Consider me impressed that the Kansas City Royals will always be referred to as 2015 World Series champions.

There seemed to be this belief from the so-called experts that there was no chance the Royals would return to the World Series for a second straight season. Kind of like these know-it-alls thought it was a fluke the club reached the 2014 World Series.

But think about it – San Francisco ace Madison Bumgarner had a World Series for the ages last year. If he didn’t exist, we would be referring to the Kansas City Royals as back-to-back champions tonight.

They definitely deserve the tag as 2015 champions after winning the World Series against the New York Mets in five games.

The Royals were the best team of this entire postseason. By far.

They get key hits, they make key pitches, they thrive in the clutch and everyone on the team contributes.

Oh yes, they certainly have unlikely heroes.

I mean, geez, somebody named Christian Colon hadn’t batted this entire postseason. Naturally, he comes up and delivers the tiebreaking single in the 12th inning of what turned into a 7-2 victory.

But Colon never gets the chance to engrave his name into Royals’ lore if not for Kansas City’s two-run ninth inning. That’s when first baseman Eric Hosmer made the daring dash to score the tying run – a sprint that instantly etches itself in baseball lore.

New York took a 2-0 lead into that ninth inning behind Matt Harvey’s stellar pitching. Mets manager Terry Collins and pitching coach Dan Warthen had decided to lift Harvey after the eighth inning before the right-hander talked his manager into letting him start the ninth.

The Royals moved within 2-1 and Hosmer was on third with one out. World Series MVP Salvador Perez hit a grounder to third and as soon as David Wright threw the ball to first, Hosmer dashed for home.

All New York first baseman Lucas Duda needed to do was make your typical on-the-mark throw home and Hosmer was a dead duck. But Duda’s toss home resembled the type of throw NFL quarterback Brandon Weeden would make – high and wide of the target – and Hosmer scored the tying run instead of making the final out.

From that point on, it seemed just a matter of time before the Royals would win that game and it finally happened in the 12th. That is when Colon singled home the first of five runs in the inning to leave the Mets feeling devastated.

Collins will certainly receive some heat in New York for letting Harvey talk him into pitching the ninth. But there was nothing wrong with that – Harvey sailed through the eighth inning and was dominating Kansas City hitters.

But once Harvey walked Lorenzo Cain to start the ninth, perhaps Collins should have made the change. Instead, Hosmer smacked a run-scoring double and soon came the famous dash home with closer Jeurys Familia on the mound.

Regardless, the Royals made things happen. Now they are viewed as big-time winners and the turnaround has been swift.

Kansas City endured a string of 17 losing campaigns in an 18-season span before finishing with an 86-76 record in 2013. Then came last season’s surprise World Series appearance and now Ned Yost will forever be referenced as a World Series-winning manager.

Who ever thought that was a possibility?

This is Kansas City’s second World Series title – the first one somehow being 30 years ago. Wow 1985, where did you go?

That was a fun band of Royals led by Hall of Fame third baseman George Brett.

That club also featured terrific players like left fielder Willie Wilson and second baseman Frank White. Bret Saberhagen was the ace of a pitching staff – he won 20 regular-season games at age 21 that season – that included starters Charlie Leibrandt, Danny Jackson and closer Dan Quisenberry.

At that time, it seemed like the Royals would be in line to win another title or two and it didn’t happen. Instead, the long drought of missing out on the playoffs began.

The funny thing is that this group of Royals looks like they should be back in the World Series sometime within the next few years too. Perhaps even win another title.

That would be equally as impressive.


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