Every item coming out of the washing machine and going into the dryer and then into the closets and dressers at the Martin household right now is blue. I mean that as sincerely as possible.
Our little family of three holds a dedication to Kansas City baseball, and lessons learned over the past two seasons have started to sink in. That means plenty of washings and dryings for the Royals items in our wardrobes, which are plentiful if not excessive.
I really didn’t understand how much of your life can revolve around playoff baseball. The day-to-day action can take over all aspects of your daily life if you let it.
And we have let it.
That means adjusting work schedules, long car trips and emptying out the short but reliable list of babysitters when necessary. Royals playoff games are must-see and must-attend events when at Kauffman Stadium.
That also means plenty of blue laundry and revolving your attire as necessary. It also means going further into the back of the closet when necessary to find shirts you’d otherwise forgotten about. I’ve sat through most every pitch of every playoff game this year to try and make sure I didn’t miss a moment, including all of the Game 3 blowout in Tornoto. I don’t see that changing anytime soon, so long as the playoff run continues.
And with any luck, that won’t be until another trip to the World Series with a slightly different result.
I took a jab at Cardinals fans in this space last week (and other assorted times in my short tenure) because I’m not above that type of low-brow approach. But at the same time, I’m slowly becoming more envious of that red team’s consistent success over the years.
I just wish there was a way that my few Cardinals friends — I choose them very carefully — could’ve prepared me for how much this would mean to me and other dedicated Royals fans.
I found myself in an odd position last Friday night.
Not just because I skipped the Platte County football game to be at Game 1 of the American League Championship Series but because of what I saw in the late innings. I saw Royals fans leaving, which really irked me.
The win well in hand some opted to “beat the traffic” or whatever lame excuse they had by filing for the exits well before the final out. I don’t know how any true Royals fan would take that approach.
I know for me, I sat through entirely too much bad baseball at Kauffman Stadium to leave early now when the playoffs have come back to Kansas City. Besides, you never know what you might miss if you do.
On Saturday afternoon, I sat through 6½ innings of disappointment. One pair next to me declared the game over in the fifth with the Blue Jays up 3-0 and left. Another overserved gentleman in front of me sat passed out through the beginning and most of the end of what became a memorable afternoon.
With the Royals putting up five runs in the bottom of the seventh, strangers in our section began sharing hugs. At one point, a man turned in disbelief, kneeled on the concrete and said out loud to no one in particular except maybe the God of his choosing, “What the (expletive)?”
You said it, buddy.
At this point, you just kind of shake your head and move on. There’s been three once-in-a-lifetime comebacks in the playoffs for the Royals the past three years. It’s such an incredible run that everyone wants to be a part of it, even if it’s on the periphery for a game you don’t understand all that much.
Baseball in Kansas City is fun again.
I just hope I never get to the point I take that for granted. I can’t complain if the Royals don’t win the World Series again.
Sure, last year still stings, and I’m not sure if my baseball heart will ever be fully over the Game 7 loss.
Every time, I start to think it’s not worth all the heartache, I remember what it was like to watch those awful teams when I always had a blue shirt available because I didn’t have a reason to show my support every day because I didn’t want to have the conversations where I explain why I root for this dismal team.
Because now the dismal team has become fun, and the Royals are giving out memories for those willing to pay attention. I say go all in on and cheering for this team despite the potential inconveniences. I managed to work around a minor — well, probably major — home repair emergency and the Platte City Board of Aldermen’s inconveniently scheduled meeting on Tuesday to catch much of the game.
Mostly on radio, but tried to make it as much of a priority as possible while simultaneously freaking out about money and stories needing to be written.
Trust me when I say baseball can be a welcome distraction from work or bills or even traffic problems. So if you truly like baseball and the Royals, do what it takes to stay committed to this playoff run.
Do some extra blue laundry if you have to because the Royals are worth your full attention.
Ross Martin is publisher of The Citizen. He may be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter: @Citizen_Ross.