The 2004 season began ominously for the Royals. Opening-day starter Brian Anderson was hit early and often as the Chicago White Sox built a 5-1 lead, and the team still trailed 7-3 in the bottom of the ninth. But on a serene, 65-degree day in front of a sellout crowd, the Royals pulled even thanks to an unlikely pinch-hit home run from lightweight Mendy Lopez. Carlos Beltran, the team's shining star, followed with a round-tripper of his own, stamping an exclamation point on the dramatic comeback. Beltran's gone now, and so is the much less-lamented Lopez, but for one amazing afternoon, the Royals justified their fans' faith.