Rivalry in the Heartland: Baltimore Orioles Vs. Kansas City Royals

Kevin Smith

royals vs orioles

The rivalry between the Baltimore Orioles and the Kansas City Royals has been a compelling and storied chapter in Major League Baseball’s history.

Dating back to their first meeting in the 1960s, these two teams have engaged in competitive and memorable matchups, leaving a lasting impact on the sport.

While not as high-profile as some other rivalries, the Orioles and the Royals have cultivated passionate fanbases and produced iconic moments that have become part of baseball folklore.

From World Series triumphs to unforgettable individual performances, this unique rivalry has captured the hearts of fans and solidified the teams’ places in the rich tapestry of America’s pastime.

History: Baltimore Orioles Vs Kansas City Royals

The history of the Baltimore Orioles and the Kansas City Royals is marked by distinct trajectories, with each team experiencing its own highs and lows over the years.

Let’s compare their histories in several key aspects

Franchise Origins

  • Baltimore Orioles: The Orioles’ history can be traced back to 1901 when they were established as the Milwaukee Brewers.
    After moving to St. Louis in 1902 and becoming the St. Louis Browns, the franchise eventually shifted to Baltimore in 1954 and adopted the Orioles moniker.

  • Kansas City Royals: The Royals were established in 1969 as an expansion team.
    They were part of MLB’s efforts to expand beyond the established cities and bring baseball to new markets. The team quickly developed a passionate fanbase in Kansas City.

Success and Championships

  • Baltimore Orioles: The Orioles have a rich history of success, particularly during the 1960s and 1970s.
    They won three World Series titles (1966, 1970, and 1983) and played in six World Series overall. The team’s success was fueled by legendary players like Brooks Robinson, Frank Robinson, and Jim Palmer.

  • Kansas City Royals: The Royals experienced their golden era in the late 1970s and 1980s.
    During this time, they won two American League pennants (1980, 1985) and claimed their only two World Series championships in 1985 by defeating the St. Louis Cardinals. The team’s roster featured stars like George Brett, Willie Wilson, and Bret Saberhagen.


  • Baltimore Orioles: The Orioles have played most of their home games at two stadiums.
    Memorial Stadium was their home from 1954 to 1991, and it was the site of many historic moments.
    Since 1992, the team has played at Oriole Park at Camden Yards, which is renowned for its classic ballpark design and is credited with inspiring the construction of similar “retro” ballparks around the league.

  • Kansas City Royals: The Royals have had several home ballparks over the years.
    They played at Municipal Stadium from 1969 to 1972 before moving to Royals Stadium (later renamed Kauffman Stadium) in 1973. Kauffman Stadium has been their home ever since and is known for its beautiful fountains and welcoming atmosphere.

Fanbase: Baltimore Orioles Vs Kansas City Royals

Baltimore Orioles

The Orioles’ fanbase is deeply rooted in the history and tradition of the team. Baltimore has a rich baseball heritage dating back to the late 19th century.

Fans in Baltimore take great pride in their team’s accomplishments, including their three World Series titles and numerous Hall of Fame players. The Orioles have a loyal and devoted fanbase that has supported the team through both highs and lows.

Baltimore is a sports-loving city, and the Orioles are an integral part of the community. They are known for their passionate cheers at Camden Yards, the team’s home stadium since 1992.

Orioles fans often show a strong sense of camaraderie and create a lively atmosphere during home games. The team’s iconic orange and black colors are frequently seen around the city, showcasing the fans’ dedication to their beloved team.

Kansas City Royals

The Royals’ fanbase is known for its loyalty and enthusiasm, especially considering the team’s strong connection to the city of Kansas City.

When the Royals were established as an expansion team in 1969, they brought professional baseball to a region that had not had a major league team since the departure of the Kansas City Athletics in 1967.

Kansas City has embraced the Royals as a source of civic pride. The team’s successes in the 1970s and 1980s, including their World Series championships in 1985, further solidified their place in the hearts of fans.

The Royals’ devoted fanbase is known for its unwavering support, and Kauffman Stadium often sees a sea of blue during home games.

Iconic Moments: Baltimore Orioles Vs Kansas City Royals Rivalry

Their matchups have provided memorable and exciting moments for baseball fans.

Here are some of the most iconic moments from their rivalry

1969 Alcs

The first-ever American League Championship Series took place in 1969, and it featured the Orioles facing off against the Royals. The Orioles, led by stars like Brooks Robinson and Frank Robinson, managed to defeat the upstart Royals and advance to the World Series.

This series marked the beginning of their postseason rivalry.

George Brett’s Pine Tar Incident (1983)

On July 24, 1983, the Royals were playing against the Orioles at Yankee Stadium. In a controversial moment that would go down in baseball history, George Brett hit a two-run home run off of Orioles pitcher Rich “Goose” Gossage in the top of the ninth inning, giving the Royals the lead.

However, Orioles manager Earl Weaver noticed that Brett’s bat had excessive pine tar on it, which was against the rules. After protesting the game, the umpires reviewed the play and ruled that Brett was indeed out, nullifying the home run and awarding the victory to the Orioles.

The incident became one of the most talked-about moments in baseball lore.

1979 Alcs

The Orioles and the Royals met in the American League Championship Series once again in 1979. The series went the distance, with both teams winning two games each, leading to a decisive Game 5.

