Opinion

Where the Royals have stood on Sept. 1 since 1985

Rarely since their last playoff appearance in 1985 have the Royals played meaningful baseball in September. Usually when summer turns to autumn, the team has been fighting to avoid last place — and often failing in that task. Even in 1985, the Royals didn’t enter September in first place. The last time that happened was 1982, and the team got chased down by the Angels. It’s taken more than three decades, but the Royals are back on top of their division entering baseball’s home stretch.

Year

Result on Aug. 31

Record entering Sept. 1

Place in division

Sept/Oct. record

Final record, finish

Comment

1985

at Rangers 6, Royals 4

69-57

2nd

22-14

91-71, 1st

We all know what happened next

1986

Royals 6, Brewers 1

60-70

3rd

16-16

76-86, 3rd

Who knew drought would start here?

1987

at White Sox 5, Royals 3

65-66

4th

18-13

83-79, 2nd

Won nine of last 11 but couldn’t catch Twins

1988

Royals 1, Indians 0

70-62

3rd

14-15

84-77, 3rd

A’s ran away with division

1989

Royals 3, Tigers 0

78-55

2nd

14-15

92-70, 2nd

Tied for baseball’s third-best record

1990

at Mariners 5, Royals 2

65-66

5th

10-20

75-86, 6th

Worst final record since 1970

1991

Royals 3, at Rangers 2

67-61

4th

15-19

82-80, 6th

Rebound year but never in the race

1992

Royals 5, Rangers 2

59-71

5th

13-19

72-90, 5th

Never dug out of 1-16 start

1993

Royals 6, at Brewers 5

69-64

3rd

15-14

84-78, 3rd

In first as late as July 6 in Brett’s final year

1994

Strike ended games on Aug. 31

64-51, 3rd

1995

Royals 7, Brewers 6

58-56

2nd

12-18

70-74, 2nd

One back in first wild-card race on Sept. 1

1996

Royals 3, at Tigers 1

62-75

5th

13-11

75-86, 5th

One of many youth movements begins

1997

Cardnials 5, Royals 4

55-78

5th

12-16

67-94, 5th

First year of interleague play

1998

Did not play on Aug. 31

64-73

2nd

8-16

72-89, 3rd

Early swoon (16-31) starts to become habit

1999

at Red Sox 6, Royals 3

51-81

5th

13-16

64-97, 4th

Beltran’s Rookie of Year season can’t stop slide

2000

at Devil Rays 2, Royals 1

62-71

4th

15-14

77-85, 4th

Set many offensive records, but little pitching

2001

Rangers 7, Royals 2

54-81

5th

11-16

65-97, 5th

Sweeney’s terrific run wasted on losing teams

2002

Royals 4, Mariners 2

55-81

4th

7-19

62-100, 4th

Franchise’s first 100-loss season

2003

Angels 7, Royals 4

70-64

2nd

13-15

83-79, 3rd

Spent 107 calendar days in first, none after Aug. 29

2004

Royals 9, Tigers 8

46-85

5th

12-19

58-104, 5th

2004 proved 2003 was abberation

2005

Royals 1, Twins 0

43-88

5th

13-18

56-106, 5th

Franchise record for futility

2006

at Twins 3, Royals 1

49-86

5th

13-14

62-100, 5th

Dayton Moore was hired in June

2007

Royals 9-0, at Twins 4-5

60-74

4th

9-19

69-93, 5th

First season for Gordon, Butler, Hochevar

2008

at Tigers 4, Royals 2

57-79

5th

18-8

75-87, 4th

Late run was false hope

2009

at A’s 8, Royals 5

50-81

5th

15-16

65-97, 4th

Zack Greinke’s Cy Young all that Royals won

2010

Royals 10, Rangers 9

56-76

4th

11-19

67-95, 5th

Yost hired, Gordon moves from third to left

2011

at Tigers 5, Royals 4

56-81

5th

15-10

71-91, 4th

More patience asked of restless fanbase

2012

Did not play Aug. 31

59-71

3rd

13-19

72-90, 3rd

“Our Time” was a bit premature

2013

at Blue Jays 4, Royals 2

69-66

3rd

17-10

86-76, 3rd

Stayed in wild-card chase until final week

2014

Royals vs. Indians

| Blair Kerkhoff, bkerkhoff@kcstar.com

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