Kansas City hosted a victory parade for its beloved Royals on Tuesday, and the city celebrated as if it hadn’t done that in 30 years.
That’s because it hadn’t.
“It’s unbelievable,” Independence Examiner sports columnist Bill Althaus said on CBS Sports Radio’s Ferrall on the Bench. “I went down to the parade today, the celebration at Union Station, and it was like a scene from a movie. The estimates ranged from 400,000 to 800,000 (people). I just know every square foot of downtown that wasn’t a street was covered with people for two-and-a-half miles. It was phenomenal. What they accomplished last year was totally out of the blue. No one really expected it except for manager Ned Yost and his players. He thought they’d be really good last year. Then they wind up 90 feet away from winning Game 7 against Madison Bumgarner and the Giants. And this year they just go back and take it all. They had so many dramatic games. Eight wins during this postseason came in the seventh, eighth or ninth inning – or extra innings. Every one would be a game that people would talk about forever, but there were so many of them, they just kind of run together now. It’s just been phenomenal.”
The Royals beat the Mets in five games to capture their first World Series championship since 1985. The Royals won the first two games of the series in Kansas City and the final two games of the series in New York.
Of course, after Game 1, the rest of the series may have been mere formality. The Mets were leading the Royals, 4-3, in Kansas City in the ninth inning, and had Jeurys Famila on the mound. Familia hadn’t blown a save since July.
So naturally he blew one against the Royals, giving up a game-tying homer to Alex Gordon. The Royals went on to win in 14.
Althaus was not surprised.
“Gordon is not the voice of the team – that’s (Eric) Hosmer – but Alex is the guy that everybody looks up to,” Althaus said. “He’s just the perfect guy. I’m talking to him after he hit that (game-tying) home run (in the ninth inning of Game 1), and I said, ‘Man, you saved Hosmer the embarrassment of the error.’ And he goes, ‘I didn’t save anybody.’ He said, ‘All we do is we play for each other.’ I’ll tell you what, man. It’s not a cliche, it’s not a worn-out line. These guys love each other. I’ve never been around a team that’s any closer than this team, the chemistry they have. They have the perfect manager because Ned Yost is going to take all the heat, he’s going to take all the bullets. He’s not going to let anybody attack his team. He loves these kids. When he took over as manager, most of them were in A-ball, and he’s seen them grow and develop and win championships in Class- A and Double-A and now here they all are together and winning championships at the big level.”