Let’s Go Royals!

My family at the K - game 3 of the ALCS

Okay, this post has nothing to do with keeping Kosher on a Budget, but hey, it’s my blog — and my team has made it to GAME 7 OF THE WORLD SERIES!

I’ve been rooting for the Royals for a very long time — nearly four decades. Since 1986, we have had no (none, zero, zilch) playoff berths. The last time the Royals saw a game in October was 1985, when they won the I-70 World Series against the Cardinals.

For the past 29 years, we took our wins where we could get them, and accepted our many defeats with more grace than most. Kansas City fans know that rooting for a perennially losing team builds character; the misery bonds you to your neighbors in strange and wonderful ways.

My son on the Jumbotron at the K

For the past six  years, my family lived in Kansas City and my children grew up on Royals baseball. (That’s my middle child on the JumboTron during a game this past July. And below is his older brother on the Jumbotron two years ago, with Slugger, the Royals Mascot.)

On the Jumbo Tron with Slugger

We’ve been to countless games over the years. Four out of the five of us have even celebrated our birthdays at the K. (The below picture is of my five year old, on her most recent birthday, with the ball her brothers caught for her during batting practice.)

My daughter with the ball she caugt at batting practice on her birthday

“Four out of five”, because our middle child has an October birthday — and, well, until this year, the Royals just didn’t play October ball.

For years, that child had been asking us, “If the Royals make it to the Playoffs, can you take me to a game for my birthday?” And we all just chuckled at the improbability of that ever happening. (This is the sign from outside the Royals Hall of Fame at the K, but the fact that it says “ha” in the picture juxtaposes perfectly with us chuckling, don’t you think?!)

My daughter's 5th birthday at the K

But this year — the year that we moved to Cleveland! — our Boys in Blue made it to the Playoffs! In fact, they didn’t just make it, they killed it! They won eight straight games in the playoffs, the longest such run in MLB history.

The Royals came from behind in a spectacular Wild Card victory against the As with a walk-off homer in the 12th inning. Then they beat the Angels — the team with the best record in baseball — in three straight. The night of that third victory, my husband turned to me and said, “Should we go to Kansas City for the ALCS?!”

Welcome to the ALCS

The Royals went on to crush the Baltimore Orioles in four straight… and at game 3 of the ALCS, our 9 year-old got his wish!

Yes, we drove to Kansas City on Sunday of Chol HaMoed Sukkot to visit family and friends, and, let’s face it, to go to Game 3! (It was supposed to be Game 4 — the clincher — but a rain delay caused the whole series to be pushed back and Game 4 was played on Erev Sukkot.)

Our Seat at Game 3 of the ALCS

We had standing room only seats behind the third base foul line. For five hours (we got there early to secure our “front of the line” standing room position!), we were one with every other fan in blue at that game. It was truly one of the most incredible experiences of my life — and best of all, I got to share it with the important men in my life: my sons, my husband and my father!

Boys in Blue

The Game 3 win was humble – 3 to 2 – but electrifying at the same time, as evidenced by the last out of the game at the top of the 9th.

The first six games of this World Series against the Giants have been an emotional roller coaster. We were down, we were up!, we were down (and darn near despondent)… and then last night, in a jaw-dropping performance, our Royals came roaring back to force Game 7 with a crushing 10-0 victory.

It’s all on the line tonight. And while I hope beyond hope that Jeremy Guthrie can pull one more W out of his glove, I remain, regardless of the outcome, so very grateful for the ride. (Here’s my oldest with Guthrie last year at on-field batting practice.)

Batting Practice with Jeremy Guthrie

For the last three weeks, Royals fans everywhere have had a bit of fairy dust sprinkled into our lives. We’ve woken up each cold fall morning to another magical day in this march for the championship. What this run has done for Kanas City is indescribable. We are all grateful beyond words to our Boys in Blue.

Just one more game, guys. Let’s Go Royals!!!

Comments

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Comments

  1. As a sad yankees fan, it kinda kills me to say this, but I’m excited for you! There’s such an awesome feeling when your team wins the world series…I hope you get to experience it!

  2. As an avid baseball fan, I loved your post on the Royals! I loved the way you expressed your excitement for the World Series and the energy you feel when your team is playing in October. As a loyal Cardinal fan (although I live in NJ now) I know the feeling well. Enjoy game 7 and I hope the Royals win!

    • Mara Strom says:

      Thanks so much, Mindy! I was kind of hoping for a re-match of the I-70 Series 🙂 Better luck to us both next time!

  3. My friend Julie’s husband wrote this beautiful article, which brought me to tears, about their daughter Ilana and the Kansas City Royals: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/jeremy-krashin/my-daughters-passing-and-the-kansas-city-royals_b_5990814.html

  4. I’m a huge Oriole fan so in jealous that your team got to go to the World Series and mine didn’t. It’s amazing that you got to go with your family to the playoff game and see the Royals win. Sorry they had to lose tonight. There’s always next year!

    • Mara Strom says:

      Thanks so much, Frayda! I love that “always next year” sentiment. You know, I lived in DC for two years, before there were the Nationals, and we went to many Orioles games. I love Camden Yards – such a beautiful ball park. <3

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