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The Houston Astros are an American professional baseball team based in Houston, Texas. The Astros compete in Major League Baseball (MLB) as a member clubThe Houston Astros are an American professional baseball team based in Houston, Texas. The Astros compete in Major League Baseball (MLB) as a member club of the American League (AL) West division, having moved to the division in 2013 after spending their first 51 seasons in the National League (NL).The Astros were established as the Houston Colt .45s and entered the National League as an expansion team in 1962 along with the New York Mets. The current name, reflecting Houston's role as the host of the Johnson Space Center, was adopted three years later, when they moved into the Astrodome, the first domed sports stadium and the so-called "eighth wonder of the world." The Astros moved to a new stadium called Minute Maid Park in 2000.The Astros played in the NL West division from 1969 to 1993, then the NL Central division from 1994 to 2012, before being moved to the AL West as part of a minor realignment in 2013. The Astros posted their first winning record in 1972 and made the playoffs for the first time in 1980. The team made its first World Series appearance in 2005 as an NL team, only to be swept by the Chicago White Sox. The team embraced sabermetrics and new technologies in the 2010s, transforming from a tanking 100-loss team into a powerhouse. The Astros won the 2017 World Series, their first championship, against the Los Angeles Dodgers in seven games in the wake of Hurricane Harvey. They returned to the World Series in 2019, losing to the Washington Nationals in seven games. On January 13, 2020, Astros manager A. J. Hinch and general manager Jeff Luhnow were suspended by MLB for one year after an investigation confirmed sign stealing by the Astros during their 2017 World Series campaign; both men were fired by the team shortly thereafter.
The Kansas City Royals are an American professional baseball team based in Kansas City, Missouri. They compete in Major League Baseball (MLB) as a memberThe Kansas City Royals are an American professional baseball team based in Kansas City, Missouri. They compete in Major League Baseball (MLB) as a member team of the American League (AL) Central division. The team was founded as an expansion franchise in 1969, and has participated in four World Series, winning in 1985 and 2015, and losing in 1980 and 2014. The name "Royals" pays homage to the American Royal, a livestock show, horse show, rodeo, and championship barbeque competition held annually in Kansas City since 1899 as well as the identical names of two former negro league baseball teams that played in the first half of the 20th century (one a semi-pro team based in Kansas City in the 1910s and 1920s that toured the Midwest and a California Winter League team based in Los Angeles in the 1940s that was managed by Chet Brewer and included Satchel Paige and Jackie Robinson on its roster). The Los Angeles team had personnel connections to the Monarchs but could not use the Monarchs name. The name also fits into something of a theme for other professional sports franchises in the city, including the Kansas City Chiefs of the NFL, the former Kansas City Kings of the NBA, and the former Kansas City Monarchs of the Negro National League. In 1968, the team held a name-the-team contest that received more than 17,000 entries. Sanford Porte, a bridge engineer from the suburb of Overland Park, Kansas was named the winner for his “Royals” entry. His reason had nothing to do with royalty. “Kansas City’s new baseball team should be called the Royals because of Missouri’s billion-dollar livestock income, Kansas City’s position as the nation’s leading stocker and feeder market and the nationally known American Royal parade and pageant,” Porte wrote. The team's board voted 6–1 on the name, with the only opposition coming from team owner Ewing Kauffman, who eventually changed his vote and said the name had grown on him.Entering the American League in 1969 along with the Seattle Pilots, the club was founded by Kansas City businessman Ewing Kauffman. The franchise was established following the actions of Stuart Symington, then-United States Senator from Missouri, who demanded a new franchise for the city after the Athletics (Kansas City's previous major league team that played from 1955 to 1967) moved to Oakland, California in 1968. Since April 10, 1973, the Royals have played at Kauffman Stadium, formerly known as Royals Stadium. The new team quickly became a powerhouse, appearing in the playoffs seven times from 1976 to 1985, winning one World Series championship and another AL pennant, led by stars such as Amos Otis, Hal McRae, John Mayberry, George Brett, Frank White, Willie Wilson, and Bret Saberhagen. The team remained competitive throughout the early 1990s, but then had only one winning season from 1995 to 2012. For 28 consecutive seasons (1986–2013), the Royals did not qualify to play in the MLB postseason, one of the longest postseason droughts during baseball's current wild-card era. The team broke this streak in 2014 by securing the franchise's first wild card berth and advancing to the 2014 World Series, where they lost to the San Francisco Giants in seven games. The Royals followed this up by winning the team's first AL Central division title in 2015 and defeating the New York Mets in five games in the 2015 World Series to win their first World Series championship in 30 seasons.