27 September 2014

KC Royals, 1985, and history


In the US, there are four major leagues in sport: baseball, football (sorry, that's gridiron), basketball and (ice) hockey. The longest streak of losing has just terminated. The team which had not made its way into the finals' (playoffs) series in 29 years just became a contender today. By beating the Chicago White Sox 3-1, the Kansas City Royals earned a playoff spot for the first time since 1985.

To put that in perspective, this is what happened in 1986..
 1) Duran Duran begin their career as a three piece with the release of "Notorious"
 2) John Farnham released the album "Whispering Jack", which becomes the highest selling album in Australia’s history, featuring the single from the previous year, "You're the Voice".
3) The Beastie Boys release their first studio album 'Licensed To Ill', which goes onto become the first Hip Hop album to reach number one in the U.S.A. It eventually goes onto become one of the most influential and important Hip Hop albums of all time.
4) The Goo Goo Dolls formed.
 5) NYC transit fare rose from 90 cents to $1.00
6) Last day in Test cricket for Bob Holland
7) Spain recognized Israel
8) 25th Space Shuttle (51L)-Challenger 10 exploded 73 seconds after liftoff
9) Chunnel announced (railroad tunnel under Canal)
10) Martina Navratilova is 1st tennis player to earn $10 million
11) Geffen records signs Guns & Roses
12) World oil prices dip below $10 a barrel
13) 4 US passengers killed by bomb at TWA counter Athens Airport Greece
14) South African Pres P W Botha sent Coetsee to visit Mandela
15) Barry Bonds made his MLB debut for the Pittsburgh Pirates
16) Grateful Dead's Jerry Garcia release from hospital after 3 week coma
17) Madonna's "True Blue" album went #1 for 5 weeks
18) John Tesh's 1st appearance on Entertainment Tonight
19) A's Mark McGwire hit his 1st major league home run and
20) The 'Oprah Winfrey Show' was first broadcast nationally.

That's a lot of history of people who have been long settled into our minds for at least 3 decades. So when the Royals won today and lodged their place in baseball's post-season, a lot of things had to change, most specifically in Kansas City. Tickets will have to be printed for games played there. Sports and newscasters will be working up story after story to lodge about this player or that season or this event. They will have increased work. And the town will be celebrating, not only tonight, but long into October.

Then the team will meet up with other contenders and eventually either win it all in the World Series, or be sent home without final triumph. Only one team will win; it might be the Royals. They certainly have the talent and the drive to win. But so do many other teams. We'll see.

I make no other point other than to say 'congratulations' to my team. I've had Royals gear in my closet and worn the clothes since they began in 1969 with Joe Foy and Lou Piniella, Dick Howser and company. I rode their train in the mid-80s when they beat the St Louis Cardinals in the I-70 series. I was sad for them in the loss in Philly in 1980 with Tug McGraw et. al. and I'm still on their side today. Regional loyalty, you know? Go Royals!

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