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Yost Named to Royals HOF: ‘The Plan Worked Perfectly’


By Anne Rogers, Kansas City Royals


SURPRISE, Ariz. ( – The winningest manager in Royals history brought a World Series to Kansas City. Now, the Royals are presenting Ned Yost with the ultimate honor.

Yost has been voted into the Royals Hall of Fame, the team announced Thursday morning. He will become the 27th inductee during on-field ceremonies prior to the Royals’ Sept. 2 game against the Red Sox at Kauffman Stadium.

Yost, 68, found out about the election results when Royals officials called him while he was in his skid steer, working on his farm in Georgia.

“You sit back and look at everything we accomplished, and to be part of it was tremendous,” Yost said. “Even though I was a small part of it, I’m the one that reaps the benefits of it. I’m very honored for this to happen. It’s a great honor. One that I truly appreciate.”

Yost will forever be remembered for managing the Royals to two American League pennants and the 2015 World Series title, the team’s first championship in 30 years. He is the franchise all-time leader in managerial wins (746) and was the first manager to lead the Royals to consecutive World Series appearances.

The Royals named Yost, who had spent six years managing the Brewers, as their manager on May 13, 2010, replacing Trey Hillman. At the time, homegrown talents like Salvador PerezMike Moustakas and Eric Hosmer were developing in the Royals’ farm system. In 2013, Kansas City put together its first winning season (86-76) in a decade.

Those years were not an easy time to be a Royals fan, and Yost took a lot of heat early on in his tenure. His young players endured growing pains in the big leagues, but Yost stayed steady in his belief of the talent.

“I had, in my mind, a group of guys that I thought could be very competitive and could take us to the playoffs and eventually have a chance to win a championship,” Yost said. “My whole focus was doing whatever it took. And if it meant losing a game today because I didn’t pinch-hit for this kid right now, which would have meant we would have made 79 or 80 wins on the year, I couldn’t care less about that. It drove fans crazy. It drove [the media] crazy.

“But for me, my mindset was: I wanted to win a championship. And I was going to do everything that I could, take the heat, to give these guys the experience they needed. So when we got to that point, we could take off. Luckily for me, the plan worked perfectly.”

The 2014 Royals made the postseason for the first time in three decades. They were the first in Major League history to begin the postseason with eight consecutive victories, including a dramatic American League Wild Card Game against the A’s on Perez’s walk-off hit in the 12th inning. The Royals lost the World Series to the Giants in seven games that year, but they came back with a vengeance in 2015, beating the Mets in five games to bring Kansas City its first World Series title in 30 years.

“I knew at that point, and our team knew, that we could show up and win ballgames and that we were going to compete for a championship,” Yost said. “We knew how good we were, we knew what it took to win as a group. … That year was a lot of fun. It was a year where you woke up every day excited that you were going to show up at the ballpark and win ballgames.”

Yost retired after the 2019 season ranked 32nd all-time in games managed in MLB history with 2,544, three more than Hall of Fame manager Earl Weaver. Yost’s 1,203 managerial wins rank 45th all-time in MLB history.

Yost was elected in his first appearance on the ballot in a vote from Royals Hall of Fame members, the Hall of Fame executive board, members of the Kansas City Chapter of the Baseball Writers Association of America and the fans. He becomes the first inductee since 2015, and he is the first member of the 2014-15 championship teams to be honored.

To be eligible for the ballot, Royals alumni must have been active with the ballclub for at least three seasons and accumulated a minimum of 1,500 plate appearances or 300 innings pitched, or managed the equivalent of three full seasons. Eligible alumni can’t have been an active on-field member of the Royals (or for any other Major League organization) in the role for which they are being considered for at least three calendar years preceding the election. Eligible alumni need 75% of the vote to be elected; Yost received 88.2% of the votes.

Previous Royals Hall of Fame inductees include:
1986: Pitcher Steve Busby and Outfielder Amos Otis
1987: Manager Dick Howser, Second Baseman Cookie Rojas and Pitcher Paul Splittorff
1989: Pitcher Dennis Leonard and Designated Hitter Hal McRae
1992: Club President Joe Burke, Pitcher Larry Gura and Shortstop Fred Patek
1993: Owner Ewing Kauffman
1994: Third Baseman George Brett
1995: Second Baseman Frank White
1996: Royals First Lady Muriel Kauffman and first baseman John Mayberry
1998: Relief pitcher Dan Quisenberry
2000: Manager Whitey Herzog and outfielder Willie Wilson
2003: Pitcher Jeff Montgomery
2004: Radio Announcer Denny Matthews
2005: Pitcher Bret Saberhagen
2006: Pitcher Mark Gubicza
2008: Scout Art Stewart
2011: Pitcher Kevin Appier
2012: Groundskeeper George Toma
2015: First Baseman/DH Mike Sweeney