The Kansas City Royals are headed back to the World Series, and while the city is partying like it 1985 … the year of their last and only World Series Championship, their skipper, Ned Yost is partying like it’s the 1990’s when he was the bullpen coach with the Atlanta Braves. The Braves went to 4 World Series in the 90’s (1991, 92, 95, & 94) winning it all in 1995 in 6 games against Cleveland.
His first taste mid- October love was when he was not much older than players on his 2014 Royals squad. The year was 1982, and 27 year old Yost was in his 3rd year the with the Milwaukee Brewers as the team’s back up “back stop.” It was hard to miss and easy to root for the upbeat catcher wearing #5 with a huge plug of tobacco in his cheek.
As far as being a manager in the World Series, this will be his first. Ned was headed to the playoffs as a manager in 2008 after 6 years as the Milwaukee Brewers skipper, but it wasn’t to be. A 4 game sweep by the Phillies late in the season sent Ned “packing” and out of a job with only 12 games left on the schedule. (The Brewers made the playoffs as a Wild-Card, but were eliminated in the first round by the Phillies).
2010 the Royals replaced Trey Hillman 35 games into the season (12-23) and gave Yost his second chance to manage in the big leagues. Grateful to have the chance to manage again Yost and company went 55-72 the rest of the way and ended up 5th in the A.L. Central. Since that season Yost has made the right moves to improve his team’s win total each year… 2011-71 wins, 2012- 72, 2013 – 86, 2014-89 and a trip to the Post Season…and now the 110th World Series.
The Kansas City Royals better make room for their second World Championship Trophy, and “Grateful Ned” needs to make room on his mantle for A.L. Manager of the Year…because BOTH are going to happen this season.
Royals in 6.