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Untitled 3, Kansas City, Missouri, November 2015
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My Royals

The Kansas City Royals have always been near and dear to my heart. When I was very young, I used to pop in the 1985 World Series VHS tapes and I would run around the “bases” in my living room. George Brett was my hero, and I would take pride in the fact that Kansas City snagged a World Series title from the St. Louis Cardinals.

Yet, then the Royals fell into their troubled list for almost 20 years. In that time-span, they only posted one winning season with 83 wins and 79 losses; just barely making the “500”. To be honest, it became hard to be a fan of the Royals. It felt like every time I had hope for my team, I would be punished for it. With that I lost my love of America’s Pastime and my city.

Yet, then things changed. After banishing myself from Chicago (a place that I never wish to return to), I decided to turn a blind eye to a Royals game on April 16, 2014. At first, I kinda felt like the Royals of ’90-’12 had come back again with their depressing antics. Then something incredible happened, the Royals took charge and got the game into extras, where they finished the game with brilliant form and took the win. That’s the first time that I realized that this team was different. Even though they were down 2 runs and heading into the late game, they still found a way to get that W. I also realized that f this team can comeback- even from games that seemed like failures, then they might have a winning season. Then there was the fact that Ned Yost had posted the only winning season in over 5 years in 2013. Then there was that feeling, that electric vibe I got from the team as they celebrated their extra-innings Win at Minute Maid Park. After putting all these pieces together, this was the first time I knew that the Royals were going to the world series at the end of the 2014 season.

Yes, you read that right; I predicted that the Royals would go to the World Series because of an insignificant extra-innings game in Houston, not even 3 weeks after the home opener. Believe it or not (you can ask my Mom though; when I told her the Royals would be going to the World Series she thought I was full of it), but what I saw was passion, strategy, and skill in the hearts and minds of my hometown baseball club. Thus, my love for baseball was re-ignited.

Since then, I have probably watched about 270-280 Royals games. When I couldn’t watch them, I listened. When I couldn’t listen, I had to resort to the MLB’s live online updates via smartphone. If I didn’t do that, then I was asleep (night owl). I struggled through the slumps and peaks of the 2014 season, and I screamed and shouted through the subsequent postseason, and by the end of 2014 I knew again that the Royals would come back to finish what they started.

Just like that, I loved baseball and my city and my Royals once again. Really, winning the world series just feels like the icing on top of the cake. The real prize is being able to have pride in my home team and the heated drama of 160 games a year.

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This photograph I rendered reminds me of the bad times in Royals baseball, but more importantly the ecstasy of being able to turn my back on those dark times and look forward into a bright, blue future.

Thank you, Ned Yost.

Thank you, Dayton Moore.

Thank you, David Glass.

Thank you, Salvador Perez.

Thank you, Mike Moustakas.

Thank you, Eric Hosmer.

Thank you, Lorenzo Cain.

Thank you, Alex Gordon.

Thank you, Alcides Escobar.

Thank you, Ben Zobrist.

Thank you, Omar Infante.

Thank you, Alex Rios.

Thank you, Paulo Orlando.

Thank you, Drew Butera.

Thank you, Wade Davis.

Thank you, Kelvin Herrera.

Thank you, Greg Holland.

Thank you, Ryan Madson.

Thank you, Edinson Volquez.

Thank you, Chris Young.

Thank you, Yordano Ventura.

Thank you, Johnny Cueto.

Thank you, Chris Medlen.

Thank you, Jason Vargas.

You have allowed me to love my team and my town, and I can never repay that debt.