The 2014 Kansas City Royals were one of the best stories in sports this century. The fans of Kansas City had been so patient for a winner, and after three decades of waiting, they finally got what they had been asking for. The inspiring tale of the underdog Royals swept across the national stage, and by the time Madison Bumgarner delivered the knockout blow to the team’s season, people all over America were behind Kansas City. It was a fantastic story, certainly one that will be remembered for generations.
Long before the extra-inning playoff heroics and the wild seventh game of the World Series, though, they were already inspiring people.
One of the fans who had sat through the rough times was 15-year-old Sarah Davis. Months before I landed a writing gig at Royals Review, I was just a bored 19-year-old teenager on summer vacation, doing little besides working part-time and watching the Royals. I met Sarah via Twitter and began talking with her in May of 2014. I thought I loved the Royals, but Sarah really, truly LOVED the Royals. She ran her own blog and wrote previews, recaps, and summaries for each and every Royals game. Sarah was more than just a Royals fan with a blog – she was a terrific writer, and she had no idea how much ability she had.
Sarah has struggled through some tough times over the summer, especially with self-confidence. She called me in tears numerous times, frequently hurting so much that seemingly nothing would make the pain diminish. This was my first witness that depression is painful, and nothing is more awful than having to watch somebody you care for go through it. The only thing she seemed to enjoy was watching the Royals. She was particularly hard on herself about her writing ability, even though she had landed an impressive gig writing game recaps for RoyalsBlue, an up-and-coming Royals fan site. She and I co-ran her blog before joining RoyalsBlue, which eventually opened the door for my Royals Review position.
On December 2, 2014, Sarah may have finally realized just how talented of a writer she is. She received a letter from George Mason University inviting her to represent the state of Missouri at the 2015 Washington Journalism and Media Conference, taking place in Washington D.C. next July. This tremendous learning experience is typically reserved for high-school upperclassmen, but despite being only a sophomore, she was recognized as one of the top young writers in the country. Because of the Royals, Sarah began a hobby as simple as writing game recaps, and just seven months later, it had turned into this chance.
Limited finances have Sarah in a bit of a bind, and this is where I want to step in and help. Without Sarah, so many of the opportunities I’ve received in journalism would have never come to fruition. The Royals and writing gave Sarah a distraction from difficult personal times, and they have now given her a chance to pursue something she’s passionate about.
Sarah is looking to raise $4,000 so she can attend the journalism conference next July, but the deadline doesn’t give her much time. She’s set up a fundraiser online, needing to raise the finances in the next two weeks. The cause page can be visited here. I’ve also included Sarah’s personal Twitter page; make sure to give her a follow, as she’s one of the most entertaining Royals fans on the internet.
The Royals gave the people of Kansas City something that they only dreamed about prior to September. I’m hoping to help one of my closest friends live through another one of her dreams by doing what I can with this fundraiser.
Would you be interested in helping send Sarah to Washington? Even if you’re not willing to donate money, spreading awareness about this cause would be just as effective. Sharing or tweeting this story and spreading the word is all I ask of the readers of this blog.
I can thank the Royals for a lot of special things in 2014, but seeing somebody who has worked so hard for this opportunity just may top them all.