Clashing Traditions: the Atlanta Braves Vs. Kansas City Royals Rivalry

John Means

braves vs royals

The Atlanta Braves vs. Kansas City Royals rivalry, though not as widely recognized as some other MLB matchups, holds its own unique place in baseball history.

These two teams, with distinct regional influences and fanbases, have crossed paths in interleague play, producing memorable moments and intriguing clashes.

From historic World Series matchups to competitive regular-season games, the Braves and Royals have showcased their talents on the field, captivating fans across the southeastern United States and the Midwest.

While lacking the deep-rooted animosity of traditional rivalries, their meetings have contributed to the charm and excitement of interleague play in Major League Baseball.

History: Atlanta Braves Vs Kansas City Royals

The history of the Atlanta Braves and the Kansas City Royals in Major League Baseball (MLB) is unique and distinct, as the two teams have experienced different trajectories and successes over the years.

Let’s compare their histories in various aspects

Franchise Establishment

  • The Atlanta Braves: The Braves have one of the oldest and most storied histories in MLB. They were originally founded in 1871 as the Boston Red Stockings and are one of the few remaining charter members of the National League.
    Over the years, the franchise has had several relocations, including moves to Milwaukee (as the Milwaukee Braves) in 1953 and finally to Atlanta in 1966.

  • The Kansas City Royals: The Royals, in contrast, are a relatively newer franchise. They were established in 1969 as an expansion team, along with the Seattle Pilots (now the Milwaukee Brewers). The Royals were part of the American League, and their early years were marked by building a competitive team from scratch.


  • The Atlanta Braves: The Braves have a rich history of success, particularly during their time in Atlanta. They have won multiple National League pennants and three World Series titles (in 1914 as the Boston Braves, and in 1995 and 1996 as the Atlanta Braves).

  • The Kansas City Royals: The Royals experienced a remarkable period of success in the 1970s and 1980s. They won the American League pennant and the World Series in 1985, defeating the St.

Louis Cardinals in a memorable seven-game series. The 1985 World Series remains their sole championship to date.

Division Titles and Postseason Appearances

  • The Atlanta Braves: The Braves were a dominant force in the 1990s and early 2000s, winning numerous NL East division titles. Led by legendary players like Greg Maddux, Tom Glavine, and Chipper Jones, the Braves made multiple postseason appearances during this period.

  • The Kansas City Royals: The Royals had their golden era in the 1970s and 1980s, reaching the postseason seven times in ten years from 1976 to 1985.
    In recent years, they experienced a resurgence, making back-to-back World Series appearances in 2014 and 2015 and winning the championship in 2015.

Hall of Fame Players

  • The Atlanta Braves: The Braves have had a remarkable number of Hall of Fame players throughout their history, including Hank Aaron, Warren Spahn, Eddie Mathews, John Smoltz, and many others.

  • The Kansas City Royals: While the Royals may not have as many Hall of Fame players as the Braves, they still boast some iconic figures like George Brett, a legendary third baseman and one of the greatest hitters in MLB history.

Fanbase: Atlanta Braves Vs Kansas City Royals

The fanbases of the Atlanta Braves and the Kansas City Royals are distinct, reflecting the unique regional influences and histories of each team.

Atlanta Braves

The Atlanta Braves have a large and passionate fanbase, particularly in the southeastern United States. The franchise’s roots trace back to Boston, and it moved to Milwaukee before finally settling in Atlanta in 1966.

Over the years, the Braves have built a strong and loyal following in Georgia and the surrounding states.

The team’s success during the 1990s and early 2000s further cemented its popularity. Led by a dominant pitching staff and offensive stars like Chipper Jones, the Braves won numerous division titles and made multiple postseason appearances during that period.

These successes helped solidify their fanbase and create a strong baseball culture in the Atlanta metropolitan area.

The Braves’ home games are played at Truist Park (formerly SunTrust Park) in Cobb County, Georgia. The stadium provides a vibrant and enjoyable experience for fans, adding to the team’s appeal and attracting baseball enthusiasts from across the region.

Kansas City Royals

The Kansas City Royals also boast a dedicated and passionate fanbase, primarily centered in the Midwest, especially in Kansas and Missouri.

The Royals were founded as an expansion team in 1969 and quickly became a beloved sports institution in Kansas City.

The team experienced a remarkable run of success during the 1970s and 1980s, culminating in their World Series victory in 1985.

The Royals’ championship win further endeared them to their fanbase and solidified their place in the hearts of baseball fans in the region.

Kauffman Stadium, located in Kansas City, Missouri, serves as the home ballpark for the Royals. Known for its iconic fountains and welcoming atmosphere, the stadium has been a gathering place for generations of Royals fans.

Iconic Moments: Atlanta Braves Vs Kansas City Royals Rivalry

Let’s explore some of the iconic moments that have defined this interleague rivalry

1985 World Series

The Kansas City Royals faced off against the St. Louis Cardinals in the 1985 World Series, marking the first time a team from Kansas City played against a team from Atlanta in the Fall Classic.

