It’s been a long four years. So long, in fact, that not a single Royal who played in the last game that clinched a winning month is on the 2007 team.
Yep, the Royals haven’t enjoyed this good feeling since a 96-degree Sunday in 2003. The Seattle Mariners were in town. Runelyvs Hernandez took the hill for the first-place Royals, who led the Central Division by 6.5 games.
The attendance was 16,880 that day. Little did they know that four years would pass before fans could say again, “We did it! We went over .500 for the whole month!”
The 2003 team would finish seven games out of first place. Beltran was later traded and then took riches to play for the Mets. Hernandez put on a bunch of weight and is now pitching for the Yankees’ triple-A team in Scranton. The manager, Tony Peña, resigned after a being accused of banging his neighbor’s wife.
Here’s the full starting lineup from July 20, 2003, courtesy of Baseball-Reference.com:
Aaron Guiel, RF
Desi Relaford, 3B
Carlos Beltran, CF
Raul Ibanez, DH
Ken Harvey, 1B
Michael Tucker, LF
Angel Berroa, SS
Mike Difelice, C
Carlos Febles, 2B
Nate Field, Sean Lowe, D.J. Carrasco, Jason Grimsley and Kris Wilson worked in relief of Hernandez, along with MacDougal. – David Martin