From the parking lot, I could still see the glow of the crown coming from Kauffman Stadium. It was late, it was raining, and I was tired, but I didn’t want to go home yet. I couldn’t go home yet.
No more than 90 minutes earlier, the Royals had finished off an ALDS sweep of the Angels with a convincing 8-3 win. The anchors of that win – Alex Gordon, Eric Hosmer, and Mike Moustakas, with a little Lorenzo Cain defensive magic mixed in. Just like they drew it up.
But it wasn’t always like this. Born in 1987, this was my first taste of Royals postseason baseball, and I sat in my car that Sunday night convinced someone would wake me up from a dream that even I couldn’t make up.
I didn’t want to go home. I couldn’t go home.
Frozen in the moment, there wasn’t much that I was able to do. I texted a few friends, sent out a few semi-coherent (incoherent) tweets, and may or may not have teared up a little. I thought about the roller coaster that this season had been; about the ups (our one-month stint in first place from August 11 to September 12) and the downs (the Royals were 48-50 on July 21). I thought briefly to myself:
I could stay in this car forever; in the rain, in the parking lot, in this moment.
I wasn’t ready for any of it to end, but the best part was, it wasn’t ready to end either. And so, over the next week, the dream continued. In it, games were close but I was never nervous. In it, the opposing team hit the ball hard, but it was (almost) always caught. In it, home runs flew off bats of Royals that I always believed had the power in them.
In it, the Royals were going to the World Series.
So here we are, in a Royal reality that may or may not be. All I ask, is that if this is a dream, please don’t wake me up.