This Date In Royals History–1977 Edition: September 12

The Royals’ first game of a four-game series at home against Oakland was rained out, as heavy rains battered Kansas City. Shortly after midnight, a heavy rainfall dumped about six inches of rain on the area. That storm ended before sunrise, but had thoroughly saturated the ground. When the second round of heavy rain moved in around 6 pm, creeks and rivers began rising rapidly. Kansas City police were soon receiving multiple reports of flooding in streets and basements.

The flooding was particularly devastating on the Country Club Plaza, which saw some of the heaviest rainfall rates. Roughly 150 vehicles had to be pulled out of Brush Creek, which flows through the Plaza. The lower bridges in place then turned into dams when debris began piling up in front of them. A leaking gas line led to an explosion that destroyed six businesses. The official rainfall total for the day was 16 inches, although some spots reported even more. In all, 25 people died, many of them in cars suddenly caught up in rising waters. More than $100 million in damage was reported.

After the game was called off, third baseman George Brett decided it was time to get a little revenge on Morganna, the “Kissing Bandit,” who had interrupted the Royals’ August 22 game against Baltimore to add Brett to her list of bussed ballplayers. Brett found out that Morganna was performing at a local theater and headed there, went on stage, and gave her a kiss.

Meanwhile, Royals outfielder Amos Otis stopped at the bar in a Holiday Inn near the stadium on his way home. He hadn’t been there long when he saw a group of eight teenage boys huddling in the lobby. They had been at the game, some as fans and some as concession workers, and now had no way home or even to contact their parents. The hotel wouldn’t rent them a room due to their ages. In fact, they wouldn’t even let Otis rent a room for them, since he wasn’t their parent. So Otis piled the boys in his car, took them home, fed them, and let them stay in his apartment overnight, calling their parents to let them know their kids were safe, and arranged to get them home safely in the morning. One of those youths, Richard Brown, grew up to be a teacher and eventually a Missouri state representative. In 2017, for the 40th anniversary of the rescue, he prepared a proclamation honoring Otis, and the outfielder and the boys were reunited at a ceremony at the Negro Leagues Museum.

Today’s birthdays: Greg Keatley (1953), Scotti Madison (1959)

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