The 2015 playoff run and World Series win by the Kansas City Royals was true magic. It almost defies words.
The Royals Magic was not confined to the World Series. It started in the ALDS. The Royals were facing elimination, and were down 2-6 in the 8th inning. KC miraculously loaded the bases, and then proceeded to deliver run after run after run. It was truly a victory from the jaws of defeat.
Next, Kansas City faced the Blue Jays. Toronto was fresh off a drama-filled series against the Rangers. Again, it would go down to the wire. In Game 6, up 3-2 in the series, the Royals were leading by one run in the top of the 9th. However, the Blue Jays were rallying, and had runners on 2nd and 3rd. The Royals kept their composure. They clinched the pennant for the 2nd year in a row.
The World Series is the pinnacle for baseball fans everywhere and the Royals were returning for the second consecutive time. As a devotee of Bill James and Sabermetrics, I am deep believer in the “true” data of the game. But there is, as James himself notes, luck in everything.
In Game One, the Royals were down 4-3 in the bottom of the 9th. It seemed as if all was lost. Then, Alex “AG” Gordon went deep to dead center tying the game and sending it to extra innings. The Royals ultimately prevailed on an Eric Hosmer sac fly in the bottom of the 14th.
If we jump ahead to Game Four, with the Royals up 2-1 in the series, we witness the Kauffman Magic again. Familia comes in; Mets are up 3-2 in the top of the 8th; runners are on 1st and 2nd. Hosmer hits an easy blooper to 2nd. It goes right under Murphy’s glove. But in truth, it is the next moment where the Magic happens. Instead of just staying at third, Zobrist keeps running and goes home. Cain goes from 1st to 3rd as the go-ahead run. Moose comes up, knocks one to 2nd base. Murphy misses the diving catch. Royals take the lead. Next, Salvy comes up, gets a single and the winning run scores.
Finally, there was Game 5 in New York. The series is 3-1 and the Mets are facing elimination. Matt Harvey pitches a gem. The Mets are up 2-0 in the top of the 9th and Royals fans are preparing for a Game Six. Cain walks. Hosmer comes up to bat. On the first pitch, Cain steals second. Then, Hosmer goes the other way for a double and Cain scores. Now, Perez is at the plate. He grounds to third. Wright throws to first. Hosmer runs home. The first baseman rushes the throw. It veers off course. Hosmer is safe.
The victory by the Royals ended a three-decade long World Series drought dating to 1985. Nothing captured the euphoria better than the World Series parade as Kansas City reveled in truly magic moment. It was, inarguably, the best sports moment of all-time.