Fast forward to the early Royals. Everyone in this city loved Ewing Kauffman and his devotion to Kansas City and to baseball. I loved and love the blue of the Royals. The early Kauffman Stadium, before it was named the K, had ugly orangish, reddish seats which were replaced with the more spectacular blues of the present incarnation of the stadium. My husband and I, then teenagers and dating, went to games all of the time. The seats in the bleachers in left field were a cheap date and my husband loved baseball, and I loved it, too. I remember the time I tried to convince my then boyfriend to leave because of the boring pitchers' duel we were watching from way out in left field. He insisted we stay and I reluctantly watched what turned out to be Nolan Ryan's first no-hitter. Back then, though, we expected to have great teams, with George Brett and Frank White and Amos Otis and Freddie Patek. Then, Mr. K died and the Royals went to hell. I used to laugh, because for the last 28 years, we have had "rebuilding" years.
This is why I like the Royals now even better than then. The players are young, exuberant and fun. Lorenzo Cain grabs flies that look impossible to catch, as if he is a super-human. The team members seem to enjoy each other and love to play the game. They love playing baseball, they play harder than humanly possible. They love the fans. They are young and exuberant, instead of jaded and arrogant. They are not the super millionaires of most other teams. They are not involved in doping scandals. These Royals play the game as the fans hope players will play, with enthusiasm and youthful exuberance. That is why the country loves the Royals as much as the fact we have had such a bad team for so long.
And that is also why I am oh so slightly jealous, of that youthful exuberance. The contest is still new and fresh for these players. They are not jaded or overwhelmed by greed or ego. They are young and innocent, and I am not. I wonder if this wonderful fielding and diving to catch fly balls will be part of their existence in ten years. I wonder what salary negotiations will be like for these players in the future. I wonder if personal gain and fame will overcome their love of team, fans, and the game. I wonder if they will become jaded in the quest to win their games as I have been disenchanted and jaded in my world. I have "practiced" law for 31 years, longer than most Royals players have been on this earth. I want their exuberance. I want their enthusiasm. I still can see remnants of my youth. But the "game" of law is not so much fun as it used to be. Of course, law is not supposed to be a game. It is supposed to be a quest for justice. I just wish I could get some of my innocence back. Oh to be Lorenzo Cain. May he never feel jaded. Right now, I want to have a little of the Lorenzo Cain mojo. At least I colored my nails blue and I will use the blue chalk in my white hair during the series. Maybe the Royals can be an inspiration to us all.