How do you explain to your 8-year-old that the world doesn’t really work this way?
When I was eight, one of the worst franchises in baseball history had already left KC after laying down a decade long stench of epic losing. We now had no team at all.
In his two years of following baseball, he’s enjoyed a stunning playoff run that ended just short of a world championship. He’s seen the Royals end the regular season with the American League’s best record. They’ve gone 6-2 in games he’s attended.
He met and chatted with his hero Salvador Perez at the restaurant Empanada Madness. He routinely leads the bar at Ponak’s in a “Let’s Go Royals” cheer over the microphone (as we’re passing through the bar on the way to the dining room–he’s an eight-year-old!). A guy catches a foul ball at the stadium and tosses it right to him. A friend gives us great seats for a game and he’s on TV every time a lefty bats.
This kid had simply not paid his dues!
For me at his age, the best thing about baseball was a mechanical rabbit that popped out of the ground to deliver new balls to the umpire and a petting zoo in left field. After all, the ‘67 Kansas City Athletics finished 29 games out of first.
Of course I hope the Royal’s run continues for a long, long time. Eventually the baseball gods will even things up. But until then I’ll keep viewing baseball through his eyes–where your team almost always wins and you make the playoffs every year.