People will be talking about this class of Royals for generations to come. | Photo illustration by NEIL NAKAHODO nnakahodo@kcstar.com

The next chapter: Royals 2017 season preview

We’re looking at the end of an era. Several players of the core group responsible for the Royals’ rise from despair to euphoria are set for free agency after the 2017 season. Some are already no longer with the club. But as Kansas City gears up for one last title run with this team, we look back at a remarkable class as well as introduce the next wave.

Crown Chasers: After long journey to the top, can the Royals reign again in 2017?

The core of the Kansas City Royals came up through the minor leagues together, overcame growing pains in the majors and thrilled Kansas City with a two-season run that culminated with the 2015 World Series championship. But last year’s 81-81 season left fans wanting more. The 2017 season is likely the last that stars Eric Hosmer, Mike Moustakas and Lorenzo Cain will play together in KC. Can they reign again? With video by David Eulitt and narration by Sam Mellinger, we answered that question over six episodes shown in their entirety here.

David Eulitt and Sam Mellinger The Kansas City Star
 
 

CLASS OF 2017

Forever etched in gold at Kauffman High

 

SCOTT ALEXANDER, LHP

I’d rather not go north on I-29 this year.
 

BILLY BURNS, OF

Did you know a Praying Mantis loves to eat moths?
 

DREW BUTERA, C

My ERA with the Royals is perfect.
 

LORENZO CAIN, OF

Quit touching me, Salvy!
 

CHRISTIAN COLON, IF

Enough with the Chris Sale draft talk.
 

CHESLOR CUTHBERT, IF

No, King Kong is not from Corn Island.
 

DANNY DUFFY, LHP

Does anyone know how to get champagne out of a bear suit.
 

ALCIDES ESCOBAR, SS

I’m swinging at that first pitch.
 

BRIAN FLYNN, LHP

Yeah, I’ve heard all the barn jokes, OK?
 

ALEX GORDON, OF

I love chicken. And broccoli.
 

TERRANCE GORE, OF

Who’s the fastest guy on the team now?
 

JASON HAMMEL, RHP

I just don’t see the resemblance to Luke Hochevar.
 

KELVIN HERRERA, RHP

Ready for the spotlight.
 

ERIC HOSMER, 1B

How you doin’?
 

NATHAN KARNS, RHP

Everybody likes the new kid in school.
 

IAN KENNEDY, RHP

I’d prefer to be called The Bearded One.
 

WHIT MERRIFIELD, IF/OF

Hey, Rex, quit calling me Whitley.
 

MIKE MINOR, LHP

No one is more ready to get back out there than me.
 

RAUL MONDESI, 2B

I’m just glad that I don’t have to ride the bus anymore.
 

BRANDON MOSS, IF/OF

The 2014 Wild Card Game sucked.
 

MIKE MOUSTAKAS, 3B

The Moose is loose.
 

PETER MOYLAN, RHP

I don’t talk funny. You do, mate.
 

PAULO ORLANDO, OF

Check out my sweet tat.
 

SALVADOR PEREZ, C

Hand me that Gatorade bucket.
 

JORGE SOLER, OF

Get it? Soler power.
 

JOAKIM SORIA, RHP

2017 is a new year!
 

MATT STRAHM, LHP

The movie ‘Fargo’ doesn’t do the city justice.
 

JASON VARGAS, RHP

Holy cow, I kind of do look like Jon Lovitz.
 

TRAVIS WOOD, LHP

I wish the A.L. didn’t have the designated hitter.
 

CHRIS YOUNG, RHP

People look up to me.