KANSAS CITY, Mo. – The Kansas City Royals are champions of the American League and headed back to the World Series for the first time since 1985. While at times the team was up and down, especially right before the All-Star break, pitcher James Shields said this was their expectation from the beginning.
“This was our main goal in spring training, we knew we had a good team,” Shields said. “We’re going to the World Series, that’s what it’s all about and we’ve got more games to go.”
The Royals have at least four more games to play as the team awaits the National League champion to meet in the World Series. Outfielder Jarrod Dyson says it’s been fun because of the players he suits up with.
“We’re one big family, what can I say? After this is all over and said and done I can say it’s been a fun year for us. With these guys, they never give up,” outfielder Jarrod Dyson said.
Gold glove outfielder Alex Gordon said the moment was special after the final out was recorded.
“It was cool to see it up on the board, ‘American League Champions,’ it kinda hits you right there,” Gordon said. “The coolest thing was running from the outfield and seeing the fans celebrate, getting that whole view I had for a while, about 10 seconds, I was sprinting pretty fast.”
FOX 4's Sean McDowell asked designated hitter Billy Butler what kept the team going when there were many doubters.
"We were the best team in baseball through the second half of last year, and we basically were this year too. We got on a roll at the right time, we're playing our best baseball, and I think we're showing everybody in the world what kind of talent we have in here."
One pitcher who hasn't been able to help his team on the field this year due to injury is former first-round pick Luke Hochevar, but he was still part of the celebration and proud of his teammates.
"It's awesome to watch these guys come together and go out on the field and do what they do every night, especially in this postseason, it's been awesome to see," Hochevar said.