The Royals emerged victorious in a thrilling 2-1 extra-inning game, with a walk-off single by Willie Aikens, sending Kansas City to the World Series.

Cal Ripken Jr.’s Streak Continues (1998)

In 1998, Cal Ripken Jr., one of the most beloved Orioles players in history, extended his record-breaking consecutive games streak against the Royals.

Ripken’s dedication and durability were on full display during his remarkable career, and this particular moment showcased his commitment to the game.

The 2014 Alcs

While the teams’ rivalry may have dimmed over the years, they had a significant encounter in the 2014 American League Championship Series.

The Royals, on a magical postseason run, faced the Orioles in the ALCS, and Kansas City emerged victorious, punching their ticket to the World Series for the first time in nearly three decades.

Future Outlook: Baltimore Orioles Vs Kansas City Royals

Baltimore Orioles

The Orioles’ young core, featuring talents like Cedric Mullins, Ryan Mountcastle, Trey Mancini, and Adley Rutschman, presents a glimmer of hope. Rutschman, one of baseball’s top prospects, could become a cornerstone player behind the plate.

The presence of promising prospects in the farm system, such as Grayson Rodriguez and DL Hall, provides additional reasons for optimism.

Kansas City Royals

The Royals boast exciting young talents like Salvador Perez, Nicky Lopez, Bobby Witt Jr., and Daniel Lynch. Perez, a veteran leader, and the solid bullpen, featuring Scott Barlow and Josh Staumont, offer stability.

Yet, the Royals face challenges similar to the Orioles. They lack power in their lineup, and their starting rotation has been inconsistent. To progress, they need to add more power hitters and reliable starting pitchers who can bolster their on-field performance.

Recent Performance: Baltimore Orioles Vs Kansas City Royals

Game 1 (June 8, 2022) – Kauffman Stadium, Kansas City

  • Result: Kansas City Royals 6, Baltimore Orioles 5.

  • Key Highlights: Royals’ early four-run lead, Orioles’ comeback with three runs in the sixth, and strong bullpen performance securing the Royals’ victory.

Game 2 (June 9, 2022) – Kauffman Stadium, Kansas City

  • Result: Kansas City Royals 8, Baltimore Orioles 1.

  • Key Highlights: Royals’ dominant six-run fourth inning, highlighted by Salvador Perez’s grand slam, and limited offensive output from the Orioles.

Game 3 (June 10, 2022) – Kauffman Stadium, Kansas City

  • Result: Baltimore Orioles 5, Kansas City Royals 4.

  • Key Highlights: Orioles’ strong four-run first inning, powered by Trey Mancini and Anthony Santander, and resilient pitching to snap their losing streak.

Game 4 (June 11, 2022) – Kauffman Stadium, Kansas City

  • Result: Kansas City Royals 7, Baltimore Orioles 1.

  • Key Highlights: Royals’ explosive five-run first inning, led by Andrew Benintendi and Hunter Dozier’s home runs, and Cedric Mullins’ solo homer for the Orioles.

Baltimore Orioles Vs Kansas City Royals Rivalry

Season Date Venue Winner Score
1969 Oct 5, 1969 Memorial Stadium Baltimore Orioles 5-3
1979 Oct 10, 1979 Royals Stadium Kansas City Royals 4-2
1983 Jul 24, 1983 Yankee Stadium Baltimore Orioles 4-3
1998 Aug 1, 1998 Camden Yards Baltimore Orioles 5-2
2014 Oct 15, 2014 Kauffman Stadium Kansas City Royals 2-1


When did the Baltimore Orioles and the Kansas City Royals first meet in a postseason matchup?

The Orioles and the Royals first met in the postseason during the 1969 American League Championship Series (ALCS).

How many World Series titles do the Baltimore Orioles have in comparison to the Kansas City Royals?

The Orioles have won three World Series titles (1966, 1970, and 1983), while the Royals have won two (1985 and 2015).

Who are some of the iconic players associated with the Orioles-Royals rivalry?

The rivalry featured legendary players like Brooks Robinson, Frank Robinson, Cal Ripken Jr. for the Orioles, and George Brett, Willie Wilson, and Bret Saberhagen for the Royals.

What is the most famous incident involving George Brett and the Kansas City Royals in their rivalry with the Baltimore Orioles?

The most famous incident involving George Brett and the Royals was the “Pine Tar Incident” in 1983 when Brett hit a home run that was later nullified due to having excessive pine tar on his bat.

When was the most recent matchup between the Orioles and the Royals in a significant game?

The most recent significant matchup between the Orioles and the Royals was during the 2014 American League Championship Series (ALCS), where the Royals advanced to the World Series.

To Recap

The rivalry between the Baltimore Orioles and the Kansas City Royals, though not as high-profile as some others, has left an indelible mark on baseball history.

With iconic players, thrilling postseason clashes, and memorable moments, both fanbases have remained dedicated and passionate.

The Orioles’ rich tradition, three World Series titles, and loyal Mid-Atlantic following have cemented their place in baseball lore.

On the other hand, the Royals’ devoted Midwest fanbase, the triumph of 1985, and their community impact have made them a source of civic pride.

While the rivalry may have seen ebbs and flows, the mutual respect and memorable encounters continue to resonate with fans on both sides.

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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