This final win is for us. For us, the fans who for far too many years thought more about the farm system than the big league club, fans who couldn’t even think about "next year" because we knew next year would probably stink too. It is for all of us who more than once said, "This town would go crazy for a team that could just play .500 ball." This is for all of us who watched Jermaine Dye get traded for Neifi Perez; for those of us who watched Dye win a World Series MVP for a division rival the same year the Royals lost 106 games. It is for the Johnny Damon trade, which brought back a talented yet disappointing young catcher named A.J. Hinch, the man who managed the team that came closest to eliminating the Royals from these 2015 playoffs. It is for those of us who watched Carlos Beltran’s 2004 opening day walk-off home run become the lone bright spot of that season, a season that saw the centerfielder get traded at the deadline for three replacement players; it is for those of us who watched Beltran completely dominate the post-season that year. It is for watching a bearded Johnny Damon as he helped to end the Curse of the Bambino. It is for the injuries that plagued Mike Sweeney the moment he signed his contract. This championship is for all of us who have ever counted the number of former Royals in an All-Star game.
This World Series is for the time we had to convince ourselves that Justin Huber was going to be great one day. It is for Scott Elarton giving up "only" four runs on opening day. This one was for the time Mark Redman represented the Royals in the All-Star game. It’s for Kerry Robinson climbing the wall and waiting there with his glove raised high, ready to rob a homer, waiting, waiting, as we watched the ball drop ten feet in front of the warning track. It’s for Ken Harvey getting stuck in the tarp, for the time we saw Jason Grimsley collide with the aforementioned Harvey as he attempted to throw out a runner breaking for home. It’s for Emil Brown’s pellet gun in the clubhouse, for Tony Pena showering with his clothes on, for Trey Hillman’s unicycle (literally his unicycle, that’s not meant to be some sort of euphemism). It’s for the time an opening day starter was drawn out of a hat, for Tony Muser’s milk and cookies, for the fact that Buddy Bell more than once asked reporters to "just print whatever I said last night," after another loss. It is for any of us who ever said the words "Lima Time!" or got excited about the signing of Juan Gonzales or Jose Guillen. It is for any of us who tried to be optimistic when Calvin Pickering hit in the middle of the line-up, and for anyone who still has an Angel Berroa jersey. It is for those of us who though Mike Jacobs might hit forty home runs for the Royals (that’s me, I thought that, I seriously and shamefully thought that). It is for the Tony Pena Jr. era. It is for the Kyle Davies experiment over and over and over and over. It is for those of you who watched Roberto Hernandez succeed Ricky Bottalico, and for any of you who go excited about Chuck Knoblauch. It is for the ruined arm of Gil Meche. This one is for the national media that didn’t understand "Boo Cano" or why we sold out the Futures Game.
It’s for Zack Grienke's demand to be traded to a contender, a trade that brought back two ALCS MVP’s. It is for those of us who worried that the Royals gave up too much in the James Shields trade, for those who have recently pointed out that we ought to now refer to that deal as the Wade Davis trade. It is for Moose Antlers. It is for the long road to Alex Gordon’s greatness, for the Gold Gloves Lorenzo Cain should have won, for those of us who watched Salvador Perez’s debut against Tampa and thought, "What the hell did I just see?" It is for Eric Hosmer pulling off the gutsiest base running play I’ve ever seen in a World Series game.
This championship is for all those years the Royals were ten games back by late May, for all the times one of us ever said something like, "You know, if they go on a nice little eight game winning streak they’ll be right back in this thing." It is for David Glass sticking with Dayton Moore longer than most of us wanted, for the fact that GMDM had the ability to see how the game would transform after the steroid era. It is for all those who will call this team and this front office lucky, for those who will say Dayton Moore and Co. accidentally built the best team in baseball; it is for those of us who laughed at Dayton Moore in the middle of 2014 when he said, "This is the type of team that could win 18 out of 20." It is for every time any of us ever looked at one another and shrugged and said, "Yosted."
This final win is for the ghost of Madison Bumgarner. This is the win that gives us permission to leave Joe Buck alone, to stop calling David Glass the Crypt Keeper, to no longer regret drafting Christian Colon ahead of Chris Sale and Matt Harvey. It is for the 2015 PECOTA projections of Baseball Prospectus. We free now, folks. We’re so free.
For me, personally, it is for my grandfather, a fan since the club’s inception, who died a year before they went back to the playoffs. It’s for my dad, who called me last year after Holland got the save against Baltimore to conclude the ALCS sweep and we, two grown men, shed tears together. It is for my wife, who I have loved watching every game with before it was cool to watch every game with your spouse. For my daughters, who wouldn’t wake up in the bottom of the twelfth but instead dreamed of Disney princesses and Halloween candy. It’s for my six year old son, who dozed on my lap as the final strike crossed the plate and awoke to my screams and neighborhood fireworks. It’s for all those bad memories, all those times we cringed or slapped our palms to our faces or laughed to keep the curse words from coming out, for all those hundreds of losses that made this last win so, so amazing.