Dressing up for a career dayPosted: May 19, 2014
The Royals have had a roller coaster of a season thus far, comprising of a few sharp ups and a lot of downs. They had just climbed their way back to .500 going into yesterday’s game, the finale of a four-game series against the Baltimore Orioles at Kauffman Stadium. They could no longer win the series, having fallen behind 2-1, but I hoped at least for a 2-2 split and a return to a winning record.
The Royals had a couple promotions going on at the K: “Dressed to the Nines” to salute the 1920s, which encouraged fans to dress in their Sunday best at the ballpark; and a salute to the Negro Leagues, in which the Royals wore Kansas City Monarchs uniforms, and the Orioles dressed as the Baltimore Black Sox. Fans arriving early received a fedora in celebration of both these tributes. It felt like a costume party in some ways (and, really, I suppose it was), seeing the grounds crew in suspenders and fans in three-piece suits and sun dresses.
The weather created a perfect day for baseball: warm sunlight and a cool breeze — perfect for dressing up or for the t-shirt and jeans combo worn by lazy folk like us. When the air stilled, we could feel our skin grow hot under the sun, but when the breeze picked up, goosebumps emerged. It never grew too hot nor too cool. We picked up our Kansas City Monarchs fedoras at the gate and climbed on up to the cheap seats. A mere crowd of 22,000 showed up at the K for the game, and those fans who had opted out in favor of other plans missed out on a spectacular show.
Leading the team to victory with two three-run home runs, Alex Gordon had what writers and commentators are calling a “career day.” And why not? In addition to his six RBIs, Gordon went 4-for-4 and made a spectacular defensive catch, crashing, once again, into the wall in left field. He fully deserved the curtain call demanded by the crowd following his second homer. The novelty of the moment struck me as well, for while I have seen deserving performances on television on multiple occasions, Gordon’s curtain call yesterday became the first I’ve ever witnessed in person.
Things became interesting in the top of the ninth, however. With the Royals up 8-3, Aaron Crow took the mound to close out the game. What should have been an easy nail in the coffin turned into a nail biter, as a walk and a single set the table for Adam Jones to hit a three-run home run of his own. With the score now at 8-6, Crow was out, and the Royals brought in Greg Hollander, who drew the final two outs for the save and the victory.
I’m generally not a superstitious individual, but I feel it worth a mention that the Royals have won the last four games that I have attended. I attribute this success to my lucky black Royals cap, which I actually picked up at a game as a promotional giveaway more than ten years ago. I have a couple other Royals caps that I could wear to games that I attend, but they say you should never mess with a winning streak. The black cap will continue to go to games with me until this streak ends.