An October Kind of Feeling

by DanWolgemuth on October 3, 2014

This morning on my way to the airport I expressed to Mary that early fall brings a unique feeling for me.  There’s something about October.  When asked what that meant, I stumbled through a lame explanation of mellowness and reflection.  What I failed to express was the uniquely American perspective associated with October; playoff baseball.

It was 1993 when Mary and I moved to Kansas City.  We’d lived several different places in our married lives, but never in a major league town.  Our young family instantly fell in love with two sports teams… the Kansas City Royals and the Kansas Jayhawks (specifically, and singularly the basketball team).

The basketball Jayhawks were easy to follow.  Always strong, always in the post-season mix.  Always a winner.

The Royals, however, were another story.  They languished with rarely a winning season.  Still, our kids and many of their friends were loyalty locked; losing seasons aside.  I remember driving a car full of young kids to an event in KC during the October baseball buzz.  I asked the carload who they were cheering for in the fall classic.  One of the kid’s friends chimed in, “The Royals!”  When I informed this young man that the Royals had been eliminated from the post season some time in early June, he was undaunted by the facts.  “The Royals” remained his final answer.

For our children, now much older and wiser, the childhood loyalty still exists.  Although they live in Colorado, the Rockies are at best #2 on their list.  In short, that has destined them to a lifetime of Octoberless baseball.  In essence this means a legacy of angst and growing dislike for teams like the Yankees and the Giants… while remaining enamored by teams like the Cardinals, who despite being just down the road from Kansas City, seem to crank out October contenders like Apple cranks out new iPhones.  Until 2014.  Until now.

Yes, for the first time in the fan-life of our kids – now 21 years, the Royals have qualified for the post season.  They’re under-qualified scrappy bunch seems impervious to the pressure and resilient in the face of adversity.  Yes, for the first time in 29 years, it’s appropriate to answer the post-season question with, “The Royals.”

“Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.” ~ 1 Corinthians 13:7

When loyalty trumps conventional thinking a special bond is born.  Love overshadows logic; it defies convenience; it disregards payrolls.

Congratulations Andrew, Erik and Alli; it’s October and your Royals are still playing baseball.

Thanks for the lesson in loyalty.

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