Kansas City Royals Vs Oakland Athletics Rivalry

Kevin Smith

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royals vs athletics

The rivalry between the Kansas City Royals and the Oakland Athletics is a compelling tale etched into the tapestry of Major League Baseball. Spanning decades, this rivalry has been characterized by intense competition, iconic moments, and contrasting team philosophies.

As two storied franchises with distinct playing styles, the Royals and Athletics have captivated fans with their battles on the diamond.

From the historic clashes of the 1970s and 1980s to the modern-day matchups, this rivalry is a testament to the enduring passion and excitement that baseball ignites in both players and enthusiasts alike.

History: Kansas City Royals Vs Oakland Athletics

Early Years and Establishing Identity

  • Kansas City Royals: The Royals were established in 1969 and quickly developed a reputation for focusing on fundamental baseball skills. Led by manager Dick Howser, they built their success on strong pitching, solid defense, and timely hitting.
    The Royals’ hallmark was their “Royals Way” of playing the game, emphasizing teamwork and a strong work ethic.

  • Oakland Athletics: The Athletics, originally based in Philadelphia and then in Kansas City before settling in Oakland, have gone through several eras of success. The team’s iconic colors, green and gold, have become synonymous with their brand.
    The A’s experienced success in the early 1970s under the eccentric ownership of Charlie Finley, who implemented innovative ideas and contributed to their unique image.

Success and Championships

  • Oakland Athletics: The Athletics have a storied history of success, particularly in the 1970s. Led by influential owner Charlie Finley, the A’s won three consecutive World Series titles from 1972 to 1974. They were known for their innovative approach to the game, including introducing the designated hitter position.

  • Kansas City Royals: The Royals, on the other hand, found their peak success in the 1980s. They won their first and only World Series championship in 1985, known for their balanced and fundamentally strong play. The Royals’ victory in 1985 came against the St. Louis Cardinals, not the Athletics.

Fanbase: Kansas City Royals Vs Oakland Athletics

Kansas City Royals

The Kansas City Royals boast a dedicated and resilient fanbase that embodies the heart and spirit. Known for their unwavering support, Royals fans create a lively atmosphere at Kauffman Stadium, cheering for their team through ups and downs.

Generations have been united by the team’s triumphs, particularly the 1985 World Series victory. The Royals fanbase cherishes tradition and values the camaraderie that comes with being part of the Royals family, making them an integral part of the team’s identity.

Oakland Athletics

The Oakland Athletics’ fanbase is marked by passion and a deep connection to the team’s roots. With a history spanning Philadelphia, Kansas City, and Oakland, A’s fans are known for their loyalty and die-hard enthusiasm.

Despite challenges like stadium issues and roster changes, the “Green and Gold” faithful continue to support the team with fervor. The A’s fanbase celebrates the team’s history, iconic moments, and the innovative spirit that defines Oakland.

Their resilience and dedication make them a vital force in the Athletics narrative.

Iconic Moments: Kansas City Royals Vs Oakland Athletics Rivalry

The rivalry between the Kansas City Royals and the Oakland Athletics has produced several iconic moments that have left a lasting imprint on baseball history:

1980 ALCS, Game 3 – George Brett’s Pine Tar Incident

In a game that would become one of the most memorable moments in MLB history, George Brett hit a two-run home run against the Yankees in the ALCS. However, the Yankees protested, claiming excessive pine tar on his bat.

The umpires ruled in favor of the Yankees, nullifying the home run. Brett’s furious reaction as he charged out of the dugout remains an iconic image.

1980 ALCS, Game 5 – Brett’s Game-winning Homer

In the same ALCS series against the Yankees, the Royals found themselves trailing by one run in the bottom of the ninth inning of Game 5. George Brett stepped up to the plate and blasted a two-run home run off Yankees closer Goose Gossage, propelling the Royals to victory and a trip to the World Series.

1981 Alds – Royals Triumph Over Athletics

In the 1981 American League Division Series, the Royals faced off against the Athletics. The Royals emerged victorious, winning the series and advancing to the ALCS. This series showcased the intense competition between the two teams during this era.

1985 World Series – Royals’ Dramatic Comeback

During the 1985 World Series against the St. Louis Cardinals, the Royals found themselves down 3-1 in the series. In Game 6, the Royals mounted a remarkable comeback, erasing a two-run deficit in the bottom of the ninth inning to tie the game.

They eventually won in extra innings, setting the stage for their historic Game 7 victory and their first World Series championship.

2014 and 2015 Al Wild Card Games

The Royals and Athletics faced each other in back-to-back AL Wild Card Games in 2014 and 2015. Both games were marked by intense competition and dramatic moments.

The Royals won the 2014 game in extra innings, kickstarting their memorable postseason run to the World Series. The 2015 game saw the Royals come from behind to win again, showcasing their resilience.

Regular Season Clashes and Intensity

Throughout their history, the Royals and Athletics have engaged in regular-season battles that have added to the rivalry’s lore. These clashes have often featured close games, standout individual performances, and moments that showcased the competitiveness of both teams.

