I have spent the majority of my life in Kansas. I have also spent the majority of my life as a huge sports fan. My fanships (is that a word?) ranges from football to baseball to basketball. Baseball, however, has always been my favorite sport so it should be a given that Kansas City is my favorite team. But that is not the case.
In 1998 we visited my uncle Brian in St. Louis. I had been watching the homerun race between Mark McGwire and Sammy Sosa and we were going to a St. Louis game while visiting. Kaufman stadium in Kansas City had been a frequented place for me but this was the first time ever going to a different ballpark. It’s an experience I’ll never forget.
I remember the crimson red wave that swept over the stadium. I remember the roar of the crowd when Mark McGwire stepped up to the plate and belted one of his 70 homeruns that season. I remember the smell of beer that wafted through the rafters of the stadium pinpointing exactly why it’s called Busch stadium (or, you know, Busch owns the stadium and the Busch factory is literally right down the street). It was an experience I will never forget and it’s the reason why St. Louis holds such a strong place in my heart. Kansas City is still a favorite. I still root for them any chance provided. I will wear the royal blue and hope for their success against any team in the MLB…except St. Louis. I had spent many hours in Kaufman stadium watching the Royals win and lose but I continued to support them. The Cardinals have always been fairly successful and that does not alter my reasons for liking them so don’t think I’m a bandwagoner. Those few small memories from Busch stadium, memories of smell, sights, and sounds, will always hold true in my heart.
I was privileged enough to witness the Cardinals take the 2006 World Series championship (after a humiliating sweep by Boston in ’04) and then again in 2011. They fell short last year, losing to Boston once again. This year seemed hopeful as they clinched the NL Central division and Boston was nowhere to be seen. Tonight, unfortunately, spelled the end for my Cardinals. San Francisco pulled some amazing plays and game ending homeruns to finish off the Cards.
However, a beast waits for them in the City of Fountains. That Royal blue stands strong, undefeated in the postseason. Kansas City has never seen the playoffs in my lifetime and this is their first World Series in 29 years. Kings of the American League await San Fran for a showdown that’s sure to cement one teams’ legacy in the annals of MLB history. Blood flowing through my veins has suddenly become blue with Royal pride. Good luck, Giants, you’re definitely going to need it.