This Date In Royals History–1977 Edition: March 24

It took ten innings, but the Royals emerged with a 5-3 win over the Rangers in Pompano Beach.

Kansas City starter Paul Splittorff made a strong argument for an Opening Day assignment with six strong innings. The lefthander limited Texas to six hits and an unearned run. Larry Gura followed with four innings in which he allowed three hits and two unearned runs.

Veteran infielder Cookie Rojas keyed the Royals’ offense with a pair of two-run singles. The first came in the eighth to give KC a 3-2 lead. The second came in the 10th to produce the game-winning runs.

The Royals improved to 9-7 in spring training with the win.

Off the field, the Royals trimmed their squad by sending five players to minor league camp: outfielders Clint Hurdle, Luis Silverio, and Willie Wilson, pitcher Lew Olsen, and catcher Jim Gaudet. Kansas City still had 33 players in big-league camp.

1977 baseball news: At the owners’ meeting in Tampa, representatives from both leagues seemed receptive to interleague play, beginning in 1978. With the American League expanding to 14 teams in 1977, and the National League stuck at 12, there was a plan to move an AL team–most likely the Oakland A’s–to Washington, D.C. and to the NL. That followed a rumor that other owners would try to buy out Oakland owner Charlie Finley. There was less enthusiasm for a three-division setup in both leagues. 

Today’s birthdays: Dwight Taylor (1960), Rob Tejeda (1982), Devon Lowery (1983)

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