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Kansas City Royals
Four years after playing in old Kansas City Municipal Stadium, Royals Stadium opened up on April 10th 1973, with a Royals win over the relatively new Texas Rangers who had moved the year earlier from Washington D.C.. It would be an exciting year at Royals Stadium as Nolan Ryan came to town in May and threw the first of his 7 no-hitters at the new ballpark. Beautiful new Royals Stadium would also host its first ever (and so far only) All-Star game as the world's baseball spotlight shown brightly on the ballpark. As for attendance, Municipal Stadium which had continued to draw well below the 1 Million mark, even with the Royals now firmly in place (only 700,000 in 1972!), opened to the tune of 1,345,000 fans in 1973... the highest ever since the Athletics 1st season in K.C. ushering in Major League Baseball to Kansas City in 1955 (1,394,000). The Royals were well on their way and actually had an excellent team for their inaugural 1973 season at Royals Stadium. The lineup had some powerful punch in the 4 & 5 slots from John Mayberry (20 2B, 26 HR, 100 RBI, .278) and Amos Otis (21 2B, 26 HR, 93 RBI, .300). Little Freddie Patek (.234 and 34 SB) stood all of 5'4" but provided excellent range at short along with some speed on the bases. Lou Pinella (28 2B, .250) and Cookie Rojas (29 2B .276) hit a few doubles in front of Otis and Mayberry to stir things up, and Paul Splittorff came into his own on the mound by winning 20 games, going 20-11 with a 3.98 ERA.