Kansas City Royals: The Deserving Fans


These days, words like “entitled” and “deserve” are thrown around all over the place. You’re hit over the head with these words every time you see a Brown & Crouppen Law Firm commercial during a Royals broadcast.

But here’s this… Kansas City and the Royals deserve this. They deserve meaningful baseball in August and September. They deserve this excitement. They deserve this pennant race. They *deserve* it.

As much as we fans like to criticize, critique, cry and complain, the fact of the matter is that the fans in Kansas City never left. Sure, the Royals haven’t led the league in attendance lately, but they never really left. We’ve all had our moments.  Even I’ve considered not renewing our season tickets at times. But we are still hanging in there.

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The Kansas City Royals‘ fans haven’t left. The 1994 MLB strike began 20 years ago on August 12th. And with it, I’ve seen a lot of articles recapping the events that led up to one of the bigger black eyes Major League Baseball has ever sustained.

Included in a large number of the articles is the sentiment that Montreal deserves to have a baseball team again. Why? Their fans left. And that was even before everyone knew they were going to be leaving town to eventually become the Washington Nationals.

In 2004, the Expos drew a total of 748,550 fans. For 56 of their 81 home games that season, there were less than 10,000 fans in the stands for the game.

In 2003, the Expos drew a total of  1,025,639 fans. And during that season, there were less than 10,000 people in the stands for 32 of their 81 home games.

I only point this out to illustrate the fact that Royals fans had plenty of opportunities to bail out like fans of the Expos. They didn’t. Attendance for the Royals in those same two seasons were 1,779,895 (’03) and 1,661,478 (’04).

The Expos won a combined 150 games during the ’03 and ’04 seasons. The Royals, 141. The Royals never had less than 10,000 fans show up for a game.

The Royals fans had their chances to leave. Boy, did they ever have their chances. But they stuck around hoping for a contender. Well, the contender is here. Now is the time for the fans to  show up at The K. Time to start packing the house.

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A's slug their way past Kansas City, wins 6-4
A's slug their way past Kansas City, wins 6-4 /

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  • The Royals are smack-dab in the middle of a playoff race. Two races, if you want to get technical. Either way, they are in a playoff race. And no, it’s not April. Or May. Or even June. There are only 45 games left in the season. This, finally, is “Our Time.”

    There is still a part of the fan base that is waiting for the other shoe to drop. They’re waiting for the team to drop 6 out of 8 and slowly fade into the backdrop. It’s what they’ve been programmed to believe. It’s what they’ve come to expect. Heck, I get it. We all get it.

    But what if that never happens? What if, instead, they *win* 6 out of their next 8 and actually start putting some distance between themselves and the all-of-the-sudden floundering Tigers? What if?

    I could sit here and list the so many times this franchise has let the fans down. At some point it becomes redundant to do so. So, what if everyone just forgot about all that for the next 45 games, packed The K every night and simply enjoyed the ride?

    If the fans were to do that, this summer will go down as being the best summer around here in a long time. Regardless of the outcome (And perhaps the biggest selling point of attending the games is that you won’t be subjected to Rex Hudler if you watch the games at home.)

    The atmosphere at The K during Monday night’s game against the Athletics was as good as I’ve seen it this year. By any measure, it was flat-out loud when Alcides Escobar drove in the go-ahead run in the 7th. And that was with 21,479 people in the stands. I can’t imagine the zoo that place could become if we started selling it out every night.

    As easy as the Yankees and Braves made it look during the 90s and 2000s, making the playoffs isn’t easy. Everyone around here knows this. Which is what makes this playoff race so special.

    These next seven weeks are going to be a grind, which simply adds to all of the fun. It’s the anticipation before every game. The analyzing after every game. The scoreboard watching. And the general buzz that takes over the city.

    Royals fans haven’t gotten to do these things in such a long time. This is so much fun for everyone. No fan base or franchise should ever have to go three decades without getting to have this much fun. Unless, of course, we are talking about the Yankees. They could use some downtime.

    Now is the time to hop on and finish the ride with the Boys in Blue. Get out to the games and have a blast. Yes, Royals fans, you deserve this.