The Royals didn’t have too many wins on the field today, but there were still a few positive moments to enjoy this year. Let’s look back on the best moments for the Royals in 2023.
May 6 - Lorenzo Cain retirement ceremony
Lorenzo Cain is one of the most important people in Royals history, as an All-Star, an ALCS MVP, and one of the best defensive players to ever roam Kauffman Stadium. His playing days are over and he returned to Kansas City in May to be honored with a fitting retirement ceremony. Many old friends returned to share laughs and a few tears, including manager Ned Yost, coach Rusty Kuntz, and teammates Alex Gordon, Jeremy Guthrie, and of course his hermano Salvador Perez, who gifted Lorenzo with a cane.
June 17 - Samad Taylor walk off
Samad Taylor went from being a career minor leaguer one day to a Major League hero the next. The infielder was called up for a mid-June game against the Angels, and he went hitless in his first four trips to the plate, although he drew two walks. The Royals got down 8-2, but clawed their way back into the game, tying it up in the eighth. After the Angels went ahead in the ninth, the Royals again rallied to tie the game, with the winning run at third for Taylor. He collected his first Major League hit in style, a walk-off game-winning drive over the head of the centerfielder that Bobby Witt Jr. had to run out to the outfield to retrieve to make sure Samad could keep the memento.
SAMAD TAYLOR'S 1ST CAREER HIT IS A WALK-OFF!!! pic.twitter.com/v50gNsq6o5— Royals Daily (@RoyalsDaily_) June 17, 2023
July 9 - Ryan Yarbrough returns after being hit in the head
Ryan Yarbrough faced every pitcher’s nightmare in an early May game against the A’s. Ryan Noda hit a 106 mph line drive right at Yarbrough’s head, causing multiple head fractures. Fortunately, he did not require surgery, and just two months later he was back on the mound for the Royals. In fact, he was better than ever after his injury, posting a 2.19 ERA in four starts before the Royals traded him to the Dodgers.
July 28 - Bobby Witt Jr. walk-off grand slam
Bobby had a slow first half, but in the second half he showed what he was capable of, going on a tear that will likely earn him some MVP votes. In a late July game, the Royals found themselves down to the Twins after blowing a 4-2 lead in the ninth. Twins closer Jhoan Duran walked the bases loaded to bring up Bobby Witt Jr., who deposited the pitch into the seats for a walk-off grand slam. The win would kick off a seven-game win streak and marked the start of Bobby’s ascent to stardom.
September 2 - Ned Yost inducted into the Royals Hall of Fame
You won’t find too many franchises honoring a manager with a losing record in club history, but Ned had one of the most magical runs in 2014-15 when he led the team to two pennants and the second championship in club history. That earned him induction in the Royals Hall of Fame, culminating in a ceremony in September that saw many players from the championship era return to celebrate their skipper.
It's quite the reunion at the K as some of Ned Yost's former players show up for his Royals Hall of Fame induction.— Bally Sports Kansas City (@BallySportsKC) September 2, 2023
TV: Bally Sports Kansas City
Stream: https://t.co/2EK8SP9Wty pic.twitter.com/8rwTJpwgQO
September 29 - Bobby reaches 30/30
The Royals have had power hitters in club history, and they have had speedsters in club history. What they haven’t had, is someone who had both in the way Bobby Witt Jr. showed in 2023. The second-year shortstop finally hit his 30th home run of the year off Yankees reliever Keynan Middleton to make him the first player in club history to reach the 30 home run/30 stolen base club. He actually ended up stealing 40 bases, and fell one short of 50.
Bobby Witt Jr. - Kansas City Royals (30)— MLB HR Videos (@MLBHRVideos) September 30, 2023
October 1 - Zack Greinke walks off the mound
Zack Greinke hasn’t officially said if he’s retiring, but we may have seen him walk off the mound for the last time in game #162 against the Yankees. If that was the end, Zack left on a high note, allowing just one run in five innings to earn his second win of the year and leaving to a standing ovation. With 225 career wins, 2,979 strikeouts, six All-Star appearances, six Gold Gloves, two Silver Slugger Awards, and a Cy Young Award on his resume, a visit to Cooperstown may be in his near future.
What was your favorite moment of the season?
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Lorenzo Cain retirement ceremony
Samad Taylor walk off
Ryan Yarbrough returns
Bobby Witt Jr. walk off grand slam
Ned Yost HOF induction
Bobby goes 30/30
Zack Greinke walks off the mound