Monday, March 29, 2010
The Kansas City Royals are a member of Major League Baseball’s American League Central Division. The Royals play their home games at Kauffman Stadium in Kansas City, Missouri.
The Kansas City Royals joined Major League Baseball as a franchise team in 1969. Success came quickly as the Royals recorded their first winning season in 1971. They won the American League Western Division three years in a row from 1976-1978. During this Western division-winning streak, the Royals had by many well-known Major Leaguers, including All Star George Brett, Frank White, Lou Piniella and Al Cowens.
In 1980, after three previous American League Championship Series losses to the New York
Yankees, the Royals defeated the Yankees and won their first ALCS. They made it to their
first World Series, but eventually lost to the Philadelphia Phillies.
The Royals made their second World Series appearance in 1985, known as the I-70 World Series, and defeated the St. Louis Cardinals to win their first World Series title. Royals pitcher and Cy Young Award winner Brett Saberhagen was named the 1985 World Series MVP.
After the 1985 World Series Title, the Royals entered an era of poor performance. Despite All Star players such as Bo Jackson, Tom Gordon, David Cone and Brian McCrae, the team failed to reach the postseason. In 2001, they lost 97 games, and in 2002 the Royals lost a franchise record 100 games.
Kansas City Royals of the 2000’s
After a couple of the worst seasons in franchise history, Royals management hired new coach Tony Pena. In 2003, Pena led the team to a winning record and won the American League
Manager of the Year award. Despite the promising 2003 season, the Royals posted a new worst in 2004, losing a franchise record 104 games. This worst record was topped the very next year, as the Royals lost 106 games in 2005. 2006 was another 100+ loss season. Finally in 2007, the Royals finished the season with less than 100 losses.
After falling to last place in the American League Central division in 2007, 2008 was a year of new change for the Royals organization. Trey Hillman was hired as the new manager, and the Royals sported new powder blue uniforms, previously worn during away games from 1973-1971. Although they finished the 2008 season with a sub.500 record, it was their best record since the 2003 season, and marked an end of a miserable few seasons.
In 2009, the Royals went back to their poor performance and finished the season in last place in their division (65-97). The one bright spot on the team was pitcher Zack Greinke, who set a team record for strikeouts in one game, and won the American League Cy Young award.
Florida Marlins, a professional baseball team and one of five teams in the East Division of the National League. Named for a large fish that live in the waters bordering Florida, the Marlins play at Pro Player Stadium in Miami, Florida, and wear uniforms of aqua and white.
In 1997 Marlin pitchers Kevin Brown, Alex Fernandez, Livan Hernandez, and Al Leiter combined for 53 of the club’s 92 regular-season victories and led the club to the NL wildcard berth. In this year the Marlins beat the Cleveland Indians for the World Series championship, 4 games to 3.
The Marlins’ first manager was Rene Lachemann, a former catcher who had previously managed the Seattle Mariners and Milwaukee Brewers. Lachemann kept Florida out of the Eastern Division bottom during the 1993 season as the team finished the year five games ahead of the last-place New York Mets. After the Marlins finished last in their division in 1994 and fourth in 1995, Lachemann was replaced as manager halfway through the 1996 season with the Marlins’ director of player development, John Boles. After only one season Boles then returned to his previous position as director of player development, and former Pittsburgh Pirates manager Jim Leyland was hired to lead the club in 1997.
Leyland led the Marlins to a 92-70 win-loss record and a wildcard berth in the NL playoffs. Johnson again turned in a solid performance and became the only starting catcher in NL history to play an entire season without committing an error. Third baseman Bobby Bonilla, outfielder Moise Alou, and shortstop Edgar Renteria also contributed to the team’s success as the Marlins topped San Francisco and Atlanta in the NL playoffs. Florida then defeated Cleveland in seven games to become the first wildcard team in major league history to win the World Series title.
In the next year Huizenga dismantled the team by trading off most of the club’s most
talented players. Among them, Alou was traded to the Houston Astros, Bonilla was traded to the Los Angeles Dodgers, and Brown was traded to the San Diego Padres. The Marlins’ record in 1998 slumped to 54-108, making them the first club ever to win a World Series and then lose more than 100 games during the following season. Leyland resigned as manager in October 1998, and Huizenga sold the club to businessman John Henry during the off-season.
Under a new owner, the franchise slowly rebuilt the team. In 2003 the Florida Marlins made the playoffs as a wild card team. Florida then defeated the San Francisco Giants, Chicago Cubs, and New York Yankees in consecutive series to win its second world championship in 11 years.
Thursday, March 25, 2010
Philadelphia Phillies, a professional baseball team, is one of five teams in the East Division of the National League. The Phillies play at Citizens Bank Park in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and wear white and red uniforms. The team’s name is the oldest in major league baseball.
