BIG TEAM, LITTLE ME
My hands hurt from clapping. A small price to pay for such a big victory tonight at The K.
Before I get to the oh-so-exciting bottom of the ninth, let me take you to the K Crew Locker Room at about 5:00 PM for our pre-game meeting. Upon entering our room, we all grab a schedule of the night’s events to scope out which promotion or pre-game responsibilty was assigned to us for the game. Now as a reader of the K Crew blog, I’m going to let you in on some insider information here…while we love every fan and every seat in the house, there are some promotions and some responsiblities that are a little more glamorous than others.
For example, the K Crew T-shirt Launch is always a blast, but there’s something a bit more exciting about being assigned “Royals Dugout.” And on this very night, as I grabbed my script, I was feeling a little blue…and not just because we were wearing our powder blues. Not only did I not get to see the top of a dugout all night, but after three games in a row of getting to do Live Shots on microphone for pre-game, I was pretty sad to see there would be no microphone in this K Crew member’s hand for the evening.
Instead I headed up to the View Level to find fans and use this opportunity to see a different perspective of pre-game. It wasn’t five minutes after I was mingling around section 419 that I met a really special fan. I found out that Adam was a really big Royals fan, however Adam wasn’t the fan that would be singing the National Anthem or down on the field for a pre-game interview. You see, Adam couldn’t talk very well. He also couldn’t walk so great either, but boy was he excited about the 40th Anniversary pin that I had for him. I sat with him for about ten minutes…not really saying a whole lot, but just soaking in the joy of being at the ballpark. The nice man that brought him to the game told me later that those ten minutes meant the world to him. As I walked away from my new friend, I realized that I had just watched the Live Shots air on CrownVision while hanging out with Adam. I smiled at the way things work sometimes.
Throughout the game, I had even more cool moments like the one with Adam. I was able to hold an older woman’s purse for her while she fixed her jersey in the bathroom. Katie and I had a great conversation with the Buck O’Neil Legacy Seat honoree. A little girl that I had taught in Vacation Bible School saw me and was so excited to get a high five from a “Royals girl.” A friend of my dad’s recognized me and told me what a great job this was for me. None of these moments were captured on screen, yet they were all super exciting to me.
This job has many facets. Yes, part of the job is being on camera and smiling while being the center of attention. But there is more to K Crew than being in front of the fans. Sometimes, the most important thing we can do is come alongside the fans. Sit with them. Talk to them. Hear about the memories they have from games past. Hold their purse. Give them a high five.
Somewhat parallel to my attitude for my role tonight, the game only got better and better at the end. After the first home run in the bottom of the ninth, Katie and I exchanged a look that predicted that maybe, just maybe something big was about to happen. And did it ever!!!! Two homeruns, a triple and a WIN FOR THE ROYALS!! As I was jumping up and down, screaming, high fiving and hugging every fan in sight, I caught a glimpse of the quote on the back of the shirts we gave away tonight for T-Shirt Tuesday. There were 20,000 of them in the stadium, but it wasn’t until that very moment that I REALLY read the profound words:
“Play for the name on the front of the jersey, not the name on the back.”
As a coach’s daughter, my dad has raised me with this “big team, little me” attitude since I was old enough to throw a ball. But sometimes we need reminders. Tonight was my reminder. As a K Crew TEAM member, there are a lot of roles to fill, but in the end, it’s not about the name on the back of my jersey. It’s the one on the front that is important. And you know what? The name on the front of my jersey isn’t “K Crew.” It’s ROYALS. Tonight was a big win… not for me, not for K Crew, but for the ROYALS. I’m just proud to be a part of this team.
It’s a GREAT day to be Royals fan…