KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- Alex Gordon was at third base, representing the tying run with two out in the ninth inning of Game 7 of the 2014 World Series.
"This group, ever since that pop up was caught by Pablo over there, this has been on our minds," said first baseman Eric Hosmer of getting back to the World Series.
The Royals get another chance for redemption. They held off the Blue Jays 4-3 on Friday night to win their second straight American League Championship.
The 2015 World Series begins Tuesday at Kauffman Stadium.
Hosmer's eighth inning single scored Lorenzo Cain from first base with what turned out to be the winning run.
"The ultimate goal is to win a world championship," Hosmer said. "Obviously, we had to go through this first. We knew that was going to be a tough team over there, against Toronto, but we gave it our all as a team. Everyone was all in. We picked each other up. We got timely hitting. We got timely pitching. We just played great team baseball."
Hall of Famer George Brett said last year the Royals "shocked a lot of people" in make the World Series.
"This year I don't think we shocked people," Brett said. "They're saying we've got a great team. Before the season started everybody said 'oh, they're going to come in fourth in a five team division.' For what reason, I don't know. We got a lot of experience last year playing in the playoffs and it's carried over.
"To win those two elimination games against Houston and then doing what they did against Toronto... I mean Toronto's a heck of a baseball team."
Royals manager Ned Yost has managed 18 postseason victories.
"From the first day of spring training, we expected to be here," Yost said.