Future Outlook: Kansas City Royals Vs Oakland Athletics

Kansas City Royals

The Kansas City Royals are poised for a bright future as they continue to rebuild and develop their young talent. With a focus on player development and analytics, the Royals aim to restore their competitiveness.

Emerging stars like Bobby Witt Jr. and a solid farm system hint at a promising era ahead. The organization’s commitment to nurturing talent and instilling a winning culture could see them return to contention, driven by a blend of traditional values and modern methodologies.

Oakland Athletics

The Oakland Athletics remain a resilient and adaptive force in baseball’s landscape. Despite financial constraints, the A’s continue to find innovative ways to succeed. 

Their commitment to player development and shrewd roster moves showcases their determination. The new ballpark project offers hope for a more stable future.

The Athletics’ rich history of overcoming challenges aligns with their ongoing pursuit of success. With a blend of talented young players and strategic thinking, they aim to stay competitive, leaving an indelible mark as a team that thrives against odds and remains a source of pride for their dedicated fanbase.

Recent Performance: Kansas City Royals Vs Oakland Athletics

Game 1: Royals 8, Athletics 4

  • Date: June 15, 2022

  • Venue: Oakland Coliseum

  • Royals’ Strong Start: The Royals dominated the first inning, scoring six runs, including a three-run homer by Salvador Perez and a two-run double by Whit Merrifield.

  • Athletics’ Rally: The Athletics tried to mount a comeback with a four-run fourth inning against Royals’ starter Brady Singer.

  • Result: Royals took the victory with a final score of 8-4. Singer earned the win, while Frankie Montas took the loss for the Athletics.

Game 2: Royals 5, Athletics 1

  • Date: June 16, 2022

  • Venue: Oakland Coliseum

  • Royals’ Early Lead: The Royals continued their offensive prowess, scoring five runs in the first three innings against Athletics’ starter Sean Manaea.

  • Strong Pitching: Royals’ pitcher Mike Minor allowed only one run in

Kansas City Royals Vs Oakland Athletics Rivalry

1980Oct 11Royals StadiumKansas City4-3
1980Oct 14Yankee StadiumNew York4-2
1981Oct 6Royals StadiumKansas City4-0
1981Oct 7Royals StadiumOakland2-1
1981Oct 8Royals StadiumKansas City4-3
1985Oct 19Royals StadiumKansas City6-1
1985Oct 20Royals StadiumKansas City2-0
1985Oct 22Busch StadiumSt. Louis3-0
1985Oct 23Busch StadiumSt. Louis3-2
1985Oct 24Royals StadiumKansas City2-1
2014Sep 30Kauffman StadiumKansas City9-8 (12)
2015Sep 30Kauffman StadiumKansas City3-2
2016Jul 16Oakland ColiseumOakland3-2
2016Jul 17Oakland ColiseumOakland3-2
2017Apr 11Kauffman StadiumOakland8-3
2017Apr 12Kauffman StadiumKansas City3-1


What is the history behind the Kansas City Royals vs. Oakland Athletics rivalry?

The rivalry between the Kansas City Royals and the Oakland Athletics dates back to the 1970s and 1980s, marked by intense competition and iconic moments. Both teams have storied histories and distinct playing styles, making their matchups a highlight in MLB history.

What are some of the most memorable moments in their rivalry?

Iconic moments include George Brett’s pine tar incident, the Royals’ dramatic 1985 World Series comeback, and thrilling AL Wild Card Games in 2014 and 2015. These instances showcase the rivalry’s intensity and historical significance.

How do the fanbases of the Royals and Athletics contribute to the rivalry?

Both fanbases bring passion and dedication, creating an electric atmosphere during matchups. Royals fans cherish tradition and teamwork, while Athletics fans celebrate innovation and a deep connection to their team’s roots.

What defines the playing styles of the Royals and Athletics in this rivalry?

The Royals emphasize fundamental baseball skills, strong defense, and timely hitting. In contrast, the Athletics are known for innovation, data-driven strategies, and adapting to budget constraints, exemplified by their “Moneyball” approach.

What does the future hold for the Royals vs. Athletics rivalry?

As both teams navigate rebuilding phases, the rivalry’s intensity may ebb and flow. However, with emerging talents, dedicated fanbases, and a history of compelling matchups, the rivalry is likely to remain a cherished part of baseball lore.

To Recap

The rivalry between the Kansas City Royals and the Oakland Athletics stands as a captivating chapter in the annals of baseball history.

Defined by iconic moments, passionate fanbases, and distinct playing styles, this rivalry has transcended eras, showcasing the essence of competition and camaraderie in the sport.

From George Brett’s unforgettable pine tar incident to the Athletics’ innovative approaches, the matchups have left an indelible mark on fans and the game itself. 

As both teams navigate their respective futures, the echoes of their historic clashes will continue to resonate, reminding us of the enduring spirit and timeless appeal of America’s pastime.

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Kevin Smith

I am a dedicated learner who is constantly pursuing my dreams in many areas of life. I am a Finance major at the University of Maryland, a professional baseball player for the Toronto Blue Jays and the owner of my personal brand, Elevate Baseball. I hope to inspire younger learners of all sports and interests to tirelessly pursue their dreams, whatever that may be. LinkedIn