Where’s the cake? It’s the Royals’ 50th birthday.
It was on Jan. 11, 1968 that Ewing Kauffman was awarded an expansion team, just months after the Kansas City A’s had left for Oakland.
According to Nick Kappel, the Royals Communication and Broadcasting Coordinator, Kauffman spent $5.3 million to buy the franchise. By comparison, the Rays and Diamondbacks each spent $130 million in 1995.
The franchise held a name-the-team contest and Sanford Porte of Overland Park won with his Royals submission. Other suggestions, according to Mental Floss, included the Cowpokes and Mules. According to the book “Baseball Team Names: A Worldwide Dictionary,” other name submissions were the Zoomers, MoKans, Hearts and Eagles.
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“There were several names bandied about when the contest started,” Porte told The Star in 1991. “The Blues, the Scouts and several others. I thought Royals sounded best.
“Because of Missouri’s billion-dollar livestock income and the nationally known American Royal Parade, I came up with Royals. For an emblem I suggested a royal blue crown on a white diamond.”
Papers for the Kansas City Royals Baseball Corporation were filed March 25, 1968, along with a fee of $5, and it authorized a million dollars worth of shares at $10 each (100,000 total shares).
The corporation started business with $500, had 11 directors and was headquartered in the Power and Light Building.
The rest is history. And that’s something the Royals will be celebrating in 2018 as they play their 50th season.