Friday, October 31, 2014

Yes Jack, There is Crying in Baseball

"Are you crying?"

There was no doubt as to what was coming next, no use hiding my overly emotional, third out, Wild Card game over face.

"There's no crying in baseball."

Of course there is. There is crying at the All Star Game, crying at the MLB Thank You Fans commercials and crying when faced with the destruction down the street at Wrigley Field.

It's the same conversation, now happening in the context of the World Series, "it's a business Allyson, things have changed".

This from the man who grew up in Nebraska, the land of no professional sports, where team loyalty is dictated by the color red and where players, by design, are only allowed four years before they are shipped elsewhere. This is not a man who appreciates Frank White, or Ernie Banks, or Ted Williams, beyond batting averages and on base percentages. This is not a man who grew up with a hometown baseball team and memories of the family who loved them. This is someone who says he's a baseball fan, adopting the team nearest as his own. But this is someone who, after the sweep of the Baltimore Orioles, looked over to me and said, "Yep, I'm a Royals fan".
Lorenzo Cain Does Everthain

It was easy to get on board. My children, who attended their very first game at the age of one month and who can hear the roar of the Wrigley bleachers from the back deck, finally found, in this post season, a team that made them want to learn how to score a game. These children who have, for 10 years, confused fouls, strikes, and balls, now analyze the batting order and question why Perez was moved up two spots in game five. They do well playing their father's favorite game time challenge, "should you send the runner?" and woke up sadly disappointed Thursday morning, frustrated that their parents made them go to bed before the last out of the last game, to find that their heroes came in second in the most exciting post season a Royals fan had seen in years.

For me there is no comfort in the adage, heard in constantly in our neighborhood, "wait until next year". This year was just enough and I'm not ready to close the book on this wonderful season by looking to the next. Winning it all would have been amazing but making it to the Wild Card game was reason enough for me to be happy. I'm a product of the George Brett years, when the Royals battled the Yankees year after year for the American League title. I learned about stolen bases when Willie Randolph was on second and Reggie Jackson was batting, and I looked to Hal MacRae and Willie Wilson to save the day. I grew up expecting the Royals to be a winning team and usually they complied. The slow build to a pennant race this year was unexpected and glorious. It was enough, enough to make me cry.

If you know me you know I grew up in Kansas City. You also know I love cardigan sweaters and pearls but essential to who I am now is the first place I called home. Sharing that hometown has been wonderful, and sharing my baseball team, the one I learned to love from the front porch of my great grandmother's Plaza apartment, has been amazing.

No Royal bobbled the ball in the outfield to put a runner on third in the bottom of the 9th. They may not have won but they played great baseball. Thanks for an excellent season, it was fun to watch.


Nellie said...

We watched the games on TV! I'm a baseball fan from childhood, though it is difficult to find an interesting game to watch these days until the All-Star game and the World Series. The Royals did so well, and we were disappointed here. Hoping for next year now!

Kay G. said...

It really was a shame that the Royals lost, they really and truly played so well.

Still, you should be proud that they came so close to winning the World Series. I am from Atlanta and the BRAVES were just crap this year! :-)


Related Posts with Thumbnails