Top 25 Moments of the Last 5 years:  #24 – That’s What Speed Do!

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The Kansas City Royals, after so many years of irrelevance, broke through in a big way from 2013-2017.  They rejuvenated a dormant fanbase and rekindled a passion for baseball in a town starving for something good.  There were many moments that defined this team throughout those years.  This is a list of the Top 25 moments.  They could be specific moments in time or something that spanned most or all the era.  Our No. 24 moment:

#24 – That’s What Speed Do!

How does a team who has little to no power win ballgames?  They put the ball in play and they use their speed to put pressure on the opposing defense to be perfect.  As Jarrod Dyson put it, “That’s what speed do”.

In 2013 and 2014, the Royals led the league in stolen bases.  They fell out of the top spot in 2015, only to finish second.  Yet the stolen bases were only part of what made this saying so special.

Kauffman Stadium, also known simply as “The K”, is not a power hitters park.  The dimensions of the outfield make it a gap-to-gap ballpark.  That is how the Royals teams of the seventies and eighties won their championships.  When Dayton Moore came to Kansas City he saw a slow and aging outfield.  The key was more athleticism.

Moore found it in the way of draft picks like Dyson or trades for Alcides Escobar and Lorenzo Cain.  However, they also found great baserunners in Eric Hosmer and Alex Gordon.  From one to nine in the lineup, almost every guy could steal a base (including the infamous Billy Butler stolen base in Game 3 of the 2014 ALDS).

That’s what speed do started in 2013, however, it came to national prominence in 2014.  The Royals would win games by scoring from second on an infield single or from second on a wild pitch.  During the 2014 American League Wild Card game, they stole seven bases from seven different players.  TBS broadcaster Ron Darling said it was “baseball’s version of highway robbery”.  The speed was also evident in the defensive play that produced spectacular plays and jaw dropping moments.

In the 2015 playoffs we saw Lorenzo Cain score, twice, from first base on a single and, of course, the Eric Hosmer mad dash in Game 5 of the World Series. 

The speed was the big part of the Royals winning two pennants and a world championship.  They didn’t hit many home runs, but, they could turn a walk into a double or triple in the blink of an eye.

Before 2017, the Royals traded Jarrod Dyson to Seattle.  That’s what speed do had left.  Royals fans never forgot it.  When Seattle came to Kansas City for a series, Jarrod Dyson was greeted with a standing ovation from the crowd and a message from the Royals.  It simply said, “That’s what speed did – 2015 World Series Champions”.

 

#25 – The James Shields Trade

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Top 25 Moments of the Last 5 years:  #25 – The James Shields Trade

The Kansas City Royals, after so many years of irrelevance, broke through in a big way from 2013-2017.  They rejuvenated a dormant fanbase and rekindled a passion for baseball in a town starving for something good.  There were many moments that defined this team throughout ... Read more

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Author: Christopher Till

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