Eric Hosmer's mad...no, insane dash home
and what was the penultimate moment of the 2015 World Series.
© 2015 Newsday
Copyright © 2017
by Ralph F. Couey
Written content only.
It was magic. There's no other way to describe that moment on a cool November night in New York City when Wade Davis blew a third strike past the buckling knees of the Mets' Wilmer Flores. The Royals, after coming so close the year before, and coming so far from the previous 30 years, had been crowned baseball's World Champions.
To say that the win produced a cascade of celebration would be to labor in understatement. While Kansas City rocked in joyous emotions, it was remarkable to observe that this midwestern metropolis wasn't the only place where the cheers could be heard. This team, marked by such pluck, courage, and unity, had earned a following across the nation, and across the world. Everyone remembers the Korean superfan and Seoul-mate Sungwoo Lee who expressed such a deep long distance ardor, that he was actually flown to Kansas City for a visit. That summer, my wife and I were in France, and during that whole visit, my Royals cap inspired a host of smiles and spontaneous conversation from Parisians.
It isn't hard to discover why that team was so popular. Their youth, unity, that never-say-die attitude were all elements to that wide acclaim. But I think the thing that really got to people was that these guys were having fun! Baseball was still a game to them, and behind those infectious grins everyone could see the 9-year-old that still lived within.
2016 was a disappointment, but understandable. Any team in any sport that parks five all-stars on the disabled list for extended periods of time is going to suffer. But that passion never left them. Alex Gordon's wrist certainly bothered him more than that titular Sgt. Rock would ever admit. And close to the end of the season, it was painful to watch Lorenzo Cain try to swing a bat with one hand. But through the swarm of injuries, that desire, that love of the game never wavered. Even though they missed the playoffs, to Royals Nation, they were still our champions.