The Royals have been in Major League Baseball for more than 50 years. They started in 1969 and gave their fans a lot to cheer about over the years. From 1976 to 1985, the Royals were in the postseason seven times and won a World Series title in ‘85. The Royals didn’t go back to the postseason until 2014 and won a second World Series title the following season.
And man, did the Royals have a lot of great players over the years, from George Brett’s booming bat to Whit Merrifield’s consistency in the batter’s box.
The National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum’s collection of more than 40,000 three-dimensional pieces contains artifacts that tell the story of the game’s legendary players, moments and triumphs. Beginning this summer and running through the end of 2020, the Hall of Fame will share some of those memorable artifacts through a new limited time experience: Starting Nine, which features nine artifacts from each of the 30 current MLB franchises. Whether you’ve visited before or you’ve always wanted to check it out, this is another great reason to plan a visit to the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum -- the spiritual home of America’s Pastime in beautiful Cooperstown, N.Y.
1) Pine tar bat
Fun facts: On July 24, 1983, Royals third baseman George Brett smashed a ninth-inning homer with this bat to give the Royals a 5-4 lead over the Yankees. However, Brett went berserk after home-plate umpire Tim McClelland ruled that Brett's bat had too much pine tar on it and called him out. Although the decision was later overturned, Brett's angry charge remains a singular baseball moment.
2) Motley’s bat
Fun facts: Royals outfielder Darryl Motley used this bat to hit a two-run homer against Cardinals left-hander John Tudor in Game 7 of the 1985 World Series. The rocket to left gave the Royals a 2-0 lead and provided all the offense they needed in their 11-0 victory.
3) Bo’s cap
Fun facts: Wearing this cap, outfielder Bo Jackson made his mark in the 1989 All-Star Game at Anaheim Stadium. Among his feats, Jackson smashed a gargantuan 450-foot home run, stole a base (the first player since Willie Mays to do both in an ASG), and earned the game's MVP Award.
4) In honor of Buck
Fun facts: Negro Leagues legend Buck O'Neil played for and managed the Kansas City Monarchs from 1938 to 1955. His eight-decade contributions to baseball, his chairmanship of the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum and his influence on the game are immeasurable. In 2008, the Buck O’Neil Lifetime Achievement Award, symbolized by this statue, was instituted to honor O'Neil's character, integrity, and dignity.
5) Mad Max’s bat
Fun facts: On Sept. 22, 2013, Royals outfielder Justin Maxwell smashed a walk-off grand slam with this bat to defeat the Rangers, 4-0, and guarantee the Royals' first winning season in a decade.
6) Ned’s jersey
Fun facts: In 2014, Royals manager Ned Yost wore this jersey as his club became the first to begin a postseason with eight straight wins. After defeating the A’s in the Wild Card Game, Kansas City swept the Angels in the American League Division Series and the Orioles in the AL Championship Series.
7) World Series bling
Fun facts: After winning the 2015 World Series, Royals owner David Glass made sure everyone who contributed to the championship received a ring. Beyond the 46 players who spent even one day on the 25-man roster, Glass paid for more than 660 additional rings for employees, scouts, instructors, and Minor League coaches.
8) Salvador’s mitt
Fun facts: Royals catcher Salvador Pérez was the star during the 2015 World Series against the Mets; his .364 batting average topped Series regulars. Wearing this mitt, his excellent pitch selection kept Mets hitters off-balance. Combined, these attributes garnered World Series MVP honors for Pérez.
9) Hosmer’s jersey
Fun facts: Kansas City’s Eric Hosmer wore this jersey in Game 5 of the 2015 World Series, when his daring, headfirst slide home in the ninth inning tied the Mets, 2-2, and pushed the deciding World Series game into extra innings. Hosmer’s mad dash exemplified the Royals’ hard-charging, aggressive style of play.