The Kansas City Royals are a Major League Baseball (MLB) franchise based in Kansas City, Missouri. They play in the American LeagueCentral division. The first game of the new baseball season for a team is played on Opening Day, and being named the Opening Day starter is an honor, which is often given to the player who is expected to lead the pitching staff that season, though there are various strategic reasons why a team's best pitcher might not start on Opening Day. The Kansas City Royals have used 21 different Opening Daystarting pitchers in their 45 seasons. The 21 starters have a combined Opening Day record of 11 wins, 20 losses and 14 no decisions. No decisions are only awarded to the starting pitcher if the game is won or lost after the starting pitcher has left the game.
The Kansas City Royals began to play in 1969. Wally Bunker was the Royals’ first Opening Day starting pitcher on April 18, 1969 against the Minnesota Twins. The Royals have played in two home ball parks. They played in Municipal Stadium from 1969 through 1972. They played three Opening Day games at Municipal Stadium, winning twice and losing once. The Royals’ starting pitchers received no decisions in both of the wins, leaving their record in Opening Day starts at Municipal Stadium no wins, one loss and two no decisions. They moved to Royals Stadium, which was subsequently renamed Kauffman Stadium, 1973. They have played 19 Opening Day games there, and their starting pitchers have seven wins and eight losses with four no decisions. This makes their record at home in Opening Day games seven wins and nine losses with six no decisions. In Opening Day games on the road, their starting pitchers have a record of four wins and eleven losses with eight no decisions.
Black, who has two wins as an Opening Day starting pitcher, is the only Royals pitcher who has won more than one Opening Day start. Black had a record in Opening Day starts of 2–1. Only two Royals pitchers had more than one loss in Opening Day starts, Kevin Appier with four losses and Dennis Leonard with three.
The Royals played in the World Series in 1980, 1985 and 2014 World Series, winning in 1985. Leonard, Black and Shields were the Opening Day starting pitchers in 1980, 1985 and 2014, respectively, when the Royals played in the World Series, and they had a combined Opening Day record of 1–1 with one no decision.