9. 1985 Royals
It was not totally surprising that the 1985 Royals won the World Series. But the way they won it was. They'd won the AL West the previous year, so the talent was there. Still, the '85 Royals were only a .500 team in July before winning 12 of 13 in early September, then holding on to beat the Angels by a game for the division crown.
And that’s when the fun began. Trailing the Blue Jays three games to one in the ALCS, the Royals won Game 5 on Danny Jackson's 2-0 shutout, took the next game 5-3 on George Brett's go-ahead homer and won the pennant with a 6-2 victory stoked by slow-footed catcher Jim Sundberg's three-run triple. That qualified the Royals to face their Missouri rivals, the Cardinals, in the I-70 series.
The World Series started the same way, the Royals falling into a 3-1 deficit. But again Jackson kept them alive in Game 5. That set up Game 6, one of the most famous playoff games of all time. The Cardinals led 1-0 heading into the bottom of the ninth when Royals leadoff man Jorge Orta grounded out. But umpire Don Denkinger didn't see it that way, ruling Orta safe. Four batters later, Dane Iorg's bloop two-run single tied the series.
Cy Young Award winner Bret Saberhagen then tossed a five-hitter as the Royals scorched the Cards 11-0 in Game 7 for their first world championship and the first by an AL expansion team. The downside: No other Kansas City franchise in any sport has won a championship since then.