Hey sports fans, guess what people in Kansas City were talking about in 2015: That’s right, the Royals. A World Series championship will do that. This list of the most popular Kansas City Star sports stories of the year is dominated by baseball, but a few other noteworthy stories are in the mix. Enjoy.
1. Doctors couldn’t find what was wrong with Michael Keck, but football star knew it would kill him
Michael Keck was 25 when he died in 2013. A former football star at Harrisonville High and later Missouri and Missouri State, he should have had a full life in front of him. But researchers who studied his brain said they’d never seen such an advanced case of chronic traumatic encephalopathy in someone so young.
2. The night Kansas City baseball came back to life
On Sept. 30, 2014, the Royals won a game that altered the course of the franchise’s trajectory and laid the groundwork for the 2015 World Series champions. Here’s the inside story of how they pulled off on of the sport’s greatest playoff rallies in the American League Wild Card Game.
3. Toronto’s Jose Bautista fakes tossing ball to fans in stands, draws ire of Royals faithful
After making a catch in Game 1 of the American League Championship Series, Blue Jays right fielder Jose Bautista pretended to throw a ball to fans after making a catch. The fake-out was noted by Royals fans, who were displeased.
4. Could Alex Gordon have scored in the World Series? Watch our re-enactment
The decision to stop the Royals’ Alex Gordon at third base in the most pressure-packed moment baseball can provide — bottom of the ninth, two outs, home team trailing by one run in the seventh game of the World Series — stands as perhaps the greatest what-if moment in Kansas City sports history. So, with the help of the Rockhurst University baseball team, we re-enacted the play and captured in photo and video what might have happened if Gordon kept running.
5. The Tao of Hud: Royals broadcaster Rex Hudler has hit his stride by simply being himself
For three hours every night, he is the goofball announcer some call Uncle Hud. Every day, Royals fans come up to him and say they never know what’s going to come out of his mouth. And every day, Rex Hudler tells them, “That makes two of us.”
6. Becoming Yordano: A special report from the Dominican
Yordano Ventura quit school at 14 and was working construction until his big break: a tryout that led to a spot in the Kansas City Royals’ academy in the Dominican Republic. But even after making the major leagues and pitching in the World Series, Ventura wouldn’t live anywhere else than Las Terrenas, his hometown, where he trained on the beach and swam in the ocean.
7. Here is Jonny Gomes’ speech from the Royals’ celebration
Outfielder Jonny Gomes gave the best (and most impassioned) speech at the Royals’ World Series celebration at Union Station. Here is what he said.
8. There is a reason Royals players randomly drop numbers 17 and 38 into interviews
Kansas City Royals players made sure to get the numbers 17 and 38 into interviews or faced a fine in Kangaroo Court. It’s from Lorenzo Cain’s walk-up song, Fetty Wap’s “Trap Queen.”
9. A big buck was on her ‘bucket list’
Jean Talbert, 84, is one tough granny. If the weather is even halfway decent, she’ll be in her deer blind, waiting for a big buck to walk out of the woods. Now she is the talk of deer camp. On opening day in Missouri, she shot a 10-point buck on her land in Crawford County.
10. K-State marching band’s halftime show ruffles feathers of Jayhawk fans
At one point during the “Star Trek”-themed halftime show, band members appeared to form an outline of a KU Jayhawk. At the same time, other band members formed what was described as the Starship Enterprise, which then approached the Jayhawk. Some on social media described the marching as a sex act involving the Jayhawk.