Top 5 Kansas City Royals Moments of 2013
Kansas City Royals: 5 Best Moments of 2013
2013 was a wonderful year to be a fan of the Kansas City Royals. Personally speaking, I saw my first real hope from the franchise in my 24 years of Kansas City fandom. Since being born in 1989, I've only witnessed five winning seasons from KC, and science tells me that I don't even remember one of them. Before 2013, the Royals hadn't fielded a winner since 2003. After all the disappointment and failure I'd grown accustomed to, last season's 86-76 record felt like a dream come true. Perhaps my disdain for GM Dayton Moore's comments about last season feeling like a World Series victory was overwrought.
This new-found and potential success for this team in 2014 was made possible by many intense, engaging and thoroughly enjoyable moments. These moments occurred both on and off the field, with contributions from everyday contributors, struggling sophomores and nearly unrecognizable new faces.
In honor of the New Year that seemed to oh-so-quickly arrive thanks to a summer filled with hope instead of dread, I'll be counting down the five best moments for the Royals in 2013. This list will include a few of those plays that made it great to root for the Boys In Blue this year, as well as a couple of moments that should make 2014 and beyond even better for Royals fans everywhere.
If I missed something or included something that didn't rightfully belong, be sure to berate me mercilessly about it on Twitter.
5. That incredibly long Cardinals game
On May 30, the day Royals great George Brett joined the team as a hitting coach, KC earned themselves a victory over the St. Louis Cardinals in memorable fashion. After taking a 4-3 lead over the Cards in the ninth inning of a game that was already delayed by rain, another downpour left crew chief Jerry West with a big decision to make. Hats off to West and the rest of the umpires that night for waiting over four and a half hours to let the game finish at 3:12 AM Central Time. I'll never forget Alex Gordon carrying sandbags onto the field at Busch Stadium to help out the intentionally lethargic St. Louis field crew.
4. Signing Infante
The Royals bolstered their lineup and fixed their biggest problem this offseason by signing Omar Infante for four years and $30.25 million. His steady bat ensures a considerable upgrade at the second base spot in the lineup for years to come.
3. Mike Moustakas Walks Off
Mike Moustakas drilled a pitch deep but just barely foul in the 13th inning of a tied game against the Seattle Mariners on September 5. Then in an 0-2 count, Moose connected on the next pitch, sending it into the right field seats and giving KC the exciting, extra-innings victory.
2. Extending Contracts for Moore and Yost
Both GM Dayton Moore and skipper Ned Yost were fully deserving of their two-year contract extensions given to them at year's end. This gives the organization certainty of their direction and personality for the coming seasons.
1. Justin Maxwell's Game-Winning Grand Slam
This year's most exciting moment has to go to Justin Maxwell and his 10th-inning no-doubter walk-off grand slam. This walk-off gave the Royals an important, late-season victory against the Texas Rangers to keep their Wild Card hopes alive, and it gave the team their first winning record since 2003.