It’s no surprise to you that I love sports. You often tell me, “But mommy…you ALWAYS watch (insert hockey, football, baseball here)!” I get teary during the Olympics. I’m a sucker for a good sports movie. Sports have been ingrained in me since I was your age. And last night, a huge thing happened in Kansas City. The Royals won the World Series. And I know that’s a weird thing to write you about, but this whole season is one that is unparalleled to (almost) any other season for any other team, in any other sport that I watch.
Two years ago, if you would’ve told me that I would be watching an entire season of baseball on TV, I would’ve laughed at you. I prided myself on saying things like, “I like going to baseball games, but hate watching it on TV.” And then add watching the Royals, and I’d have really laughed in your face because…well the Royals sucked. They sucked bad…for a lot of years. They were a joke. A laughing stock. Absolutely no one (not even the real fans, honestly) took them seriously.
And then last year, they surprised us. They were the little engine the could. The underdog. The upset. And it was exhilarating. It was exciting to live in a town that was so fully invested into something together.
And they lost. And it freakin’ hurt. An entire nation, practically, was rooting them on, and in the end, it didn’t go the way we (or they) wanted. But since they were the underdog, we, as a city, accepted the lost and were proud of them regardless of the outcome. And even with all the hype and craziness of last season, I don’t think any fans could have anticipated the type of club they became this season.
See, this baseball team. This group of guys taught us a whole lotta lessons. They’ve become known as a team of resilience. When they find themselves in adverse situations, they dig deep and find a way to bounce back. Time and time again, just about every announcer said, “This is a team that does not quit.” And as this season has progressed I kept asking myself, “Why the hell am I watching a baseball game on a Wednesday night?” or “Who would’ve thought I’d have known the entire Royals lineup?” but most importantly, I asked myself, “Why is this team different?”
What made the Royals different from any other baseball team?
They were selfless.
Sure, you’ve heard the cliche “no I in team.” But the Royals lived it. Any one of those players could have been the MVP. Every single one of those players (starting or not) did something to push the team further. They showed, with more clarity than just about any team I watch, what teamwork is. They made baseball fun again with their quirky personalities and love of their fans. They created a team that people trusted. A team that put their heads together and got to work. The weight of the season was never on one or two players shoulders (like we see with so many other teams and sports). The entire team took that responsibility, and look at their result.
Baby girl, there is a lot to be learned from this team. They embody hard work, resiliency, humor, friendship, responsibility, kindness, selflessness. They play this game for the purity of it. It’s not about contracts or money or fame. Because for a long time, these guys didn’t have that (compared to other teams). And I can tell you, there is nothing better than seeing someone’s dreams come true after working so hard to reach them.
So, just remember, you may not be taken seriously. Your dreams may seem distant and impossible, but if you work hard. If you fight tooth and nail. If you are unwavering toward your goal, but flexible about your process, you can do anything. If the Royals could do it, absolutely anybody can.