Royals Vault: Brett sends KC to the World Series

March 10th, 2022 is digging back into its massive video vault to uncover classic plays that you have loved, forgotten about or, perhaps, are discovering for the very first time. Watch these moments and many, many more on the MLB Vault YouTube page.

Oct. 10, 1980: Brett sends the Royals to the World Series
With George Brett spotted around Royals Minor League Spring Training camp in Arizona, there is endless advice he can give to players around the backfields, and endless stories to be told about his playing days. There are numerous game-changing home runs we could name, but how about this one? Brett's three-run homer in Game 3 of the 1980 American League Championship Series against the Yankees. The Royals needed a win to go to the World Series, but they were down 2-1 in the seventh inning at Yankee Stadium. Willie Wilson and U L Washington both got on base for Brett to face Rich Gossage. And like clockwork, Brett mashed a monster of a home run to the third deck to put the Royals up 4-2. As his teammates celebrated at home plate, Brett calmly trotted around the bases. Add another one to the tally for the greatest Royal of all time.

Oct. 14, 1980: Homers, birthdays and the World Series
There can't be many better feelings than crushing a home run on your birthday, right? Royals first baseman Willie Aikens did one better on a mid-October evening in 1980. He homered on his birthday -- which was also Game 1 of the World Series. And then he homered again five innings later, in the top of the eighth.

Yes, on his 26th birthday and in his first World Series appearance ever, Aikens homered twice to help the Royals keep pace with the Phillies at Veterans Stadium. Perhaps the only thing that would have made it better was if Kansas City had won. Despite Aikens' second homer bringing his club within one, the Royals weren't able to catch Philadelphia in the 7-6 loss.

Oct. 3, 1993: Fitting send-off for two greats
On the final day of the 1993 season, two of the greatest players of their generation were given a send-off for the final days of their career. With the Royals visiting the Rangers, George Brett and Nolan Ryan were appearing in their final games. The two convened at home plate to deliver the lineup cards and talk with the umpires in front of a standing ovation, a pair of future Hall of Famers donning their uniforms one final time. While Ryan didn't pitch in the game, Brett ended up hitting a single in his final at-bat, the 3,154th hit of his career. "George is a really special ballplayer and person, so that was neat," Ryan said of his cameo appearance at home plate prior to the game. The two met up six years later in Cooperstown, when they were inducted to the Hall of Fame in the same class.

April 2, 1997: Goodwin's incredible leap
It was the Royals' first game of the 1997 season, and Tom Goodwin had already made the catch of the year. In the bottom of the eighth inning of the season opener against the Orioles at Camden Yards, Orioles right fielder Eric Davis crushed a pitch from reliever Hipolito Pichardo, who turned around like the ball was gone off the bat. The crowd thought it was gone, too. Goodwin decided otherwise, jumping as high as he could at the wall and stretching his glove out as far as it would go over the wall to snag the ball. When he tumbled to the ground and showed that he had the ball, all the Baltimore fans could do was continue to cheer for the visitor's amazing play.

Aug. 25, 1999: Monty locks up career save No. 300
One of 31 players to notch 300 career saves, Jeff Montgomery is the Royals' all-time saves leader with 304. His 300th came in his final season, 1999, and like many of his saves over his 13-year career, it was tense. With the Royals leading the Orioles 8-6, Montgomery was summoned with two outs and gave up consecutive singles, facing Albert Belle as the go-ahead run. The night before, Belle had homered in the 10th inning to give the Orioles the win. Montgomery's first pitch was a called strike, and Bell chopped the second pitch to shortstop Rey Sanchez for the out. Montgomery shook hands with his teammates after the save, becoming the 10th pitcher to reach the milestone and the first to do so with every save coming with one team.

