Last year I had the pleasure of attending the American League Wild Card game.
The crazy game where the Kansas City Royals were down 3-7 and came back to win in the 12th inning 9-8. This is also the game where I lost my voice and the game where I fell hard for baseball, again. The day I became a Forever Royal.
I’ve been a baseball fan since I was a little kid. The atmosphere of the stadium, walking through the tunnel and getting your first glimpse of the field with the pristine green grass. The crack of the bat, the players diving for catches, the triple plays and even off-the-field activities like vendors throwing peanuts a long distance to someone who passes their money down a row or high-fiving the strangers around you after a great play.
Baseball stadiums are like going to a family reunion. You might not know the people around you, but you are all there for one thing, to have a good time. I also like to people watch as much as I like to watch the game. It’s fun to see the little kids smacking their fist in a glove just hoping for a foul ball. The look on their face says they know that ball is coming to them and they will catch it.
I’m sure this summer, little boys and girls are going to be out on the field in Little League imagining themselves making that sliding dive in the outfield just like Alex Gordon or Lorenzo Cain. Or sacrificing their bodies into the visitor’s dugout like Mike Moustakas did into the third base field suite.
Over the last few years, I knew a handful of the Royals players’ names but not very many. After attending the AL Wild Card game, I started paying attention to the Royals stats. I carried on conversations about the Royals with strangers while standing in line at the grocery store. I actually watched the games on TV. I haven’t watched an entire baseball game on TV since I was probably 12.
Then I got a call from my husband that I thought I would never receive. A call that took me back to my childhood. A call that allowed me to check an item off my bucket list. “Do you want to go to Game Six of the World Series?” Did I want to go? Did that even have to be asked?
I’ve always wanted to attend the World Series and to have four games in Kansas City made it even more special. Just to attend one game and a game where the Royals won 10-0 to stay in the chase for the title, made it that much better.
This is what I like about the Kansas City Royals: The players don’t act like superstars that fans can’t approach. The players have embraced their fans and the City of Kansas City. That was obvious when some of them showed up at the Power & Light District after a game and paid for drinks. They tweet about their favorite places for breakfast while eating. They are active in the community by coaching their child’s sports team and leading Sunday school lessons at their local church.
Then there is Salvador Perez. I follow Perez on Instagram and all the videos he posts with his teammates, especially Cain, humanize the team. It shows how they are a family and how much they get along. It shows their personalities. It shows how they are a bunch of young guys doing what they love, playing baseball.
As opening day (April 6) draws closer, I look forward to attending a game or two or three or four. I know lots of fans, like me, can’t wait for the 2015 season to begin. It’s apparent by the record amount of season tickets that have been purchased. I hope the Royals have a successful 2015 season and at least make it to the playoffs. And if they don’t, that’s okay, I will enjoy watching a team doing something they love and I will always be a Forever Royals fan.
Until next time…enjoy the view from your passenger seat