I had."
Pumped with adrenaline, Harvey convinced Collins to keep him in the game. It would have been called a great decision had it not backfired.
"He just came over and said, 'I want this game. I want it bad. You've got to leave me in,'" Collins said. "I said, 'Matt, you've got us exactly where we wanted to get.' He said, 'I want this game in the worst way.'
"So, obviously, I let my heart get in the way of my gut. I love my players. And I trust them. And so I said, 'Go get 'em out.'"
A 2.3-mile parade for the Royals will begin at noon Tuesday and circle the downtown Kansas City business district, followed by a "victory rally" at 2 p.m. CT. A stage will be located in front of Union Station, providing viewing opportunities on the north lawn of the National WWI Museum and Memorial. For more information, go to www.VisitKC.com/RoyalCelebration.
The unlikeliest hero
On his 108th at-bat of the season and very first of the postseason, Christian Colon became an unlikely hero by driving in the winning run with a single to left in the top of the 12th inning.
Salvador Perez, who would later be named the World Series MVP after batting .364 with two RBIs, singled off reliever Addison Reed. Jarrod Dyson, running for Perez, stole second base. Two batters and five pitches later, Colon made the most of his opportunity.
"I lived it," said Colon, the fourth overall draft pick in 2010. "You know what I'm saying? I went to bed almost every night thinking about this moment."
The legend one last time
One last passage to end the 2015 baseball season from the national pastime's 95-year-old poet laureate Roger Angell:
"Baseball is not sweet. Baseball is not a good guy. Baseball is judgmental, a tough dad. Baseball is tougher than manganese molybdenum. Those who ignore this and want to cling to its sweetness-a sixty-six-year-old manager getting into the World Series for the first time after more than forty years in the game, a beloved team captain hitting a home run in a winning cause after painful struggles with physical disability, a local kid pitching in front of his mom and dad-will get their heads handed to them later in the evening. Never mind what's happened, baseball says, Go and be perfect again tonight."
"We believe in each other. You believe in the guy next to you and you realize you don't have to do it all by yourself. If you just do your part, we have a good chance at coming back, we've got a good chance at winning ballgames. That's something we've all believed in, something we all bought in since day one, and that's why we're world champions." -- Eric Hosmer
David Wright, New York Mets
Follow us @MLB_Players and to catch our postseason social media series, titled #WinOrGoHome #ItsBlackandWhite, featuring some up-close photos courtesy of Getty Sports.