Sep 14, 2013; Detroit, MI, USA; Kansas City Royals catcherSalvador Perez
(13) tags Detroit Tigers first basemanPrince Fielder
(28) out at home for the final out in the ninth inning at Comerica Park. Kansas City won 1-0. Mandatory Credit: Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports
Being a Royals fan who is nowhere near the Kansas City area, it has typically been difficult to acquire Royals gear. Thankfully, the internet has made such an undertaking less of a chore, but living in the midst of Red Sox Nation, I still get odd looks when wandering into jersey stores looking for Royals items. Yet, given my unfortunate track record when it comes to getting Royals jerseys and shirts, this may have actually been a bonus for the Royals.
The first Royals jersey I purchased was a throwback Dan Quisenberry jersey that I had to custom order. I had gotten my first job out of high school, and saved up the money to be able to purchase a jersey of my favorite player when I discovered baseball. The jersey came in sometime in the middle of August, and within two months, Quisenberry died due to a brain tumor. He had been sick for some time, so the timing was just coincidence.
It took some time for me to get my next Royals shirt. A couple of friends and I ended up taking a 25 hour road trip to go to Kansas City in late May of 2009, where we saw the Royals take on the Indians for the final two games of their series in Kauffman Stadium before following them to St. Louis as they took on the Cardinals. I purchased a Mark Teahen shirt, as I liked his versatility and willingness to play wherever the Royals needed him. Then, after the 2009 season concluded, Teahen was traded for Chris Getz and Josh Fields. Since then, Teahen as struggled with injuries and has not appeared in the majors since 2011.
That same year, I received a Zack Greinke jersey as a Christmas gift. He had just won the Cy Young award, and had put together what may have been the best season ever among Kansas City starters. The following year he struggled, going 10-14 with a 4.17 ERA before being traded to Milwaukee along with Yuniesky Betancourt in exchange for Lorenzo Cain, Alcides Escobar and prospects. Three jerseys or shirts, and three players who departed from the Royals within a year. Can this still be coincidence?
This year, while ordering Royals shirts for my four year old twins for Christmas, I could not help myself. I ordered another Royals shirt, this time one of Salvador Perez. Given his youth and team friendly contract, one would think that he is going to remain a member of the Royals for a long time to come. After all, no one trades a young catcher who may already be the best in the American League at the start of a team friendly extension, right?
Given my track record with Royals shirts and jerseys, as unthinkable as such a deal may be, it is not outside the realm of possibility. Likewise, injuries could strike down Perez, leaving it where he is unable to further what has the makings of the potentially excellent career that may be before him. As I sit here wearing that shirt, my gift to myself this year, I promise that should either situation occur this year, I will not purchase another Royals player shirt again.
However, just in case something does happen this year to Salvador Perez, I would like to apologize in advance. Hopefully, with this being the season of forgiving, whatever transgressions I committed against the Royals will be forgiven and Perez can go on to the type of career we all want him to have in Kansas City.