As the Royals lumber through the roughest patch of the season it’s important to take notice of a few things. We continue to have a massive lead in the A.L. Central. Losing streaks and slumps happen in baseball, even to good teams. It’s also human nature to ease up a bit when you have a huge lead. As my eloquent brother-in-law put it recently, “skid marks are unavoidable.” Rather than dissect the roller coaster that is our starting rotation at present, it seems much more appropriate to give a shout-out to Royals fans.
Monster crowds and TV ratings have been a regular theme this season thanks to the wonderful fans of Kansas City. The Royals recently broke the club record in attendance for a season. A record that was set back in 1989. Part of the team’s success has to be attributed to the stellar support at Kauffman. To celebrate the new record, I thought it would be fun to thank the fans and breakdown all the different kinds that support the boys in blue.
The Kansas City Fan
This fan loves Boulevard Beer, Sporting KC, the Chiefs, the Plaza, Kansas City Power & Light, The Roasterie, Joe’s BBQ, First Fridays, Mayor Sly James, Westport and the Royals. If it’s Kansas City, they have a T-shirt for it.
Head-over-heels for of the city of fountains, they’ll share their Royals accolades with anyone willing to listen. You’ll see them in the airport sporting a KC hat, at the newest local brewery giving it a shot and out and about enjoying the local music scene. They can’t imagine a better city to live in, and they are likely part of the reason it is so amazing.
The Old Timer
This fan longs for the glory days of the 70s and 80s, when baseball was still king. They are baseball purists, they hate when the team celebrates and loathe the wild card game because it waters down the postseason. They still watch on TV but probably don’t go to many games anymore because they also hate the noisier crowds today.
Why the hell did Yost bunt there? Why did he go to Hoch instead of Herrera? Why does he keep playing Infante? We’ve been #Yosted! You know the type. Always pissed off and bitching. This fan always thinks we’ll blow it. No matter how good or bad the team is doing, this fan is going to tell you what they’re doing wrong.
The Royal Woman
This fan really loves her Royals. The tell-tale-sign of this fan? She’ll call them HER boys in blue. She may also have some interesting thoughts regarding Kacie McDonnell’s home game apparel.
Have no doubt though, this fan knows her stuff. She can tell you who is pitching, the batting order, who is slumping and who is on fire. She may also tell you that the Royals are the most attractive team in the MLB (Gordon’s eyes are so dreamy).
The Stat Geek
This fan is all about the analytics of the game. They may not watch every game, but they’ll have it on in the background in their mom’s basement while they crunch away on seventeen different computers searching for some hidden meaning in the countless amounts of data.
This is also the fan that friends go to when they are trying to think of some obscure player that played for us umpteen years ago. They know their stats like their A,B,Cs. George Brett hit .335 with 30 home runs and 112 RBI in 1985. Willie Wilson led the league with 21 triples that year. Omar Infante has a .552 OPS this season.
The Football Fan
These fans may be following the Royals for the first time or may have once been fans but switched their allegiance to the Chiefs during the lean years while the Royals were crapping all over themselves. They are vocal, enthusiastic, and live in the now. Each game is treated as life and death. They sometimes fail to have patience if the team goes on a four game skid, demanding that player x be benched or sent to the minors.
The True Blue
These fans love everything about the Royals in good times and bad. They actually believe we will pull off the miracle when the team is down 7-3 in the 8th inning. When the Royals brass say things like “Vargas is fine, his elbow is just sore” or “I don’t care what his on-base percentage is, Esky’s a good lead-off hitter.” They drink the kool-aid and don’t think twice. They are hopelessly optimistic, basically the exact opposite of The Sourpuss.
The Social Fan
The fan that always checks in at the K wearing the latest fashionable Royals gear. They don’t necessarily care who the starting pitcher is and may not know who the opponent is before they take their seat (if they ever make their way to that seat), but they’re always ready to be poppin’ bottles after a Royals win.
Yes, this fan is in it for the fun. This is your friend who is always up for the tailgate, but not likely to stay for extra innings. The game is an accessory.
Every fan base has ’em. When your team gets good, they will come. In droves. They have an innate instinct to flock to what’s in at the moment. They switch jerseys faster than Caitlyn Jenner changes genders.
The Royal Stew
This hardcore fan loves the Royals but also the game itself. They are baseball romantics and have a collection of movies like The Natural, Field of Dreams, For Love of the Game, Bull Durham, Long Gone and Major League. You don’t know Long Gone? You are missing out!
This fan has watched enough baseball to know not to get caught up in the highs and lows of wins and losses. They know when to be positive and celebrate the team and when team decisions need questioned. Most likely they’re a mix of several of the other types but unique on their own.
By no means is this a definitive list, as I’m sure there are many more types but that’s my list. No matter which type or combination of types you are, it is truly wonderful to see so many fans coming out to support the team. For years this city was a sleeping giant waiting for a reason to wake. And awaken we have, Let’s Go Roy-als!