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Darin Watson

I grew up in Topeka, and learned to love the Royals over many summer nights listening to Denny and Fred. Of course, the Royals were much easier to love back then. They got their claws in me some 30 years ago, then they went to the playoffs in 1984 and won it all in 1985. And I thought to myself, "This is easy. This team is always going to be good!" Sigh. But what can I say? If I've made it this far, I suppose I will always be a fan. But whenever they get good again, I'll be sure not to take it for granted. I promise. I'm also a fan of the Chiefs, Jayhawks (even the football team), Sporting KC, and the Nashville Predators. By day, I'm a mild-mannered project manager for a publishing company, and every night I'm lucky to come home to my amazing wife Michelle. We've been married since 2005 and live in Overland Park. Fun fact, she grew up in Memphis watching many future Royals when Kansas City's AA team was there. So it didn't take much to make a Royals fan out of her. We don't have kids, but we've got three cats (one named after Alex Gordon) and a dog. Follow me on Twitter! @Darin_Watson

Number of Entries : 475

Starting Pitcher Addition Will Determine Royals’ Offseason Success

Since the last time we talked, the Royals have been busy. But I’ll be honest, I’m not sure I can figure out exactly what they’re trying to do. Sure, the pieces they’ve added at least match up with the holes in the roster. Lose designated hitter Billy Butler? Add designated hitter Kendrys Morales. Need a right field replacement for Nori Aoki? Bring in Alex Rios. Everything else so far has been an attempt to ...

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U.L.’s Toothpick: The Year Of The Card–Jorge Orta, 1985

It’s funny the way baseball works. A man can play 15 seasons in the majors, collect more than 1,600 hits, post a lifetime batting line of .278/.334/.412, and make two All-Star teams, yet be remembered mostly as the answer to a trivia question. At least for 28 other fanbases. Cardinals fans probably have a different opinion. And Royals fans certainly do. Because there’s nothing trivial about being involved i ...

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U.L.’s Toothpick: A Look Back At The 1975 Royals

The 1975 Royals were a team at a crossroads of sorts. They had lots of promising young talent, yet they had been chasing the Oakland A’s since the very beginning of the franchise. The A’s were hated in Kansas City mostly because of Charlie Finley but also because they had fielded miserable teams here, then left for California just before they turned into a powerhouse. Oakland ruled not just the American Lea ...

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U.L.’s Toothpick: The Year Of The Card–Frank White, 1982

“And Jesus said to them, ‘A prophet is not without honor, except in his hometown and among his relatives and in his own household.’”—Mark 6:4 (English Standard Version) I tell you right up front, this is a story without an ending. You’re probably familiar with why this story has no ending. Perhaps now that everyone is in a better mood following the World Series, we can see a happy ending. It would be rich, ...

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Major Decisions Ahead For Royals

As the afterglow of the Royals’ October to Remember wears off, and the pain of the World Series loss recedes ever so slowly, we turn our eyes to the offseason. The one constant in baseball is change, and the American League champions (still fun to type!) are not immune. Heck, it was only three days after the World Series ended that Kansas City declined its option on designated hitter Billy Butler, making hi ...

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Coming To Grips With The Royals’ Loss

Baseball is a cruel mistress. Sure, the game will thrill you. Every day for the last month, Royals fans have been riding a wave of emotions. Really, it goes back further than that, as this team struggled early in the season, got hot, struggled again, and got hot again, hot enough to get in the playoffs. Which is all we have been asking for for 29 years. Just get in and see what happens. Well, we saw what ha ...

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This Date In Royals History–October 28, 1996

1996: The Royals ended an era by dealing pitcher Mark Gubicza (and pitcher Mike Bovee) to the California Angels for designated hitter Chili Davis. Gubicza was the last remaining member of the 1985 World Series champions to suit up for the Royals. However, he had struggled in the 1996 season, going 4-12 with a 5.13 ERA in 119 1/3 innings before suffering a broken leg from a Paul Molitor line drive during a J ...

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This Date In Royals History: October 26, 1985

1985: Dane Iorg’s pinch-hit single drove in the winning run as the Royals came from behind for a 2-1 win over the Cardinals in Game Six of the World Series at Royals Stadium. With the Royals trailing 1-0 and facing elimination in the ninth inning, pinch-hitter Jorge Orta led off with an infield single that is disputed to this day, as replays showed Orta should have been called out. Steve Balboni, after hitt ...

