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Royals bring life experiences to lifetime fan

(Editor’s note: This guest blog submitted by David Hettrick, the nephew of Arcadia’s Best founder Scott Hettrick, the latter of whom postponed his wedding by a week to take his mother to a game in the first World Series appearance of the Kansas City Royals in 1980 and was stuck at Air Traffic Control School in Oklahoma in 1985 when the Royals returned and became World Champions for the first time.)

by David Hettrick


Dave (2nd from right) with his father Ric (far right) and family friends at a Royals game in 1992

In 1989, I watched Bo Jackson hit a home-run to lead off the All-Star game on a small black-and-white TV in Tennessee while on family vacation. At the time, as an awestruck baseball loving nine year-old, I had no idea this would be my last great Royals memory for nearly 25 years.

In 1994, I watched as the Royals had an incredible 14 game winning streak. Major League Baseball literally cancelled the season exactly one week later for the players to go on strike.

In 1998, I worked as an usher where I was lucky enough to work the section immediately behind home plate where all the players’ families and Royals scouts (including super scout Art Stewart) sat. It was the best job I ever had. The Royals lost 89 games.

In 2001, while away at college, I discovered the Kansas City Star updated their website every night at midnight. This meant I could read all the Royals stories online about eight hours before they were in the newspaper the next morning. The Royals lost 97 games.


Dave with his father Ric in Missouri after scoring their first World Series tickets for Royals in 2014

In 2004, I started going to Royals spring training (and have gone every year for the last 13 years!). They were predicted to have their first great season in years. The Royals lost 104 games.

In 2005, I was working for The Tonight Show with Jay Leno. The Royals had an embarrassing 19-game losing streak. The Tonight Show writers would call me into their office every afternoon and torture me by reading the Royals jokes they had written that inevitably made it into Leno’s monologue. The Royals lost 106 games.

In 2008, I went to New York to watch the Royals and for the last season of Yankee Stadium. The Royals shockingly beat Rivera in the ninth to win the game but for some reason Yankee fans were still overwhelmingly nice to us. After the game, a fan let us know it was because we were the Royals. Yes, it was “cute” that Kansas City had a team, but they were no threat to the mighty Yankees. The Royals lost 87 games.


Dave (right) with his uncle Scott in Arcadia, California to celebrate Royals making it to first World Series in 2014.

In 2010, I bought the MLB package so I could now watch nearly every Royals game on my computer (as I have every year since). The Royals lost 95 games.

In 2014, 25 years after Bo Jackson’s home-run, I found myself in shock as I flew back to Kansas City (twice!) to watch the Royals finally in the playoffs (including witnessing the greatest Wild Card game of all-time).

And then it happened….

In 2015, THE ROYALS WON THE WORLD SERIES! For people that aren’t from Kansas City, it’s impossible to understand just how shocking this World Series victory is and how much it means. For the past 25 years, not only were the Royals the laughingstock of baseball, being relegated to the last 15- seconds of SportsCenter, but really, most of the time, it felt like we were playing an entirely different sport.


Dave is looking forward to adding to his collection of memorabilia from the Royals previous lone World Series championship

While it absolutely kills me that I haven’t been able to be back in Kansas City this week – and that I’m missing the championship parade today – it’s very clear this journey has been about so much more than baseball. It’s been about life. It’s been about giving me a reason to call my Dad from 2000 miles away for no other reason than to talk baseball for two minutes. It’s been about learning how to get back up after you’ve been repeatedly kicked down (we refer to that as the Buddy Bell years). It’s been about texting with Brady during every game for the last three years. It’s been about forging a life-long bond with five friends every year in spring training, when no matter the Royals team, optimism abounds. It’s been about moving to a different city but being able to still leave a part of you at home. And most importantly, as the 2015 Royals so clearly showed the world, it’s been about never giving up.

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