The Kansas City Royals, the defending American League West champions, in the midst of a terrible batting slump that had produced only a .175 average over the last six games, resorted to the ancient Egyptian practice of "pyramid power" in an effort to snap a four-game losing streak. It worked.
Royals' manager Whitey Herzog received several plastic pyramids in the mail Friday and had coach Steve Boros disperse them around the locker room and the bench area. Three players - George Brett, Darrell Porter and Jim Colborn - even wore them on their heads during batting practice.
Whether it was superstitious nonsense or plain ol' black magic, it received in the Royals breathing their slump with an 11-hit attack that produced a 3-2 victory over the Texas Rangers.
The theory behind the pyramid practice is that all the forces of good energy are concentrated into the pyramids and, that by sitting over, or near them, a person will benefit from their power.
Dave Nelson, a reserve infielder with the Royals, has used the pyramids for the past two years on his plants at his offseason home in Fort Worth, Tex., and swears by their magic.
"I know they work on plants," he said before the game, "and if they work on this team, we'll probably all get them."
Nelson turned out to be the hero for the Royals when his ninth-inning single drove home Fred Patek with the winning run. Nelson's hit came off Bert Blyleven and ended a personal string of six straight victories by Blyleven over the Royals.