The Kansas City Royals
This small-market team had suffered decades of futility since their come-from-behind 1985 World Series victory. But after a few years of being sportswriters' hot "team to watch out for" candidate, the Royals finally lived up to their promise, making the playoffs for the first time in 29 years. Producing one of the great Octobers in recent memory, they kicked things off with a wild comeback victory in the Wild Card Game and then knocked off the favored Los Angeles Angels and Baltimore Orioles before falling to the San Francisco Giants in a tense seven-game World Series. Here's hoping it doesn't take another 29 years to return to the postseason.