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1985 Royals: Where are they now?

The 1985 Royals were a tight-knit group that never gave up, perservering in 7 games against the Cardinals to win the World Series. Many of the players are still in baseball, and they have fond memories of that championship season while seeing similarities in the current Royals.

LHP Bud Black
Black made one start and one relief appearance in the World Series. These days he lives in Southern California and is a strong candidate for several open managerial jobs after nine seasons as manager of the San Diego Padres.

"The one thing that sticks out to me about [1985] is it was about the group. "We were truly committed to each other and doing what it took for us to win. We played nine innings.

"This year's team is like that. Look at what they did against Houston and Toronto to get to the World Series. No lead was safe."

3B George Brett
The Royals' only Hall of Famer, Brett lives in suburban Kansas City and is the team's vice president of baseball operations.

"I am more nervous this year than I was in '85. When you are playing you have a say in what happens. Now? I pray and hope and live on the edge of my seat."

RHP Mark Gubicza
A key part of Kansas City's regular-season success, Gubicza was on the World Series roster but did not appear (the Royals only used six pitchers the entire Series). He lives in Southern California and is the TV analyst for the Los Angeles Angels.

"We prided ourselves on being a baseball family, and taking care of each other. It wasn't about what I did but what we did. There were teams with more talent, but there weren't better teams."

RHP Bret Saberhagen
A 20-game winner in 1985, Saberhagen pitched two complete games in the World Series, including a Game 7 shutout. He lives in California's San Fernando Valley. He worked as a player agent but is now looking for an opportunity as a bullpen coach. He remembers the durability of the 1985 staff as a key component to the club's success.

"We had five guys who didn't miss a start in the regular season."

Video: 1985 WS Gm7: Saberhagen shuts outs Cards in clincher

C Jim Sundberg
The veteran backstop came up with one of the biggest hits in the 1985 club's postseason run: the game-winning triple in Game 7 of the ALCS. He retired a year ago as a senior executive vice president with the Texas Rangers, but he remains involved in the club's community relations on a part-time basis and lives in Arlington. The resiliency of the 1985 club is vivid for him even today.

"We were 7 1/2 games out at the All-Star break, and Jorge Orta says, 'We're going to win this thing.' I figured, if that's what he thinks, why not? Then we get to September, sweep a doubleheader from Milwaukee and moved ahead of the Angels.

"We bounced back and forth most of that month, and then the Angels came to town that final week of the season a game up on us. We won three of four, and won the division."

C John Wathan
1985 was the final campaign of a 10-year career for Wathan. He managed the Royals for three full seasons and parts of two others, lives in the Kansas City area and is a special assistant to the Royals' director of player development.

"[The 1985] team wasn't the most talented, but there was that commitment to each other. This year's club has talent. It has more offense and a deeper bullpen. But one thing they have that we had is a refusal to quit."

2B Frank White
The five-time All-Star and eight-time Gold Glover hit cleanup in the World Series because there was no DH. White hit .249 with 69 RBIs in the regular season, but he led the Royals with six RBIs in the World Series. He lives in the Kansas City area and is a member of the Jackson County legislature, in addition to working in marketing and sales for Four Seasons Roofing and a coach with the independent Kansas City T-Bones.

"With no DH in the World Series back then, it meant [Hal McRae] was on the bench, [manager] Dick Howser had me hitting fourth. You look at this team, and it is deep. There's not that one guy, like George [Brett], but every guy who goes up, you anticipate a good at-bat. They put the ball in play, and then bang. You can't overlook anybody in that lineup."

1B Steve Balboni
Balboni, who set what remains the Royals' single-season record with 36 homers in 1985, is a professional scout for the San Francisco Giants and lives in New Jersey. He was acquired prior to the season from the Yankees with one mission -- provide a home run threat.

"There was a different feeling with that team," he said. "There was a genuine care for each other. Most teams have factions, guys break off into groups. We weren't that way. Someone would say, 'We're going here after the game,' and most everybody would show up, just to talk baseball."

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RHP Joe Beckwith, the only Royals reliever other than Dan Quisenberry to appear in the World Series, is in sales and marketing for a firm in Auburn, Ala., owned by Paul Bryant Jr., son of Paul "Bear" Bryant.

Dress like the Royals for the World Series

SS Buddy Biancalana, who took over the starting job with 15 games left in the regular season and started all seven World Series games, lives in Fairfield, Iowa, and is co-founder of PMPM Sports, a mental skills program.

SS Onix Concepcion, who lost the starting shortstop job with 15 games to play in the regular season, lives in Deltona, Fla. His daughter Dinelia played volleyball at the University of South Carolina.

RHP Steve Farr, an August callup who solidified the bullpen, is living in North Carolina.

OF/PH Dane Iorg, who hit the game-winning single in Game 6, lives in Pleasant Grove, Utah, and is the presidential executive of Synergy Worldwide, which deals in natural supplements.

LHP Danny Jackson, who had a complete-game, five-hit, 6-1 victory in Game 5 at St. Louis to force the Series back to Kansas City, lives in the Kansas City area and recently divested from Incred-A-Bowl, an entertainment center.

OF Lynn Jones, who was 2-for-3 with a double and triple as a pinch-hitter in the World Series, lives in Pennsylvania and, after working as a coach in the Major and Minor Leagues, is now a volunteer coach at his alma mater, Thiel College.

1986 Mets: Where are they now?

LHP Charlie Leibrandt, who pitched 16 1/3 innings in two starts, lives in the Atlanta area and has been the baseball coach at Marist High School for 18 years.

DH Hal McRae, limited to three pinch-hit appearances because there was no DH, is retired and living in Bradenton, Fla., after a post-playing career that included managing the Royals and serving as a hitting coach with several teams.

OF Darryl Motley, who appeared in five games and hit .364 in the World Series, recently moved back to the Kansas City area after living in Orlando, Fla., where he was a personal trainer.

DH Jorge Orta, who as a pinch-hitter hit the ground ball that led to the Don Denkinger call in Game 6, has been active as a Minor League coach, most recently with the Texas Rangers in the 2014 season.

Video: '85 WS, Gm 6 [email protected]: Denkinger misses the call

INF Greg Pryor, who had one at-bat in the World Series, lives in the Kansas City area and is in marketing for Sports-Aholic Inc., a sports supplement company.

C Jamie Quirk, was on the roster but did not appear in the World Series, lives in the Kansas City area and, after serving as a big league coach with the Royals, Rockies, Cubs, Astros and Rangers, spent the last three seasons managing in the Padres' system, the last two years at Double-A.

RHP Dan Quisenberry, the Royals' closer, died of brain cancer in 1998.

OF Pat Sheridan, the left-handed platoon in right field with Darryl Motley, lives in the Detroit area and sells property insurance.

OF Lonnie Smith, who hit .333 against his former Cardinals teammates in the World Series, is living in the Atlanta area, where he is a stay-at-home dad.

OF Willie Wilson, who hit .367 in the World Series, is living in the Kansas City area, giving private hitting lessons and overseeing the Willie Wilson Baseball Foundation.

Tracy Ringolsby is a national columnist for
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