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This Date In Royals History–October 25, 1972

1972: The Royals have never played a game on this date. But in 1972, Kansas City traded starting pitcher Jim Rooker to Pittsburgh for reliever Gene Garber. The Royals had selected Rooker with the sixth pick in the 1968 expansion draft. The right-hander was part of the rotation for the inaugural 1969 season. Although he posted a discouraging 4-16 record that year, he actually pitched much better, with a 3.75 ...

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This Date In Royals History–October 24, 1985

1985: Danny Jackson’s complete-game five-hitter helped the Royals send the World Series back to Kansas City with a 6-1 victory in Game 5 at Busch Stadium in St. Louis. Jackson surrendered consecutive doubles to Tom Herr and Jack Clark with two outs in the first, then allowed just three singles and three walks the rest of the way, striking out five in the process. The Royals took a 1-0 lead in the first agai ...

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This Date In Royals History–October 22, 1985

1985: Bret Saberhagen pitched a gem, and the Royals’ offense backed him up with six runs, including a long home run by Frank White, as the Royals defeated the Cardinals 6-1 at Busch Stadium in St. Louis. Saberhagen worked a complete game, allowing just six hits and a walk while striking out eight. The Cardinals’ lone run came in the sixth, on singles by Ozzie Smith, Tom Herr, and Jack Clark. But by then the ...

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Thank You, Royals

You might think this is a hard thing to write, but I find it pretty easy, actually. As Royals fans, we all should be thanking this franchise. Yes, they are just doing what they’re supposed to do by making it to the World Series, but I think we all know that it’s not that easy. Of course, part of that has been some luck—I don’t think even the most optimistic fan would argue that this is the “best” team in th ...

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This Date In Royals History–October 21, 1980

1980: Steve Carlton handcuffed the Royals, allowing just four hits in seven innings while striking out seven, as the Phillies captured a World Series title by defeating the Royals 4-1 at Veterans Stadium in Philadelphia. The Phillies won the Series four games to two. It was appropriate that the final game was won by Philadelphia pitching and the bat of Mike Schmidt, who was named the Series MVP after hittin ...

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This Date In Royals History–October 15, 1985

1985: Hal McRae drove in two runs and George Brett homered to lead the Royals past the Blue Jays, 5-3, at Exhibition Stadium in Toronto. With the win, the Royals forced a Game Seven in the ALCS. The Royals took advantage of two walks in the first inning to grab the lead. Toronto starter Doyle Alexander walked Willie Wilson and Brett with one out, and McRae’s single scored Wilson. The Blue Jays tied the scor ...

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Royals’ Dyson: The Swag That Stirs The Drink

So, Royals outfielder Jarrod Dyson ruffled a few feathers on Saturday when he was asked about the ALCS possibly moving back to Baltimore for Games 6 and 7. “No, sir, I don’t. And I don’t think they think that way, either,” Dyson said, essentially saying the Royals will win two of the three games in Kansas City. I love it. For so long, the Royals have been a team devoid of character—not the good kind of pers ...

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This Date In Royals History–October 14, 1980

1980: The first World Series game in Royals history started off so well, with the team taking a 4-0 lead after three trips to the plate. But the Phillies exploded for five runs in the bottom of the third and went on to a 7-6 victory at Veterans Stadium in Philadelphia. The Royals took a 2-0 lead in the top of the second against Phillies starter Bob Walk. Darrell Porter led off with a walk and Amos Otis home ...

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This Date In Royals History–October 11, 1985

1985: “The George Brett Game,” it came to be known. It was perhaps the finest single-game performance of the Hall of Famer’s career. And it rescued a Royals team that was almost certainly doomed with a loss. Toronto had won the first two games in the best-of-seven series, so the Royals needed something special as the series shifted to Kansas City. Brett came through with four hits, including two home runs, ...

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This Date In Royals History–October 10, 1976

1976: Paul Splittorff rescued the Royals with 5 2/3 innings of scoreless relief, while Tom Poquette and Buck Martinez each drove in two runs to lead Kansas City to a 7-3 win over the Yankees at Royals Stadium. Splittorff took over for Dennis Leonard, who allowed three runs in just 2 1/3 innings. With the Royals already down one game in the best-of-five series, manager Whitey Herzog had a quick hook. Splitto ...

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Who ARE These Guys? Royals Are Reinventing Themselves

In March 1965, Bob Dylan released the album Bringing It All Back Home. At this point in his career, Dylan was considered a folk singer for the most part. So the folk music fans who rushed out to buy the new record, then rushed home and put it on their turntables, had to be stunned when they were greeted with electric guitars on side one of the album. And they had to be even more shocked when side two featur ...

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