Kansas City is a great baseball town. It’s the sort of place where failing to wear Royals gear on game day earns you some pointed stares. A place where the cheap seats are still cheap, and a night at the ballpark feels like a family reunion. Where 5-year-old girls can recite the team’s roster by jersey number. Where a kid walks around the corner to his favorite player’s house to hand-deliver a pep-talk note after a tough game—and the note is read in the locker room the next day.
In Kansas City, the Designated Hitter’s nickname is “Country Breakfast,” and you can find his personal barbecue sauce in the local grocery store. No, those aren’t boos you’re hearing, the fans are calling for third baseman Mike “Moooose!” Moustakas. And if you can’t make it to the game, keep your head down, because your neighbors will be launching bottle rockets from their backyard every time a run crosses the plate.
At least, that’s what mine do.
The fans are both loyal and patient. It’s been over 25 years since the Royals last made it into the postseason, when they won their lone World Series in seven games, but in all that time, the hometown crowd never gave up, never lost hope. Now, standing on the brink of glory in a second Game Seven, playing at home, the atmosphere is electric and the hunger palpable. There’s a sense of destiny that emerges in the slogans on t-shirts and hand-lettered signs: Take Back the Crown, Kan Do, Party Like It’s 1985.
Or, simply, I Believe.
Let’s go, Royals…there’s a young lady somewhere in that sea of blue and white who needs a puppy.
UPDATE: 30 Oct 14 – Ah, well, it wasn’t meant to be. Destiny perceived and destiny lived are often two very different things. Still, the Royals walk away with a fairytale season, an American League championship, and a seven-game World Series they lost by only one run, with a man on third at the bottom of the ninth. They played with skill, courage, and class. If you have to lose, there are worse ways.
Meanwhile, babies will continue to be born, and puppies will yet be adopted, and next year is another season. Well done, gentlemen.