A Fan's Notes: Ever After

Nov 13, 2015

Credit Courtesy Kathleen Kunkler

It’s been nearly two weeks since the Kansas City Royals claimed their first World Series title in 30 years. Yet the glory hasn’t faded, and fans like commentator Victor Wishna are proudly still basking in it—while also peeking toward the future. Here’s Victor with this championship edition of “A Fan’s Notes.”

After that final moment that we’d anticipated for so long…

“Strike three called! It’s over! They’ve done it. The Royals are World Series champions!”

After it was over...

After the last strike, the final out…

After one more come-from-behind win, the eighth of the postseason, the fourth of the series, the second in the ninth inning…

After the line kept moving...

After the lines that stretched for hours out of every sporting goods store and pop-up t-shirt-vendor’s tent…

After that parade, when somewhere between a few- and eight-hundred-thousand blue-clad fans clogged the streets—and the sidewalks, and the lawns, and the fountains, and the rooftops—of downtown…

After businesses and schools closed down metro-wide, and some questioned whether that was the right thing to do…

After Johnny Gomes, a non-factor on the field, fired off a 90-second rally speech that will live in Royals lore…

After George Brett declared the 2015 squad the greatest team in Royals history…

After the Kansas City Star ran the numbers to back him up…

After all the articles marking the Royals as “the future of baseball,” the epitome of team in an age of ego, with a small-ball mentality and a relentless spirit…

After the Sports Illustrated cover…

After that epic library “Twitter war”…

After the Kansas City Symphony collected on its bagels-and-lox bet with the New York Philharmonic…

After the San Francisco Giants sent the Royals’ front office two dozen Minsky’s pizzas…

After Salvador Perez dumped that Gatorade jug over Jimmy Fallon’s head…

After Marlins Man already tweeted that he’ll be back at the K on Opening Day…

After Julianna and Ben Zobrist finally had their baby girl, and named her Blaise Royal…

And after some 17 to 38 other things we never thought we’d see…

Well, there isn’t much of anything left to say. But we can't stop talking about it, and I don't think we will for a while. In part, of course, because of everything that came before.

After 30 years on the outside looking in…

After all the hundred-loss seasons…

After all the double-digit losing streaks…

After Jose Rosado and Ken Harvey and all the All-Stars whose names we can’t remember…

After all the lost prospects, the lopsided trades…

After Johnny Damon and Jermaine Dye and Carlos Beltran, and their playoff heroics for other teams…

After so many media outlets declared David Glass one of the worst owners in sports… After the “Process” had become a punch line…

After Madison Bumgarner…

After “90 feet away”…

After the bittersweet taste of near perfection…

But now, unfinished business is finished. But now…what?

As the free-agency sweepstakes accelerate, will we lose a couple of cornerstones but keep the core? Can fans push the record attendance even closer to that three million mark?

Will the new wealth translate to more talent? Can Glass—that’s Mr. Glass now—keep the bottom line moving?

Can we—not unlike that other baseball club in Missouri—parlay this great team into sustained greatness that reflects the size of our heart, not the size of our market? And can baseball, that sport more like life than any other, become a constant force for civic unity in Kansas City and not just a once-in-a-generation phenomenon?

Questions—many questions—that we never thought we’d ever get to ask. But this isn’t over.

May it never be.