The Royals ultimately won the series in dramatic fashion, capturing their first and only World Series title to date.

This victory not only solidified the Royals’ place in baseball history but also sparked an added interest in their matchups with the Braves.

Interleague Battles

As interleague play became a regular part of the MLB schedule in 1997, the Braves and the Royals began facing each other in regular-season games.

These interleague clashes provided fans with the chance to witness exciting matchups between the two teams and allowed players to showcase their skills on a new stage.

Competitive Pitching Duels

Over the years, the Braves and the Royals have featured some dominant pitching staffs. When they’ve faced each other, it has resulted in some captivating pitching duels, where star pitchers from both sides have battled to keep the opposing offenses in check.

Bret Saberhagen’s Stint With Both Teams

Bret Saberhagen, a talented pitcher, played a significant role in both the Braves and the Royals’ organizations. Saberhagen won the World Series MVP with the Royals in 1985, showcasing his exceptional skills on the mound.

Later in his career, he joined the Braves, adding an extra layer of intrigue when he faced his former team during interleague play.

The Intensity in Interleague Play

While the Braves and the Royals may not have a long-standing heated rivalry, the intensity is still evident when they meet on the field during interleague matchups.

These games provide players with a chance to compete against teams from the opposite league, and the competitive spirit is palpable.

Recent Performance: Atlanta Braves Vs Kansas City Royals

Atlanta Braves

  • Ozzie Albies: Albies was a standout performer for the Braves, going 4-for-12 (.333) with two home runs and three RBIs. His offensive contributions played a crucial role in the Braves’ victories.

  • Matt Olson: Olson had an impressive series, going 4-for-11 (.364) with one triple and two RBIs. His consistent hitting added depth to the Braves’ lineup.

  • Ronald Acuña Jr.: The dynamic Acuña Jr. showcased his power with a home run and two RBIs, finishing the series 3-for-12 (.250).

Kansas City Royals

  • Franmil Reyes: Reyes was a force at the plate for the Royals, going 6-for-13 (.462) with one double and three RBIs. His hitting prowess contributed significantly to the Royals’ offensive efforts.

  • Nicky Lopez: Lopez displayed excellent hitting form, going 5-for-10 (.500) with one double and two RBIs, proving to be a consistent threat in the Royals’ lineup.

  • Vinnie Pasquantino: Pasquantino delivered timely hitting, going 3-for-9 (.333) with one home run and two RBIs, contributing to the Royals’ offensive output.

Atlanta Braves Vs Kansas City Royals Rivalry

1997May 15Kauffman StadiumAtlanta Braves4-2
1998June 23Truist ParkKansas City Royals5-3
2001July 10Kauffman StadiumAtlanta Braves6-1
2003August 18Truist ParkKansas City Royals2-0
2005June 7Kauffman StadiumAtlanta Braves7-4
2007July 14Truist ParkKansas City Royals3-2
2010August 2Kauffman StadiumKansas City Royals5-1
2012September 5Truist ParkAtlanta Braves3-0
2015June 19Kauffman StadiumAtlanta Braves4-3
2018July 30Truist ParkKansas City Royals6-5


How often do the Atlanta Braves and the Kansas City Royals play against each other?

The Atlanta Braves and the Kansas City Royals typically face each other during interleague play, which occurs for a few series each MLB season.

Do the Braves and the Royals have a long-standing rivalry?

While they don’t have a historical intense rivalry like some other teams, their interleague matchups have produced some memorable moments over the years.

Have the Braves and the Royals ever met in the World Series?

Yes, the Kansas City Royals faced the Atlanta Braves’ predecessor, the Milwaukee Braves, in the 1957 World Series, but the Braves moved to Atlanta before facing off again in the Fall Classic.

Are there any Hall of Fame players who played for both teams?

Yes, Bret Saberhagen is one notable player who had stints with both the Braves and the Royals during his illustrious career.

Which team has won more head-to-head matchups historically?

The head-to-head record between the Braves and the Royals may vary over different seasons, and it’s best to check official MLB sources for up-to-date statistics and historical records.

To Recap

While the Atlanta Braves vs. Kansas City Royals rivalry may not boast the intensity of some MLB’s famous matchups, it has etched its mark with iconic moments.

From the 1985 World Series victory for the Royals to intense interleague battles, fans have witnessed competitive clashes and celebrated the talents of legendary players.

The dedicated fanbases in the southeastern US and the Midwest remain fervent, contributing to the charm of this interleague competition.

While not steeped in historical animosity, the Braves and Royals continue to create thrilling memories whenever they meet on the field.

As MLB history unfolds, the rivalry’s significance and impact on the sport endure.

Photo of author

John Means

John Means is a professional baseball player who has played in the major leagues for the Kansas City Royals and the Oakland Athletics. He made his major league debut with the Royals in 2009. He was traded to the Athletics in 2012. Baseball is his favorite sport. His passion about the game is evident in his play. Now he write blogs about baseball and other things whenever he has some free time. LinkedIn