I have thought over and over today about how proud we are as Kansas Citians for our Boys in Blue – that was evidenced by spending the day with 800,000 of my closest friends. We celebrated not only a world championship, but the ways that this team came together and worked hard to accomplish their goals. It’s easy to watch the games and believe that the team is simply the players on the field. Today’s parade was a great reminder that the team is the entire franchise – from the front office staff, to the marketing folks, to the guys on the field, their coaches, and their managers.
Not only did we celebrate our beloved baseball team today, I believe we celebrated ourselves. I heard several times that “no one expected the Royals to win the World Series.” And while perhaps that is true outside of KC, those of us who live here KNEW we would. We celebrated the belief we have in ourselves, in our confidence to rally, in our confidence to show the world what our little city is made of. We cancelled work. We cancelled classes. We rearranged our lives to show the world how proud we are of our home.
We had zero arrests and zero violence during any of our celebrations. People were being kind to each other, making new friends with those standing in line around them, offering to give up seats on buses so others can sit. There were police officers throwing a football with a kid in the crowd, and babies being entertained by the young girls behind them. We were able to show our country that we can celebrate with class and dignity.
I heard an interview clip by Sports Illustrated saying that our Royals set a new model for how the game of baseball should be played. While the whole interview hasn’t yet been printed, I can only imagine it has something to do with not only their determination, but their class on and off the field. These guys haven’t let their fame get to their heads, and they tend to play better baseball when they remember their love for the game. We knew their ultimate goal this year was to win the World Series, but they had fun doing it – and it was evident throughout the season.
Today, as a city, we came together to celebrate this. And to learn from them. To remember that if we want something, we have to work for it. It may not come easy, we may come up short a time or two, but if we set our minds to reaching our goal, we will. It is the way our Royals work together and unite as one team that reminds us who we are as people – created to be among others, always working for the better of those around us.
Thinking about how we’ve come together as a city over the past few weeks brings tears to my eyes. In a time where so much of the world is in utter chaos, it was our pride today that captured the attention of our nation. It was the humility of the best team in baseball that covered printed media. It was our united front as a city that won the hearts of America. Because of one little game we like to call baseball.
Congratulations, Kansas City Royals. You deserve this honor, this celebration, this attention.
(now rest up. Spring Training is right around the corner, and I expect to be at your championship parade again next year!)