Royals give Kansas City new look with World Series victory

Alcides+Escobar%2C+short+stop%2C+thanking+Kansas+City+at+the+parade+on+Nov.+3.

Alex Francis

Alcides Escobar, short stop, thanking Kansas City at the parade on Nov. 3.

Max Stoneking, Sports Editor

The Kansas City Royals World Series championship matters. A lot.

Five years ago, the Royals were a pitiful baseball team. Royals merchandise was rarely worn, and the average game attendance was humiliating. The foreseeable future did not look bright for baseball in Kansas City.

Flash forward five years to mass euphoria. The seemingly failed draft picks and roster additions made by general manager Dayton Moore had come to fruition, and the entire city was behind the boys in blue as they made a run for a World Series title. The Royals had literally taken the town by storm.

The morale of the city was elevated significantly during the month of October. Fans from all over the metro area banded together in support of the Royals. Complete strangers could make easy conversation at the gas station pump or in line at the grocery store, based on the previous night’s game or the enthusiasm that the Royals created with a late-inning comeback.

What the Royals did this postseason is important from a sports fan’s standpoint for sure, but it also matters for the general population.

The teamsmanship exhibited by the boys in blue can be a lesson to all. The Royals just don’t quit. For those fans into statistical data, the Royals had by far the highest batting average from the seventh inning on during the postseason. They were lethal in late game situations. However, the sabermetrics are not as crucial as the will to win, especially when a game comes down to extra innings. With a runner on base, the mentality of Hosmer, Moustakas or Cain was to take care of his teammate out on the base path, to get him home and to put runs on the board. Padding the stats does not appear to be in the Royals’ DNA.

Perhaps that mentality was due to a lack of publicity. As a small market team with no real big name players, signed to ludicrous contracts, the Royals don’t collect a lot of national attention. None of the players seem to get caught up in the media.

However, with a World Series title, comes more publicity. That publicity is excellent for Kansas City. It increases the identity of the city, putting us on the map. For the Royals, the effects of the national attention have yet to be seen.

The paradigm shift in Kansas City baseball is important. The team is on the upward trend and, more importantly, so is the city. Defending a World Series title in 2016 and further improving Kansas City’s identity is not out of the question. The only question is how the front office in Kansas City is going to work free agency. There is definitely not enough money to go around; bigger market teams could offer a massive contract for a player like Alex Gordon or Ben Zobrist.

Sports have the ability to change a city, and that is what the Royals accomplished with their World Series title. They won it all, and anyone, sports fanatic or not, can take a lesson from the way they won it and what it took for them to get there, thus making the World Series matter. A lot.