Having grown up in Southeastern Massachusetts, it is a bit of a surprise to most people that I am not a Red Sox, Mets or a Yankees fan. After all, the Mets and Red Sox were a year away from facing off the the World Series when I began paying attention to the game of baseball in 1985. With young stars like Don Mattingly, Wade Boggs and Doc Gooden, it would make sense that my baseball life would result in an allegiance to one of these teams.
Instead, I became a Royals fan. This seemingly unlikely fandom, given the region I grew up in, was likely an occasionally happy coincidence. Unfortunately, as it happened, I came in right at the end of the Royals reign among baseball’s elite, leading to a long history of jokes about my favorite team. Incidentally, I apologize with my fandom coinciding with the beginning of that playoff drought, just in case I was somehow the cause of that.
The first game that I watched happened to be one of the more infamous games in baseball lore, known by the ‘safe’ call made by Don Denkinger. We all know how that game ended, with Todd Worrell having a meltdown after the “infield single” and Dane Iorg cemented his place in Royals history with his game winning two run single to right. Even with my extremely rudimentary understanding of baseball, I realized that I had just witnessed an amazing comeback.
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Yet, even without that comeback, I was to end up as a Royals fan due to Dan Quisenberry. His submarine delivery, where his hand would occasionally hit the mound, astonished me. Granted, I had limited knowledge and familiarity with the players of the game at the time (some would say that still holds true) but I had never seen someone pitch like that. Just the idea that Quiz could deliver the baseball seemingly anywhere he wanted with that delivery was amazing.
Everyone has that moment or that player that makes them a fan of whatever team they root for. Some people may simply decide to pull for the home town team, just because of geography. Yet, there are others who have also bucked the norm of the locale, just because of a player or a game.
What made you become a fan of the Royals? Share your story with us in the comments!