KANSAS CITY, Mo. — A few franchise legends for the Kansas City Royals and Sporting KC will be enshrined in Missouri history.
Former Royals outfielder Lorenzo Cain and Sporting defender Matt Besler are three of 19 honorees selected for the 2023 Missouri Sports Hall of Fame class in April.
Cain is fondly remembered for helping Kansas City win two American League pennants and the 2015 World Series. The center fielder played for the Royals for seven seasons after being acquired in a trade with the Milwaukee Brewers.
Cain scored the decisive run in the 2015 American League Championship Series; he scored all the way from first base on Eric Hosmer’s hit down the right-field line. He also had a three-run double in the clinching game of the 2015 World Series, giving the Royals their first title in 30 years.
In Kansas City, Cain batted .289 with 765 hits – including 56 home runs, 21 triples and 140 doubles. He also stole 120 bases and drove in 308 runs. He was a 2015 American League All-Star and finished third in MVP voting in 2015, joining George Brett (MSHOF 1994) as the only Royal to win a World Series and finish in the top three of MVP.
Defensively, he made jaw-dropping catches as well. Overall, Cain played 13 seasons in the big leagues, including six with the Brewers.
Besler played 12 seasons for Sporting KC and earned numerous honors including Major League Soccer’s Best XI (2012, 2013), All-Star (2011, 2013-2016), Defender of the Year (2012) and Breakout Player of the Year (2012).
He’s also an MLS Cup Champion (2013) and a three-time Lamar Hunt US Open Cup Champion (2012, 2015, 2017). Besler was named Sporting KC Defender of the Year four times (2011-2013, 2015) and was also awarded the 2014 KC Sportsman of the Year by the Kansas City Sports Commission.
At the time of Besler’s retirement, his 348 appearances, 337 starts and 30,397 minutes played for Sporting in all competitions are the most in club history. He earned 47 caps for the U.S. Men’s National Team and participated in the 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil. He is also a two-time CONCACAF Gold Cup Champion (2013, 2017).
The Blue Valley West product starred at Notre Dame in college, becoming the first player in program history to earn First Team All-American and First Team Academic All-American in the same season.
Former Kansas City Chiefs executive Carl Peterson will receive the President’s Award as well.
Peterson, who was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2005, oversaw the Chiefs from 1989 to 2008.
In 2020, he flew into Springfield for the Enshrinement Ceremonies and delivered the acceptance speech for the late Derrick Thomas.
In his days leading the Chiefs, Peterson built the team’s second Golden Era. His hiring of coach Marty Schottenheimer led to 15 winning seasons, including nine playoff berths, and all through an overall record of 176-141-1. He also invigorated the fanbase, as he supported tailgating and saw to it that players were part of the community.
Overall, the Chiefs sold out 149 consecutive games from 1990 to 2008 and led the AFC in paid attendance every year during that time frame.
The rest of the honorees feature track legend and Central High alum Muna Lee, UMKC school career leader in 3-pointers Michael Watson, William Jewell College’s 2003 Women’s Soccer Team and local media members Karen Kornacki and Blair Kerkhoff.
The full list and all ceremony details can be seen here.