Keep Your KC Royals Ticket Stub: Willie Wilson runs off the Yanks

Wilson caps a thrilling comeback against Kansas City's hated rivals.
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Welcome back to Kings of Kauffman's "Keep Your KC Royals Ticket Stub" series, our continuing look at big games and moments in franchise history.

Perhaps it's appropriate for a series that falls under the history banner at Kings of Kauffman, but I'm aware that the title of this series is dated in its own right. "Keep Your KC Royals Ticket Stub" harkens back to a different time, if for no other reason than they don't even give you a physical ticket anymore. Everything is digital, sent directly to your phone, and fans must look elsewhere for an easy souvenir of the game experience.

Taking a piece of the KC Royals experience home with you

I, for one, believe we've lost something special for the sake of convenience. Tickets used to be miniature works of art you could carry around in your pocket. At least, that's what it felt like when I was a kid. Sure, a standard regular season ticket might come off as fairly generic to the non-discerning eye, but nothing could be further from the truth. The colors in the printed logo popped with a unique vibrancy, and otherwise mundane details like start times and seat numbers hummed with the excitement of the shared experience.

How were you supposed to toss that in the garbage on your way out of the stadium?

I understand how some could take it for granted. But when I was a kid, I only got to go to one Royals game a year, maybe two if I was lucky. So I was desperate to cling to whatever memento I could take home. I don't have every ticket stub for every game I saw back then, but I still have quite a few. I keep them in an old candy tin, and I'm grateful the Royals didn't stop printing tickets until after I took my oldest sons to their first game in 2015. Those ticket stubs are treasured possessions.

That said, I don't have a stub for the game I'm going to discuss today. There's a perfectly good reason for that — I wasn't there. In fact, as the Royals were mounting a furious June 9, 1979 comeback against the hated Yankees, I was being born in a hospital 60 miles away. And once I finish recounting the epic game, it may seem like I was destined to be a Royals (and Willie Wilson) fan from day one.