By Ashley Dunkak

It has a familiar ring to it by now, the most compelling part of the latest story about how the Kansas City Royals won their latest postseason game.

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In Game 5 of the World Series, the game that sealed for Kansas City its first championship since 1985, the Royals came from behind to win…

… just as they did in Game 4 of the World Series …

… just as they did in Game 2 of the World Series …

… just as they did in Game 1 of the World Series …

… just as they did in Game 2 of the ALCS …

… just as they did in Game 5 of the ALDS …

… just as they did in Game 4 of the ALDS …

… just as they did in Game 2 of the ALDS.

Before the World Series commenced, an article for CBS New York about what the Mets should expect from the Royals included the following notice:

“The Royals trait that should worry the Mets the most is the same one that Kansas City displayed in its wild-card game for the ages last season: like zombies, the Royals simply refuse to die. You might think you knocked them out, but it is likely just a matter of time before they rise again and hunt you down.”

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As the unwavering Wade Davis struck out Wilmer Flores looking for the last out of the 12th inning Sunday night, fireworks boomed in Kansas City and the surrounding suburbs. Bottles of champagne were opened with joyful abandon.

Fans made tearful calls to the post-game show on the team’s flagship radio station, celebrating the ultimate return to greatness for a franchise that too often the last three decades has been a laughingstock, one that often fielded 90-plus-loss teams.

Thousands waited for hours at Academy Sports and other such stores, at one location standing in lines that wound around the outside of the building and then throughout the inside. At a store in Olathe, Kansas, a staff member said they were expecting between 3,000 and 5,000 fans to appear in an inspired search for championship gear. Chants of “Let’s go, Royals!” broke out in line, and one man even handed out beers to fellow fans waiting to get inside the building to select their shirts and hats.

For so many people, the 2015 team was worth the wait. No matter what the odds, the Royals never backed down. Kansas City got its final victory Sunday by scoring two runs in the ninth, its first ones of the game, and letting loose with five runs in the 12th inning. Before the ninth, the situation looked grim.

Indeed, history would indicate that the chances of a Royals rally were dismal. Only the 1939 Yankees and 1929 A’s had conquered two-run deficits in the ninth inning or later in a World Series-clinching game, per the Elias Sports Bureau.

That did not matter to the Royals. This was the same group that won seven postseason games in which it trailed by multiple runs — two more such games than any team had ever won in a single postseason, according to Elias. This group is also the first ever to win, in a single World Series, three games in which it trailed in the eighth or later. Kansas City simply defied all norms, throughout its campaign to “take the crown.”

According to Fangraphs, the Royals won seven postseason games in which the win probabilities were as follows: 18 percent, 1 percent, 25 percent, 8 percent, 10 percent, 16 percent and 5 percent.

The Astros, the Blue Jays and the Mets all had their chances against the Royals, but ultimately lost. Kansas City had an unbeatable combination: a formidable bullpen that rarely yielded runs and a lineup that almost always scratched out whatever it needed in those same late innings.

The Royals scored 51 of their 90 runs this postseason in the seventh inning or later. The team’s collective batting average in that span was .325, and its on-base percentage was .392. On the other side, Kansas City pitchers allowed only 11 runs this postseason from the seventh inning on.

Before the season, Baseball Prospectus projected the Royals would win 72 games. This is a good reminder that while baseball loves its statistics, none of them can truly measure a team’s heart, grit or soul. Then again, the late-inning postseason numbers do a serviceable job of showing the relentlessness of a group that made it all the way to the World Series last year and then worked all year to return and to prove the first trip was no fluke.

Not only did the Royals seal their place in history as the best team in the world in 2015, they cemented themselves as one of the best comeback teams the game has ever seen. Kansas City did something special, and it will not soon be forgotten.

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Originally from the Kansas City area, Ashley spent the last two years in Detroit covering the Lions, Tigers, Red Wings and Pistons – and some Michigan and Michigan State – as the sports writer for CBS Detroit. She previously spent three years as a correspondent for the Associated Press, covering football and basketball at Kansas State. She grew up watching the Chiefs and the Royals, but her soon-to-be husband is the true Royals devotee. The light-hearted argument over where to put the bobbleheads in the new apartment has already begun.