Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Take Me Out to the Ball Game

I love the Royals. Always have, always will. It is no secret that I (s)cream for baseball players. That married to my love for all things Kansas City is the reason why I go to games season in and season out. FINALLY my patience and home town pride has paid off and I can take pride in that we are a decent team this year. Decent defined as, in the context of the previous sentence, not being last in our division and sustaining a sliver of hope for seeing playoff action.

Last night I went to my first game of the season and was delighted to be a part of the biggest crowd I've ever seen out at "The K" ("The K" is Kauffman Stadium for the one guy who reads this blog in New York). My dad scored a 4 pack of tickets to the "Budweiser Party Deck" which is the new, private party area behind Right Field. As the name implies, Budweiser and Bud Light flowed freely the entire night along with hot dogs and other food I didn't even bother looking at. (Quick question - how did my younger brother, Daniel, not get carded - but I did?).

Here's what happened the first 8 and 1/2 innings. We fell behind 5 to 2. Actually, "fell" implies being ahead at one point in time. Our best showing was when we were tied at 1 a piece early on.

So it came down to the bottom of the 9th. 1 out. We're down by 3. However - I never stopped believing. I told Daniel that I was gonna do just like Journey did and "Don't Stop... BELIEVING!!!! HOLD ON TO THAT FEEEeeeeeEEEEEELING!" I kept the faith alive. People started to filter out of the stadium but the drunk chick next to me (no, it wasn't Liz) and I kept chanting "Let's Go Royals! clap clap clappity clap!" louder and louder inbetween singing the Journey song.

And then Mike Jacobs hits a solo home run. Mass eruption! The crowd realizes that a 2 run deficit isn't nearly as bad as a 3 run deficit. Chants start. Clapping is slowy moving towards becoming unison across the stadium and my Royal Spirit is vindicated.

Mark Teahan hammers the ball for solo home run #2, which is puncuated by even LOUDER cheers and more fireworks.

Now we're only down by 1 run and Miguel Olivo is coming to bat. People are on their feet.

I had put on the free t-shirt they gave away at the top of the 9th, it had gotten chilly, but had only covered my arms with it. I turned to Daniel and said "I should put this all the way on and maybe that will help us win the game!" Daniel yells "Don't change it now woman! Keep doing whatever you're doing! It's WORKING!!!"

Olivo Walks.

1 out, we're down by one and the tying run is on first base.

DeJesus hits a triple to right field!!! Mitch Maier (Pinch Running for Olivo) busts ass, rounds the remaining bases and scores. The game is tied and the winning run is on third.

We're all going wild. The chants, the clapping, the cheering... it doesn't stop! E.V.E.R.Y.O.N.E is YELLING "LET's GO ROYALS!!!! CLAP CLAP CLAPPITY CLAP!!!!" My hands are turning red and becoming tender.

Willie BLoomquist hits it deeeeeeeeeeeeeeeep, but not deep enough. The Cleveland outfielder, Shin-Soo Choo, catches the fly ball for out number 2.... but DeJesus tagged up to third and began charging for home. The game, in that single moment, became a contest only to be settled between DeJesus' legs and this Korean guys arm. And everyone knew it. All the fans screamed, yelled, clapped, whistled, hooted and jumped up and down (or in my case, all of the above) in the BELIEF that our united voice would carry DeJesus' legs home and we would win.

Hard fought victory tastes so good.

I'm not about to say that the lone power of my undying belief in my Royals won the game for us, it was a team effort - DeJesus made it safely across home plate in a close play and the game was won by my Boys in Blue.

Oh, and - I never stopped believin'!

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