Jaffe: Royals and Orioles return to historical heights

From SABR member Jay Jaffe at SI.com on October 9, 2014:

The Orioles and Royals have never met in the postseason, but this year’s American League Championship Series pairing — which seemed unlikely not just at the outset of the season but even as the playoffs dawned — harkens back to a period of more than a decade when the two teams were AL powerhouses. They were built by smart front offices offering distinct organizational philosophies and booming player development systems, led by future Hall of Fame managers for at least part of those stretches, and featured some of the most iconic players in each franchise’s history. Baltimore and Kansas City played entertaining brands of baseball, the echoes of which can be heard in today’s editions of those two teams.

In 1969, the major leagues expanded from 20 teams to 24, adding the Royals and Seattle Pilots (who moved to Milwaukee the next year to become the Brewers) to the American League and the Padres and Expos to the National League. With the addition of those franchises, the two leagues each split into East and West divisions, thereby creating an extra round of postseason baseball via the creation of the best-of-five League Championship Series. Over the first 17 years of the format (1969-85), the O’s and Royals would win a total of 13 division titles, yet they never crossed paths in October.

Read the full article here: http://www.si.com/mlb/2014/10/09/orioles-royals-alcs-history

Originally published: October 10, 2014. Last Updated: October 10, 2014.