As is often the case when these two teams face off, tempers and emotions have run hot amongst Kansas Citians. Stemming from an indoctrinated hatred of the franchise handed down from generations past dating back to the turn of the Twentieth Century, we have always known that this is the team we were meant to hate. When our great-(add another great- for the whippersnappers)grandparents were coming of age and the Western Leagueunder the guidance of Ban Johnson grew into the American League--a league with designs on rivaling the established Senior Circuit--the Kansas City Blues were our forefathers' lifeblood. Donning their Sunday best to head out to the ballpark, they stuck through the early years of the Western League sputtering its way to numerous deaths only to see their club rise from the ashes, Phoenician in its glory. From 1894 on, the league that would become the American League would operate. Having called Kansas City home in each incarnation of the league, Ban Johnson's thirst for power led him to sway Blues owner/manager James Manning to uproot his team and move it to Washington following the 1900 campaign, where they became the Senators.
Though history may not remember it as such, major league baseball was stolen from our great-grandparents that fateful November day. The original Blues were replaced with a team in the American Association carrying the same moniker, but as all our ancestors could agree, it was not the same. Gone was Sam Dungan, who they'd fallen in love with as he legendarily won the batting crown after coming to the team in May of that final season in Kansas City. Gone was Jack O'Brien, the dashing outfielder from Watervliet. Gone was Eagle Eye Charlie Hemphill. Gone were the players they loved so much. Yes, the games were still played in Exposition Park, but their team was stolen from them by the nefarious Ban Johnson.
In the years that have passed, one thing has been clear. We are all to hate the team that was taken from us. We have not forgotten from whence you came, Minnesota. We have honored the memory and ire that our forefathers passed down through the generations. Much like 9/11, we will never forget.
Bruce Chen is charged with the Herculean task of making sure that all of our ancestors' disdain for this club that was stolen from them was not in vain. Remember the Blues!