My dirty little secret is that when I was a young boy, I did not care for baseball, or sports in general. Even though my dad was a big baseball fan, I found myself a nerdy bookworm more interested in dinosaurs and Star Wars than George Brett and the boys in blue. The Royals won the 1985 World Series and I was more interested in the fact that the opposing shortstop was nicknamed "The Wizard of Oz", one of my favorite books at the time.
When I was about ten I started playing with some older boys next door and they loved sports, particularly baseball. Playing stickball with them, the game suddenly took a hold of me and I became pretty obsessed with it. I began asking my dad to go to Royals games and even signed up for Little League. Up to that point I had never really worn any Royals shirts or caps that I can recall, but once we started going to games, I guess my dad figured I needed a proper Royals cap to wear to games.
I don't think I ever took it off.
Seriously, I remember my mom getting annoyed with how often I wore that thing. It was the old school mesh-backed Royals cap with a stiff bill and the plastic adjustable snaps. I still don't really remember wearing any Royals shirts or jerseys or anything, but that cap never came off.
Me looking pretty sweet in my Royals cap, circa 1990.
I actually began collecting ballcaps as my dad traveled a lot and would bring me a ballcap from the Major League cities he would visit. I had an Indians cap, an awful maroon mesh Phillies hat, a Braves cap (my dad got to hit all the exotic locales of the United States!) But it was the Royals cap I always wore.
When I grew older and the Royals began to stink, I went away to college and invested in t-shirts and caps of my educational institution - THE Ohio State University (I did not purchase them from any football players). But of course, I returned, as many native Kansas Citians do, and my collection of Royals shirts began to grow with the introduction of "T-shirt Tuesdays" at the K.
Now, I have about a half-dozen Royals shirts in my collection. I have an Alex Gordon shirsey, I still have a Gil Meche shirsey I use to mow the lawn, and buried in my closet is a faded, paint-covered David DeJesus shirsey, a relic from about 2005. I also have a Royals "American League Champions" t-shirt I got last fall, as well as those two t-shirts we were selling on this site - the "Super Cain" shirt and the "Jarrod Dyson Dance Party" shirt.
I've got two Royals caps, although I only wear one with any regularity. My son has a Royals cap too (seen in the picture below) as well as an Eric Hosmer shirsey and a quasi-Royals jersey/shirt.
Celebrating clinching a playoff spot.
I also have a retro powder blue Royals replica jersey. There is no name or number on the back, but its pretty neat and actually quite warm on those chilly April evening games. Which brings me to my question - is it still acceptable for a grown man to wear a baseball uniform? Additionally, is it acceptable for a grown man to wear a baseball uniform with his own name custom-sewn on the back?
What Royals gear do you own? Anything in particular that brings good luck? Any cherished items from your past?