1969 Kansas City Royals season

1969 Kansas City Royals
Major League affiliations
Other information
Owner(s) Ewing Kauffman
General manager(s) Cedric Tallis
Manager(s) Joe Gordon
Local television KMBC-TV
Local radio KMBZ
(Buddy Blattner, Denny Matthews)
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The 1969 Kansas City Royals season was the Royals' inaugural season. The team finished fourth in the newly established American League West with a record of 69 wins and 93 losses.


A franchise is born

The club's inception is connected to the Athletics franchise. On October 18, 1967, A.L. owners at last gave Charles O. Finley permission to move the Athletics to Oakland for the 1968 season. According to some reports, Joe Cronin promised Finley that he could move the team after the 1967 season as an incentive to sign the new lease with Municipal Stadium. The move came in spite of approval by voters in Jackson County, Missouri of a bond issue for a brand new baseball stadium (the eventual Kauffman Stadium) to be completed in 1973. When U.S. Senator Stuart Symington threatened to have baseball's antitrust exemption revoked, the owners responded with a hasty round of expansion. Kansas City was awarded an American League expansion team, the Royals. They were initially slated to begin play in 1971. However, Symington was not willing to have Kansas City wait three years for another team, and renewed his threat to have baseball's antitrust exemption revoked unless the teams began play in 1969. The owners complied.

Expansion draft

The 1968 Major League Baseball expansion draft for the Royals and the Seattle Pilots was held on October 15.

Player Former Team Pick
Roger Nelson[1] Baltimore Orioles 1st
Joe Foy Boston Red Sox 4th
Jim Rooker New York Yankees 6th
Joe Keough Oakland A's 8th
Steve Jones Washington Senators 10th
Jon Warden Detroit Tigers 12th
Ellie Rodríguez New York Yankees 13th
Dave Morehead Boston Red Sox 15th
Mike Fiore Baltimore Orioles 17th
Bob Oliver Minnesota Twins 19th
Bill Butler Detroit Tigers 22nd
Steve Whitaker New York Yankees 23rd
Wally Bunker[2] Baltimore Orioles 25th
Paul Schaal[3] California Angels 27th
Dan Haynes Chicago White Sox 29th
Dick Drago[4] Detroit Tigers 31st
Pat Kelly Minnesota Twins 34th
Billy Harris Cleveland Indians 36th
Don O'Riley Oakland A's 38th
Al Fitzmorris Chicago White Sox 40th
Moe Drabowsky Baltimore Orioles 42nd
Jackie Hernández Minnesota Twins 43rd
Mike Hedlund Cleveland Indians 45th
Tom Burgmeier California Angels 47th
Hoyt Wilhelm[5] Chicago White Sox 49th
Jerry Adair Boston Red Sox 51st
Jerry Cram Minnesota Twins 54th
Fran Healy Cleveland Indians 56th
Scott Northey Chicago White Sox 58th
Ike Brookens Washington Senators 60th

Other offseason transactions

Regular season

  • May 4, 1969: Bob Oliver became the first Royal to collect six hits in a nine-inning game.[9]

Season standings

AL West W L Pct. GB Home Road
Minnesota Twins 9765 0.599 57–24 40–41
Oakland Athletics 8874 0.543 9 49–32 39–42
California Angels 7191 0.438 26 43–38 28–53
Kansas City Royals 6993 0.426 28 36–45 33–48
Chicago White Sox 6894 0.420 29 41–40 27–54
Seattle Pilots 6498 0.395 33 34–47 30–51

Record vs. opponents

1969 American League Records

Baltimore 10–86–69–313–511–711–18–411–78–49–313–5
Boston 8–108–45–712–610–810–27–511–74–86–66–12
California 6–64–89–98–45–79–97–113–96–129–9–15–7
Chicago 3–97–59–98–43–98–105–133–98–1010–84–8
Cleveland 5–136–124–84–87–117–55–79–85–77–53–15
Detroit 7–118–107–59–311–78–46–610–87–510–27–11
Kansas City 1–112–109–910–85–74–88–105–7–18–1010–87–5
Minnesota 4–85–711–713–57–56–610–810–213–512–66–6
New York 7–117–119–39–38–98–107–5–12–106–67–510–8
Oakland 4–88–412–610–87–55–710–85–136–613–58–4
Seattle 3–96–69–9–18–105–72–108–106–125–75–137–5
Washington 5–1312–67–58–415–311–75–76–68–104–85–7

Notable transactions

The first game

Starting lineup

  9Lou PiniellaCF
14Jerry Adair2B
  8Ed Kirkpatrick    LF
  1Joe Foy3B
  7Chuck Harrison1B
33Bob OliverRF
11Ellie RodríguezC
24Jackie Hernández   SS
27Wally Bunker    P


April 8, Municipal Stadium, Kansas City, Missouri

Team 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 R H E
Minnesota 010 002 000 000 3121
Kansas City 100 002 000 001 4140
W: Drabowsky (1–0)  L: Grzenda (0–1)  
HRs: Nettles (1)


1969 Kansas City Royals
Pitchers Catchers


Outfielders Manager


Player stats


Starters by position

Note: Pos = Position; G = Games played; AB = At bats; H = Hits; Avg. = Batting average; HR = Home runs; RBI = Runs batted in

Pos Player G AB H Avg. HR RBI
CEllie Rodríguez9526763.236220
1BMike Fiore10733993.2741235
3BJoe Foy145519136.2621171
SSJackie Hernández145504112.222440
CFBob Oliver118394100.2541343
RFPat Kelly112417110.264832

Other batters

Note: G = Games played; AB = At bats; H = Hits; Avg. = Batting average; HR = Home runs; RBI = Runs batted in

Player G AB H Avg. HR RBI
Ed Kirkpatrick12031581.2571449
Chuck Harrison7521347.221318
Paul Schaal6120554.263113
Joe Keough7016631.18707
Dennis Paepke12273.11100
Billy Harris572.28600


Starting pitchers

Note: G = Games pitched; IP = Innings pitched; W = Wins; L = Losses; ERA = Earned run average; SO = Strikeouts

Player G IP W L ERA SO
Wally Bunker35222.212113.23130
Bill Butler34193.29103.90156
Roger Nelson29193.17133.3182
Jim Rooker28158.14163.75108

Other pitchers

Note: G = Games pitched; IP = Innings pitched; W = Wins; L = Losses; ERA = Earned run average; SO = Strikeouts

Player G IP W L ERA SO
Dick Drago41200.211133.77108
Mike Hedlund34125363.2474
Steve Jones2044.2234.2331
Jerry Cram516.2013.2410

Relief pitchers

Note: G = Games pitched; W = Wins; L = Losses; SV = Saves; ERA = Earned run average; SO = Strikeouts

Player G W L SV ERA SO
Moe Drabowsky52119112.9476
Tom Burgmeier313104.1723
Dave Morehead212305.7332
Don O'Riley181116.9410
Galen Cisco151113.6318
Al Fitzmorris71124.223

Farm system

Level Team League Manager
AAA Omaha Royals American Association Jack McKeon
AA Elmira Pioneers Eastern League Harry Bright
A High Point-Thomasville Royals Carolina League Harry Malmberg
A Waterloo Hawks Midwest League Rollie Hemsley
A-Short Season Corning Royals New York–Penn League Buddy Peterson
A-Short Season Winnipeg Goldeyes Northern League Spider Jorgensen
Rookie Kingsport Royals Appalachian League Red Norwood


Elmira affiliation shared with San Diego Padres

Awards and honors

1969 Major League Baseball All-Star Game



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