Lorenzo Cain, Matt Besler highlight Missouri Sports Hall of Fame 2023 class

KANSAS CITY, MO – OCTOBER 28: Lorenzo Cain #6 of the Kansas City Royals looks on prior to the second game of the 2015 World Series between the Royals and the New York Mets at Kauffman Stadium on October 28, 2015 in Kansas City, Missouri. (Photo by Tim Bradbury/Getty Images)

KANSAS CITY, Mo. – Some franchise legends for the Kansas City Royals and Sporting KC will go down in Missouri history.

Former Royals outfielder Lorenzo Cain and Sporting defenseman Matt Besler are three of 19 honorees selected for the Missouri Sports Hall of Fame class of 2023 in April.

Cain is fondly remembered for helping Kansas City win two American League pennants and the 2015 World Series. The midfielder played seven seasons for the Royals after being acquired in a trade with the Milwaukee Brewers.

Cain scored the decisive run in the 2015 American League Championship Series; He hit all the way from first base when Eric Hosmer hit the right field line. He also had a three-barrel doubles in the Decisive game of the 2015 World Seriesgiving the Royals their first title in 30 years.

In Kansas City, Cain batted .289 with 765 hits – including 56 home runs, 21 triples and 140 doubles. He also stole 120 bases and hit 308 runs. He was a 2015 American League All-Star and finished third in 2015 MVP voting. In doing so, he joined George Brett (MSHOF 1994) as the only royal to win a World Series and finish in the top three of MVP.

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Defensively, he also made breathtaking catches. In total, Cain played 13 seasons in the major leagues, including six with the Brewers.

Besler played 12 seasons for Sporting KC and has received numerous awards including Major League Soccer’s Best XI (2012, 2013), All-Star (2011, 2013-2016), Defender of the Year (2012), and Breakout Player of the Year (2012).

He is also MLS Cup Champion (2013) and three-time Lamar Hunt US Open Cup Champion (2012, 2015, 2017). Besler was named Sporting KC Defenseman of the Year four times (2011-2013, 2015) and was named KC Athlete of the Year in 2014 by the Kansas City Sports Commission.

At the time of Besler’s retirement, his 348 appearances, 337 starts and 30,397 minutes of play for Sporting in any competition are the most in club history. He earned 47 caps for the US men’s national team and attended the 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil. He is also a two-time CONCACAF Gold Cup Champion (2013, 2017).

The Blue Valley West product starred at Notre Dame in College, becoming the first player in program history to win a First Team All-American and First Team Academic All-American in the same season.

Carl Peterson, former executive director of the Kansas City Chiefs also receives the President’s Award.

Peterson, who was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2005, oversaw the Chiefs from 1989 to 2008.

In 2020 he flew to Springfield for the anchoring ceremonies and delivered the acceptance speech for the late Derrick Thomas.

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During his tenure as head of the Chiefs, Peterson built the team’s second golden era. His attitude of Coach Marty Schottenheimer led to 15 winning seasons, including nine playoff finishes, all by an overall record of 176-141-1. He also revived the fan base by supporting tailgating and making sure players were part of the community.

Overall, the Chiefs sold out 149 straight games from 1990 through 2008 and led the AFC in paid attendance every year during that period.

The rest of the honorees are track and field legend and Central High graduate Muna Lee, UMKC school career leader in 3-point team Michael Watson, 2003 William Jewell College women’s soccer team and local media figures Karen Kornacki and Blair Kerkhoff.

The full list and full details of the ceremony can be viewed here.

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