Kansas City ended a 30-year wait for a World Series title as the Royals reigned over Major League Baseball with a 7-2, 12-inning victory over the New York Mets on Sunday.
A pinch-hit single by utility infielder Christian Colon scored the go-ahead run off reliever Addison Reed in the 12th and the Royals added four more runs in the inning as they captured the best-of-seven series 4-1.
The visitors swarmed into the middle of the diamond in the hushed Citi Field in New York City for a celebration by the mound where closer Wade Davis had struck out the side to end it.
Catcher Salvador Perez was named Most Valuable Player of the Series after batting .364 with two RBIs, three runs scored and a .391 on-base average, and expertly handling a pitching staff that more than held their own against the vaunted Mets hurlers.
"It is unbelievable we feel like a family here and we knew we were going to do something special this year, I felt it in spring training," Perez said. "Now I don't feel pain, I don't feel nothing. I am ready to celebrate."
The Royals made it to the World Series last season, but fell to the San Francisco Giants in the seventh game.
They vowed 2015 would be different.
"During the regular season, the Royals resembled a freight train, barreling past their foes," wrote Andy McCullough in the Kansas City Star. "In the playoffs, they transformed into Ali in Zaire, luring opponents into a false sense of comfort, only to strike in the highest-leverage spots."
"The heart, the desire, and their competitiveness and their character showed through every single game," Kansas City manager Ned Yost said about his players who won Kansas City's first Series crown since their 1985 triumph against cross-state rivals the St. Louis Cardinals.
Matt Harvey, facing elimination in Game 5 of the World Series, pitched eight shutout innings. At the end of eighth, the crowd chanted “Harvey! Harvey!” hoping to see him come out to pitch the ninth, and the Mets ace ended the suspense when the bearded 26-year-old ran from the dugout to the mound to Citi Field cheers.
Kansas City, trailing 2-0, roared into the ninth and won 7- 2 in 12 innings.
The title-clinching victory was Kansas City's remarkable eighth come-from-behind win of the postseason.
"What they accomplished this year was nothing less than spectacular and very, very special," Yost said. "They just don't quit, they've got a lot of heart, they've got a lot of character and they never think they are going to lose."
Mets manager Terry Collins was gracious in a defeat that stung — the Mets have not won a World Series in 29 years.
"I congratulate the Royals. They played absolutely great," Collins said. "I just told the players, I've done this for a long, long time and this is the most fun I've ever had in all the years," said Collins, at age 66 is the oldest manager in the majors.
"I'm very, very proud of them."
Al Jazeera with wire services