The Top Five Home Runs in Kansas City Royals History
In the 40 year history of the Kansas City Royals, there have been many defining moments. Unfortunately, for the youngest fans, those who have watched this team the past 15 years or so, most of those moments have been defined by losing.
For older Royals fans however, there are fonder memories of contending Royals teams who made two World Series appearances and were in a pennant race virtually every season.
This slideshow will take all Kansas City fans back to their team's glory days, and look at five of the most meaningful home runs in team history.
Not only will Royals fans be reminded of the good times, but proud Yankees and Cardinals fans will be reminded of opportunities missed by their teams.
No. 5: George Brett, Game Three of the 1980 ALCS
Long before Mariano Rivera put on pinstripes, the New York Yankees had the most intimidating relief pitcher in all of baseball, Hall of Famer Rich "Goose" Gossage.
Back in 1980, Gossage's Yankees earned the right to play the Royals in the 1980 ALCS.
Going into Game Three, the Yankees found themselves down two games to none and were trying to avoid a sweep.
Enter George Brett, the Royals team leader who hit .390 that season.
After giving up a two-out double to Royals leadoff man Willie Wilson, Yankees starter Tommy John left the game having pitched 6.2 strong innings. In came the Goose, who entered the game attempting to preserve his team's 2-1 lead.
Gossage proceeded to run the count full before he gave up an infield hit to Royals shortstop UL Washington, setting up an epic battle with the Royals best hitter, Brett.
Brett would only see one pitch from Gossage, a 98-mph fastball which went down as his fastest pitch of the night. Brett didn't just hit it, he blasted a towering shot that traveled well into the third deck of Yankees Stadium.
The home run would put the Royals up 4-2 and seal a three-game sweep of the hated Yankees, setting up a showdown with the Phillies in the 1980 World Series.
No. 4: Frank White, Game Three of the 1985 World Series
Known more for the eight Gold Gloves he won as the Royals second baseman in his 18 professional seasons, Frank White also served as the team's cleanup hitter in Game Three of the 1985 World Series.
It was the first time in baseball history that a second baseman had ever hit cleanup in a World Series.
After dropping the first two games of the series back home in Kansas City, the Royals were in desperate need of a win entering Game Three of their series against their cross-state rivals, the St. Louis Cardinals.
With the Royals clinging to a 2-0 lead entering the top of the fifth inning, they were looking to give their starter, and eventual Cy Young winner, Bret Saberhagen a more secure lead.
That's when the first second baseman to hit cleanup in a World Series game drove a Joaquin Andujar pitch deep over the left-center field fence, scoring Brett, and putting a nail in the coffin of the Cardinals in Game Three.
The Royals eventually won the game 6-1, and most importantly, pushed the series to two games to one, giving the Royals a chance to take the series back to Kansas City.
No. 3: Bo Jackson, 1989 All-Star game
A Heisman Trophy winner in football, Bo's raw talent in baseball often made for highlight reel plays and monster home runs. His abundant talent was on display when he was named an All-Star in 1989.
Entering the game, AL manager Tony LaRussa was trying to figure out who his leadoff hitter should be since his team was filled with middle of the order players.
Jackson, the Royals cleanup hitter who was also blessed with fantastic speed, was up to the task of leading off. LaRussa later called Bo "the most explosive talent playing at the time."
Jackson pounded two hits, including a lead-off home run in the bottom of the first that went an estimated 448 feet, to lead the AL All-Stars to a 5-3 victory.
For his efforts, Jackson was named the All-Star Game MVP, turning in the best All-Star performance in Royals history.
No. 2: Darryl Motley, Game Seven of the 1985 World Series
After falling behind three games to one in the 1985 World Series, most fans thought the Royals were destined to lose their second World Series in five years.
However, the Royals were able to even the series at three games apiece and take the series against the Cardinals back to Kansas City for what turned into a blowout Game Seven.
In a series that had been marked by momentum, the Royals simply wanted to get ace Bret Saberhagen a lead in Game Seven.
After getting by the top of the Royals order in the first inning, Cardinals starter John Tudor faced the bottom half of the Royals lineup in the second inning.
Tudor walked first baseman Steve Balboni with one out, bringing up the Royals No. 7 hitter, right fielder Darryl Motley.
After working the count full, Motley hit a towering fly ball just foul of the left field foul pole. On the very next pitch, Motley would again drive the ball deep to left field, but this time it would stay fair and give the Royals a 2-0 lead.
Motley's home run would prove to be the difference in the game, as Saberhagen would throw a complete game shut out to lead the Royals to an 11-0 series clinching win.
And while Saberhagen would be named the Series MVP, the fitting end to Game Seven came when Motley, who hit the game-winning home run early on, registered the game's final out by catching a fly ball to right off the bat of the Cardinals Andy Van Slyke.
No. 1: George Brett, The Pine Tar Home Run
One of the most memorable events in Major League baseball history occurred in a July 24, 1983 day game in New York against the Yankees.
With two outs in the top of the ninth inning, a runner on first base, and his team trailing 4-3, George Brett stepped to the plate to once again face Goose Gossage, who was brought in to face him.
As he did in Game Three of the 1980 ALCS, Brett once again pounded a Gossage pitch deep into the Yankee Stadium seats for a two-run go ahead home run.
After Brett circled the bases and returned to the dugout, Yankees manager Billy Martin objected to the amount of pine tar on Brett's bat. Home plate umpire Tim McClelland called Brett out, ejected him, and reversed the home run.
What ensued was one of the greatest tirades in baseball history as Brett flew out of the dugout and into a rage directed at McClelland.
American League President Lee MacPhail, based upon a protest from the Royals, would eventually reverse the home run call and required the teams to conclude the game from the point of Brett's home run on an off day in August.
The Royals went on to win the game, and even though the team missed the playoffs that season, the "Pine Tar" incident remains one of the most memorable events in baseball history.