Down by 2 runs in the top of the 9th inning in game 5 of the World Series, the Kansas City Royals had the New York Mets right where they wanted them. The Royals had spent the post-season showing the world they were the kings of the comeback and now were ready to become the kings of the entire baseball world. They just needed to find a way, any way to crack the Mets pitching. Lorenzo Cain did just that with of all things a walk. Cain is known to be aggressive at the plate (walking only 37 times in 140 regular season games), but when his team needed him most he worked his at bat and found a way to get on base. Once there, it was only a matter of time before he would steal 2nd base to put further pressure on the Mets. Eric Hosmer followed his effort by doing what he seems to always do, come thru in the clutch. He doubled to bring in his teammate and soon found himself at 3rd base with 1 out down 2 to 1. When a ground ball to Mets third basement David Wright was handled and thrown to 1st, Hosmer made the break to home plate with the game on the line. It was a gutsy move which easily could have backfired. It was bold, it put pressure on the opposition and when 1st basemen Lucas Duda’s throw to home plate was wide of the mark, it was proven to be the correct move. The Royals had in just a few short moments gone from being down 2-0 to tie the game and put themselves on a path to victory. 3 innings later in the top of the 12th, the Royals magic was ready for its final and greatest act. After Salvador Perez reached base safely, Jarrod Dyson entered the game as a pinch runner and swiftly applied pressure. He harassed the Mets and soon had hustled his way to 3rd base. Into the box stepped Christian Colon who had not batted at all in the post season. With the count 1-2 and facing his final strike, Colon delivered a shot into leftfield scoring Dyson to take the 3-2 lead. With Wade Davis waiting in the wings, the lead was likely enough but the Royals continued to pour it on. Christian Colon, Paulo Orlando, and Alcides Escobar would all go on to score, further assuring the victory with each additional run. Wade Davis came into the bottom of the 12th inning with a 5 run cushion no one suspected he would possibly surrender. When the final strike was called, World Series MVP Salvador Perez rushed the mound and the joyous celebration was on. After 30 long years, after the devastating game 7 loss of a year ago, the Kansas City Royals were once again World Champions!
The team was welcomed home by not just an entire city or even state, but an entire region. With more than 800,000 attendees of the parade and rally held on Tuesday, November 3, downtown KC was packed with fans and practically shut down for the event. Dozens of local school districts called off school for a ‘blue’ snow day and hundreds of businesses shut down to celebrate the Royals’ victory. Caravans of fans from as far away as Oklahoma and Iowa made the trip to KC for this long awaited celebration. Downtown around the parade route quite literally became a parking lot and even I35 southbound was utilized for parking as people were advised via radio to leave their cars along the side of the highway and walk in if they hoped to catch any of the event.
And an event it was! A sea of blue surrounded Union Station for the rally after the parade. The areal photos of the throngs of fans are simply amazing. Another amazing fact is the low incident of crime during the event despite the enormous crowd. A few cars were broken into and the area around Union Station and the parade route needed some clean up after more than 400lbs of confetti were used, there was no rioting, or intentional property damage, or looting. Nothing was set on fire and no one was shot and very few arrests were made. And the accidental property damage that occurred is being made right by the fans. The KC police were surprised there weren’t more issues, but very pleased with the outcome of the whole event. “That was a testament to the people who were there. I would not say that was a testament to anything we were doing. That’s the people that came and enjoyed the parade,” said police Captain Tye Grant.
Social media quickly picked up on the glaring difference between KC’s reaction to winning the World Series and San Fransisco’s last year where they rioted, burned things, and looted. One comment that explained why nothing like that happened here was, “That’s because Kansas City has class!”
The season, the playoffs, the World Series, the parade and rally – all of these will be highlights of many a memory reel as the years pass. Youngsters who sat on parents’ shoulders to catch a glimpse of the players in the parade will one day be telling their own kids about this amazing experience. If you attended the parade and have experiences to share, please do so in the comment section. If you have pictures to share email them to us at firstname.lastname@example.org and we will put them in our website gallery.