Royals end longest active playoff drought

AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh

Alcides Escobar, Eric Hosmer and the Royals are in the playoffs for the first time since 1985.The Kansas City Royals beat the White Sox 3-1 on Friday, to clinch the team's first postseason appearance since winning the World Series in 1985.

Longest MLB Playoff Droughts
Entering 2014

Kansas City ended the longest active playoff drought in any of the major North American leagues. The Blue Jays now have the longest current streak of playoff absences, going 21 straight seasons, counting 2014.

A new experience

Of the 36 players on the Royals active roster, only 15 were alive when Kansas City previously made the playoffs, including three of Friday's starting hitters (Nori Aoki, Alex Gordon, Omar Infante).

The postseason will be a new experience for most of the team. Only five active Royals have previous playoff experience: Infante, Wade Davis, Raul Ibanez, Jayson Nix and James Shields.

One of a kind

The Royals made the postseason with a unique offensive profile. Barring an unprecedented offensive explosion in the season's final two games, the Royals will finish last in the majors in both walks and home runs.

They'll be the sixth playoff team that finished last in walks and the eighth playoff team that was last in home runs. But Kansas City is the first team ever to reach the postseason when finishing last in the majors in both categories.

The Royals batters are also last in MLB in strikeouts, and they put the ball in play on 43 percent of their swings, the highest rate in the majors.

It's been a while

While the Royals may host at least a wild-card game, they shouldn't fear hitting the road. With two games left, Kansas City has won 46 road games this season, third-most in team history and most since 1980, when the Royals reached the World Series after setting the team record with 48 road wins.

Kansas City has won 88 games this season, the most for the franchise since 1989.