The Kansas City Royals have been touted as one of the greatest comeback teams ever.
It seems a familiar story now – in Game 5 of the World Series, the game that secured their first championship since 1985, they came from behind to win.
As they did in Game 4, Game 2 and Game 1 of the WS.
As they did in Game 2 of the ALCS.
And as they did in Game 5, Game 4 and Game 2 of the ALDS.
CBS New York so aptly said, “The Royals simply refuse to die. You might think you knocked them out, but it is likely just a matter of time before they rise again and hunt you down.”
The franchise had become a laughing stock over the last three decades, one that fielded 90-plus-loss teams. Until last year, when they finally shone, just stopping short of taking the ultimate title.
For so many people, the 2015 team was well worth the wait. No matter how slim the odds, the Royals never backed down. The situation looked dire before the ninth, until they scored two runs, the first ones of the game. Then they unleashed five runs in the 12th.
The Royals’ history was a dismal one. No one else other than the 1929 Athletics and the 1939 Yankees had won a WS-clinching game despite a two-run deficit in the ninth inning or later.
But that didn’t matter. We’re looking at the same group that won seven postseason games in which they trailed – two more such games than any team had ever won in a single postseason. These people are also the first to ever win, in a single World Series, three games in which they trailed in the eighth or later. KC beat the odds and defied the norms.
The Blue Jays, Astros and Mets had their chance against the Royals. But they were no match against KC’s unbeatable combo: an intimidating bullpen that yielded very few runs, and a lineup that somehow delivered in late innings. They scored 51 of their 90 postseason runs in the seventh or later. Their collective batting average in that span was .325, and its on-base percentage was .392. KC’s pitchers only allowed 11 runs from the seventh inning on.
This group was relentless, making its way to the WS last year and working all of this year to return and prove they could really win it this time. They cemented their place in history as not only the best team in 2015, but as one of the best comeback teams we’ve ever seen. This was something special.