29 years. Ronald Reagan was just starting his second term in the White House and the Kansas City Royals won their last World Series.
A lot has changed in those nearly three decades and for some of the players that are on the Royals and Giants rosters, the majority of them weren’t even born, let alone thought of. Since their World Series win (which did not go without controversy), the Royals were pretty decent but not great and then fell faster than Mrs. Fletcher (and we’re not talking about Mrs. Fletcher on “Murder, She Wrote.”) and had four winning seasons in that time but no World Series or playoff appearances. Floundering in last place in the American League Central, the Royals became the punch-line of many jokes on Leno or Letterman and were forgotten by the media.
They didn’t stay forgotten long. Last year, the Royals decided to get off the deck and they did so in a big way. Finishing above the .500 mark for the first time since 1994, the Royals finally got noticed. Think of them as the ugliest girl in your high school that couldn’t get a date if one fell on her. You see her again at a reunion and there’s something different about her. She’s changed. The braces are gone, she’s gotten her hair done and her skin looks a lot better. The ugly duckling is now the hottest thing in the room.
They didn’t make the post-season party last year but this year was different. While the baseball world was paying attention to Derek Jeter, the Royals quietly made their way to the post-season banquet and they didn’t just surprise the baseball world, they shocked it. First, the game for the ages at home against Oakland. They rallied not once but twice to win at home in front of their fans.
Then came the matchup with the Los Angeles Angels, the top seed not only in the AL but in all of baseball. Not only did they beat the top-seeded Angels, they swept them. That got them some air play and national attention. If that wasn’t enough, along came Baltimore and like Sherman going through Georgia on his way to Savannah, the Royals burned the O’s and earned their way back to the post-season.
Now the Royals find themselves on the world stage again. Tonight, they’re in San Francisco with the series even 1-1. Will they win the World Series? Hard to say. Baseball is a funny game, as someone once said.
Can the Royals pull off another miracle or will it be another 29 years before they see another Fall Classic? No one knows except Lady Luck.
And she’s not talking.
(In case you’re wondering, here are some key world events that took place when they last won it all…)
Number 1 song in 1985 – “Careless Whisper” (Wham)
Number 1 TV show – “Cosby Show” (NBC)
Top Movie: “Beverly Hills Cop” (“The Color Purple” won best picture, Harrison Ford won best actor for “Witness,” Whoopi Goldberg won best actress for “The Color Purple”)
Gallon of Gas: $1.09
Cost of a new home: $89,330
Average Income: $22,100
President of the United States: Ronald Reagan
Pope: John Paul II
Queen of England: Elizabeth II
Key World events in 1985
Mikhail Gorbachev replaces Konstantin Chernenko as Soviet leader
President Reagan and Soviet Leader Gorbachev meet for the first time in Switzerland
Live Aid pop concerts in Philadelphia and London raise over 50 million for famine relief in Ethiopia.
Terry Anderson kidnapped in Beirut, Lebanon
The Unabomber kills his first victim
Insurance companies in the United States begin screening for Aids for life insurance causing outcry by civil liberties groups.
Coca-Cola Company introduces New Coke on July 11th ( 6 months later they returned to the original formula )
Microsoft Corporation releases the first version of Windows, Windows 1.0.
Compact Discs are introduced to American Consumers
The space shuttle Atlantis is launched