One of the better explanations for bad things happening to good people is that without bad things we would not appreciate the good things.

          This is especially true for baseball fans.

          Our Kansas City Royals are struggling. After winning the World Series in 2015 they have lost player after player through attrition for the most part beyond their control. Some say ownership isn’t willing to pay, but the reality was greener pastures were available for stars like Ben Zobrist, Johnny Cueto, and Kendrys Morales. Unfortunately, we paid Alex Gordon.

          In 2016 and 17 Royals management tried to compete keeping Hosmer, Cain, and Moustakas, but lost other key players like Wade Davis and Yordono Ventura.

          This year the Royals are in full re-building mode! Unfortunately, that doesn’t mean a roster filled with up and coming prospects, but a group of mostly journeymen while the true prospects are kept in the minor leagues so not to ruin them with premature exposure to the big time.

          While these Royals are painful to watch and it’s not like we haven’t had bad baseball in Kansas City before.

          I’m old enough to remember the A’s arriving in  1955 – I was 9 years old but still remember Joe DeMaestri, Hector Lopez, Gus Zernial, Vic Power and Harry “Suitcase” Simpson, and Bobby Shantz.

          The A’s stayed in Kansas City through the 67 season. They won 69 games twice and 74 games in 1966, but only 62 their last year before owner Charlie Finley moved them to Oakland.

          The Kansas City A’s were awful, but who can forget Shantz who was traded to the Yankees where he became the league MVP! How about Marvelous Marv Throneberry and Campy Campaneras. Roger Maris was in Kansas City also. There was even a mechanical rabbit behind home plate to give the umpires baseballs and a mule behind the outfield fence.

          The Kansas City Athletics were terrible, but we endured!

          In 1969 Ewing Kauffman started the Kansas City Royals. From 69 to 79 the new Royals ramped up and we discovered some cool players with names like Freddy, Cookie, Big John and Famous Amos and a no-hit hurler named Steve. Then came Hal McRae, Frank White, Willie Wilson, Splitt, Leonard, Cone, Sabes, Al Cowans and a guy named George.

          There was a period of Yankee frustration but finally a World Series in 1980. Herzog left and Dick Howser took over and the Royals won it all in 85.

          But then Kansas City fans suffered for nearly 30 years before having another contender, but the love affair never ended. There have been disputes, a strike, several managers and more, but baseball which can be fickle and cruel survives in Kansas City.

          In 2018 our Royals short on talent, but real fans still watch and listen and go to the K. The Royals will no doubt contend again, unfortunately, it may not be in my lifetime!

          I’m Steve Sauder.

 

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