Five reasons why tonight is the most important Kansas City Royals game ever
For the first time in 29 years, the Kansas City Royals are participating in Major League Baseball’s postseason. Tonight’s game will officially end the longest postseason drought of any MLB team.
Even the Chicago Cubs, who haven’t won a World Series for 105 years and haven’t played in a series since 1945, have made it to the post season five times since 1985.
I believe that today’s game is probably the most important game played in Royals franchise history…even more important than Game 7 of the 1985 World Series (a Royals victory, making them the series winners).
Because = Pride/Respectability
The Royals Franchise was established in 1969. It wasn’t Kansas City’s first professional baseball team. The Kansas City Monarchs, a Negro League team, holds that distinction. Also, MLB’s Athletics (or A’s) franchise passed through KC before landing at their current home in Oakland.
The Royals became a powerhouse team within their first decade of existence, solidifying that place through the 1980s with two World Series appearances and three division titles.
The 1990s marked a significant decline for the team, and (with the exception of a winning season in 2003) the a Royals continued to suck for nearly 20 years. Really, saying that the Royals were a sucky team is an understatement. They were probably the most awful team in Major League Baseball.
Then the 2013 season happened, and suddenly the Royals stopped sucking. The change seemed to take place overnight.
Now, the Royals have earned their first ever wildcard berth and their first appearance in the postseason since 1985. It’s huge. Absolutely huge.
This game is important, and, as mentioned earlier, I think it’s more important than the 1985 World Series. Here’s why:
1) When the Royals won The Series in 1985, they were a respected team. They were an American League powerhouse. Tonight, the Royals take the field as a team that hasn’t seen the postseason in nearly three decades (I wonder how many of the players were even alive in 1985?) and hasn’t been very good for 20 years or better.
2) Win or lose, this team has virtually made a complete turnaround in two seasons. Two seasons on the back end of 20. This season’s record was their best since 1989.
3) The franchise’s struggle calls attention to some of the gross inequities in baseball. It sucks that teams from smaller cities and so-called smaller markets have to watch what decent players they have walk out the door because the team can no longer afford them. It’s not okay. Notice that professional football doesn’t have this problem.
4) Tonight’s game gives Kansas City a baseball team they can be proud of. Like actually proud. As a native Kansas Citian (or rather, native to the KC area and spent a lot of time there as a result), I can attest that we definitely have a lot of pride in the Royals. We wear Royals apparel year round. We go to games. We snap on anyone who says anything bad about our team (we knew how bad they were).
If you’re like me and have no living memory of the Royals being a good team, this game hits at a completely different level because people my age who grew up in KC have NEVER experienced a consistently winning team let alone a baseball postseason (unless you defected to the Cardinals, in which case I’m not allowed to talk to you).
5) Tonight’s game indicates that could be on the precipice of a Royals Resurgence. Even though it’s a wildcard game, it’s a big deal because it shows that the Royals have potential. It puts confidence back into the team. It could translate into big bucks in the future.
Regardless of the outcome of tonight’s game, the Royals still win. They win respectability. They win fans. They win the pride and confidence of their city.
The limit used to be the sky, but now the sky is the limit.