Salvador Perez celebrates the Royals’ sweep of the Baltimore Orioles in the American League Championship Series. (Charlie Riedel/Associated Press)

The path the Royals took to hosting Kansas City’s first World Series game since 1985, which they will do Tuesday night, appears at first glance to be entirely original. They stumbled through the summer, snuck into the playoffs, survived a zany play-in game, started rolling nothing but 7s and 11s through the playoffs and swept into the World Series, where they meet a recent champion that also happens to be one of baseball’s crown-jewel franchises. When does that ever happen?

The thing about baseball is, everything new has probably happened before. In 2007, the Colorado Rockies stood at 76-72 on Sept. 15. They finished 13-1, earning an 89-73 regular-season record and a tie for the NL wild card with the San Diego Padres. They fell behind by two runs in the top of the 13th, but in the bottom of the inning, Matt Holliday ripped a two-run triple. On Jamey Carroll’s fly to left field, Holliday bolted home, slid head-first and, on a controversial call, scored the winning run; only Holliday may know for certain if he touched the plate. The underdog Rockies swept the Phillies in the NLDS and then the Diamondbacks in the NLCS. In the span a month, a flawed team became a juggernaut.

Does that sound familiar? The Royals were 48-50 on July 21. Their 36-20 tear led to an 89-73 finish, enough to host the wild card game. The Royals trailed the A’s by four runs in the eighth inning, only to topple ace Jon Lester, stage a stunning comeback and dump the bewildered A’s into winter. They swept the top-seeded Angels in the first round, then brushed …read more