The last time the Kansas City Royals made the playoffs, I was six years old. I had just casually started to follow the sport, and was fascinated to see how Dan Quisenberry‘s hand hit the mound as he threw the baseball. My six year old mind could not comprehend how he could get the ball to the plate, especially throwing as differently as he did compared to everyone else. After watching Game Seven, and the dominance of Bret Saberhagen, I was hooked. In the heart of Red Sox Nation, I was a Royals fan.
Unfortunately, as we all know too well, that was the last time that the Royals made the playoffs. Growing up, and surrounded by Yankees and Red Sox fans, at least I was surrounded in my baseball misery. Then the Yankees went out and got good, turning into perennial contenders. The Red Sox followed suit. Now, I no longer had the company that sports misery loves.
Except this year, the roles are reversed. The Red Sox have been awful, and the Yankees are not making the postseason. Instead, the Royals may be punching their ticket soon. And, if everything breaks right, they could even win their division. The 28 year drought is so close to being over, we can practically taste it.
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This will be a moment that we will talk about for years to come – the day that the Royals once again took their place in the playoffs. It will be a moment of celebration, one where grown men and women are likely to cry tears of joy. The alcohol will flow, toasts will be called out to those players who made it possible and the monkey will finally be off the Royals backs.
It will also be a time to be spent with family. For me, that means my four year old twins. Here in southeastern Massachusetts, I find myself surrounded by Red Sox fans and Yankees fans, not just in general, but in my family as well. Yet, these are the moments that can make lifelong fans.
And so, even though they will not truly understand what is happening, I plan on waking the twins up when the Royals clinch their postseason berth. I want them to see that final out, and to know what it is like to see the Royals in the postseason. For as long as their run lasts, the twins will be there next to me, watching the Royals make their first run through October in 28 years.
Maybe they won’t remember these nights as they get older. Maybe it will just be a story I tell them as they get older, telling them of the day where the Royals reached the Promised Land once again. And maybe, just maybe, these games will be there among their first lifelong memories, where as they get older, they can relive those nights watching the Royals postseason run with their father.
These games are what memories are made of. I know that I cannot wait to be there with my kids as the Royals clinch their spot in the playoffs.