Carl Stewart tells us the story of his 1985 World Champions Jersey.
Trying to figure out my favourite piece of Royals’ memorabilia is an epic task. The catalog of Kansas City Royals things I own trebles every year: jerseys, ball caps, baseball cards, mini bats. The one piece that stands out in my collection, though, is also the oldest and my persistent link to the Royals’ glory days: a 1985 World Champions powder blue Royals jersey t-shirt.
The origins of this shirt are unclear. My mom worked occasionally as a vendor at Royals Stadium, so it could have originated there. It also could have been a stadium giveaway during the 1986 season. More likely than not, my parents picked it up on a bargain rack at JC Penney’s because it was cheap. Personally, I’m okay with any of these origin stories. It really doesn’t matter to me. The important thing is that this shirt exists and is in my possession, and, further, it still fits.
This shirt has always been my link to the days when the Royals were not only good but also the best. As a Royals fan in Wisconsin, I take pride in being in the smallest of fan minorities around, and this shirt has always been my reminder to all that the Royals were great once and will be/are again. It barely fits me now, has some holes, and smells of its age, but I will always have this shirt, though, and always cherish it. I love the old powder blue jerseys. I love that we won the Series in 85 away from the Cardinals. I even love the feel of all that polyester exfoliating my skin when I wear it – just like little league. It is something I hope to keep passing down through generations of Royals fans in my family. It’s the perfect shirt.
Next: Memories of the Royals great ride