Philadelphia became a NL powerhouse in the late 1970s, capturing five division titles from 1976 to 1983, including three straight under Manager Danny Ozark. The Phillies won their first World Series championship in 1980, defeating the Kansas City Royals with a lineup that featured veteran superstars Pete Rose, Mike Schmidt, outfielder Greg Luzinski, and pitchers Steve Carlton and Tug McGraw. The Hall of Fame third baseman Mike Schmidt, who ranks in the top ten on the all-time home run list, won three NL most valuable player awards. He also led the league in home runs eight times, a record surpassed only by the 12 homerun titles won by Babe Ruth. Carlton won 329 games and four Cy Young Awards in his long career.
In their 98th season, the Phillies won their third NL pennant and first World Series in 1980 under manager Dallas Green. Schmidt led the NL in home runs and RBIs, capturing his first of three MVP awards. Pete Rose topped the NL in doubles as Carlton won his third Cy Young Award and Tug McGraw provided outstanding relief pitching. The combination of solid hitting and pitching helped Philadelphia overpower the Kansas City Royals in the World Series.
In 1983 the franchise reunited Rose with two former teammates from the Cincinnati Reds—second baseman Joe Morgan and first baseman Tony Perez. The three veterans sparked the Phillies to the NL pennant that year before losing to the Baltimore Orioles in the World Series.
After a ten-year drought, Philadelphia won another pennant in 1993. The Phillies were led by catcher Darren Daulton, outfielder Lenny Dykstra, first baseman John Kruk, and relief pitcher Mitch Williams. In the World Series, however, the Phillies lost to the Toronto Blue Jays. The Phillies soon faded and had little success in the mid- and late 1990s.
In 2008 the Phillies played and defeated the Tampa Bay Rays in the World Series for their second title. They returned to the World Series the very next season only to fall victim to the New York Yankees. The Phillies having one of the best teams in baseball lead by superstar slugger Ryan Howard are a threat every season to take home the title.
· Philadelphia Phillies (1884 – Present)
· Philadelphia Quakers (1883 – 1889, used interchangeably with Phillies)
Stadiums Played In
· Citizens Bank Park (2004 – present)
· Veterans Stadium (1971 – 2003)
· Connie Mack Stadium (1927, 1983 – 1970)
· Baker Bowl (1887 – 1926, 1928 – 1938)
· Recreation Park (1883 – 1886)
World Series (2008, 1980)
National League Pennants (2009, 2008, 1993, 1983, 1980, 1950, 1915)
East Division Title (2009, 2008, 2007, 1993, 1983, 1980, 1978, 1977, 1976)
New York Mets, a professional baseball team, is one of five teams in the East Division of the National League. The Mets, short for Metropolitans, play at Citi Field in Flushing, New York, and wear white, blue and orange uniforms.
In 1962 in the team’s first season, the Mets posted a league-worst 40-120 record. But seven years later the so-called “Miracle” Mets of 1969 shocked the baseball world by winning the NL pennant and going on to defeat the heavily favored Baltimore Orioles in the World Series. The team was led by NL Cy Young Award winner Tom Seaver.
The Mets remained highly competitive during the early 1970s, placing third in 1970 and 1971. Gil Hodges their manager died of a heart attack before the start of the 1972 season and was replaced by former New York Yankees star Yogi Berra, who guided the club to another third-place finish. In 1973 the Mets again became unlikely champions. The team rose from last place to first in the East Division in the season’s closing weeks by winning 29 of its last 43 games. Tom Seaver won his second Cy Young Award, and the Mets beat the Cincinnati Reds for the NL pennant, but lost to the Oakland Athletics in the World Series.
In the ten seasons from 1974 to 1983, the Mets weren’t able to finish any better than third place. In a rebuilding effort the team put together a young lineup featuring first baseman Keith Hernandez, outfielder Darryl Strawberry, and pitchers Ron Darling and Dwight Gooden. Both Strawberry and Gooden had been named NL rookie of the year, and the two youngsters helped the Mets to second-place finishes in 1984 and 1985.
In 1986 New York won 108 games en route to its second World Series championship. The team’s powerful offense was led by Gary Carter, Keith Hernandez, and Darryl Strawberry. A year earlier, Dwight Gooden became the youngest pitcher ever to win the Cy Young Award. In 2000, the Mets squad won the NL title but lost the World Series to their cross-town rivals, the New York Yankees.
The New York Mets team colors are orange, blue, white, and black. The colors are a symbolic “thank you” to the Brooklyn Dodgers and New York Giants. The baseball hat logo is the same as the logo that was used by the old New York Giants team; the logo was designed by Ray Gatto.
Stadiums Played In
Polo Grounds (1962 – 1963)
Shea Stadium (1964 – 2008)
Citi Field (2009 – present)
Major League Baseball Titles
World Series Titles (’69, ’86)
National League Pennants (’69, ’73, ’86, ’00)
East Division Titles (’69, ’73, ’86, ’88, ’06)
Manager: Jerry ManuelGeneral
Manager: Omar Minaya