There was no hope that the Royals would ever be a playoff contender. Every time we would get All-Star caliber players we traded them away for prospects that just never seemed to pan out. I watched guys like Carlos Beltran, Johnny Damon, Jermaine Dye, and Zach Grienke all leave KC via trades, and as they left any small glimmer of hope that us Royals fans had seemed to leave as well. Most kids growing up picked teams like the Cardinals, Red Sox, and Yankees as their favorite team, well, because those actually won. While our expectations for success were never there, I always cheered for my Royals.
There were so many amazing, unforgettable moments. The wildcard game against the A's where we were down by 4 with only 5 outs remaining, only to send the game to extras and then come back AGAIN in the 12th to win. The extra inning home run by Moose in game one of the ALDS. The extra inning home run by Hoz the very next night. Sweeping the team with the best record in the bigs to win the ALCS and then sweeping the O's to win the American League Pennant. That 8-0 stretch seriously felt like a dream. It was difficult to sense the reality of the situation: that the Kansas City Royals were going to the World Series!
All of these moments made this last month extremely memorable, but what I will remember most is how this city just absolutely took to baseball. After the 3 consecutive extra inning games to start the post season it almost seemed like the entire city was hungover. What I mean by that is everybody was just exhausted from the late night, emotionally draining games; but at the same time not a single person complained about their tiredness.
After every post season win there would be fireworks going off in nearby neighborhoods. There were tents set up on the side of the road selling Royals playoff t-shirts and merchandise. "Let's Go Royals" chants echoed everywhere! I attended Late Night in the Phog at KU's Allen Fieldhouse and multiple times the crowd loudly burst into the Royals chant. I saw video of Arrowhead Stadium (where the Chiefs play) and the same thing happened. I'm serious when I say this: the whole city was blue. Days after the Royals won the ALCS I stopped at a really busy gas station to fill my car up. I remember looking around and noticing everybody, no joke-EVERYBODY, was wearing either a Royals shirt or a Royals hat. I had never seen anything like that before. Downtown KC illuminated blue. Fountains were blue. The excitement and buzz that encompassed this city really can't be explained unless you were here to witness it.
Thank you, Royals, for reviving baseball in Kansas City. Thank you for the amazing run and the unforgettable memories. Thank you for taking the crown!