Aug. 2, 1987: Seitzer heats up with six-hit game
It was a brutally hot day when the Royals hosted the Red Sox, with temperatures hitting 103 degrees and the Astroturf making things much hotter. But there was more than just one heat wave at Royals Stadium that day. Royals third baseman Kevin Setizer racked up six hits in Kansas City's 13-5 rout vs. Boston, one of three six-hit games in Royals history. The rookie needed some help from his teammates to have a chance at that sixth hit, as he was 5-for-5 and due up sixth in the bottom half of the eighth inning, and help they did. Only the sight of George Brett in the on-deck circle kept the Red Sox from intentionally walking the hot-hitting Seitzer, who lifted a high fly ball to right field and over the head of Mike Greenwell, who lost it in the sun. The ball bounced off the Astroturf and into the stands for a ground-rule double: Seitzer's sixth hit and perfect 6-for-6 day. In most years, Seitzer's 207 hits and .323 average would win him AL Rookie of the Year, but he finished second to Oakland slugger Mark McGwire, who bashed a rookie-record 49 home runs.

July 18, 1998: Damon triples on "Turn Ahead the Clock" night
Should these jerseys be brought out of the vault? It's almost time. Back in 1998, Ken Griffey Jr. and the Mariners turned "Turn Back the Clock Night" on its head, opting to look into the future instead. They created jerseys that featured crimson, white and silver and turned the Kingdome into a futuristic atmosphere. The opponent that night? The Royals, who created their own "Turn Ahead the Clock" jerseys -- a gaudy gold jersey on top of a light blue undershirt. In the eventual 8-5 loss, center fielder Johnny Damon blasted a triple off the scoreboard in right field in the top of the sixth inning, starting a rally that tied the game by the end of the frame. The "Turn Ahead the Clock" uniforms were created with the year 2027 in mind. That's only five years away now, so perhaps it's time to start thinking about a uniform revamp in Kansas City and Seattle.

June 5, 1989: Jackson's cannon gets Reynolds at home
Bo Jackson was known for more than his tape-measure home runs and lightning speed; he also had a cannon of a right arm. In extra innings against the Mariners, Jackson showed what he could do. There was one out in the bottom of the 10th inning when Harold Reynolds singled and posed an immediate threat on the bases. He got a good jump for second base on an attempted steal, and when Scott Bradley doubled to the left-field wall, it was clear Reynolds would try to score. But Jackson had other plans. He fielded the hit cleanly on the edge of the warning track and unleashed the ball toward home, making a perfect throw to catcher Mike Macfarlane, who tagged Reynolds out on the left foot. The Mariners argued that the umpires were out of position -- the home-plate umpire was closer to third base when he made the call at home -- but even if they were able to review it back then, replay showed Reynolds out before hitting home plate.

April 15, 1993: McRae lays out for jaw-dropping catch
The announcer said it best for this one: "This one deserves a 'Wow.' And, 'How?'" In the bottom of the eighth inning early in the 1993 season, the Yankees' Pat Kelly lined a high fly ball deep to center field with the bases loaded and two outs. New York had brought its deficit to one earlier in the inning, so it looked like the club was about to complete its comeback as Kansas City center fielder Brian McRae sprinted backward from his shallow position. He tracked the ball over his shoulder and timed his jump perfectly, going over his shoulder -- almost onto his back -- and laying out to snag the ball as it sliced back on him. How he contorted his body like that, no one knows, but the Royals went on to win the game, 5-4, because of that catch.

June 9, 1987: Seitzer's valiant effort
In 1981, the Royals' Amos Otis bunted down the third-base line, a sure hit unless the ball rolled foul. It looked like it would stay fair -- until Mariners third baseman Lenny Randle got down on all fours and blew it foul. Otis was awarded first base anyway by the umpires, who determined Randle illegally altered the course of the ball. Six years later, the Royals were involved in the situation again. In an early June game against Minnesota, Dan Gladden bunted down the third-base line. As Royals pitcher Steve Farr ran over and watched it to see if it would go foul, third baseman Kevin Seitzer sprinted up to the ball, got down on his hands and knees and tried to blow it foul. Only this time, the ball refused to obey, and Seitzer finally snatched it up in disgust in fair territory. The Twins would go on to win that day, adding to their lead shortly after the bunt.