You have the memories, the T-shirt, maybe even a rally towel you waved like crazy at Kauffman Stadium this week.
But wouldn’t it be cool to proclaim your pride in the 2014 American League champions with an official Royals license plate for your car?
Sorry. You’re out of luck on that one.
Both Kansas and Missouri issue specialty license plates, but the Sunflower State isn’t home to an MLB or NFL team, and it doesn’t sell pro sports license plates. (Collegiate and military plates, among others, are offered in both states.)
It’s a different story in Missouri. Yes, you can order a Kansas City Chiefs license plate. Or St. Louis Cardinals or Blues plates.
But not a Royals plate.
The reason: Back in the day, no one wanted one.
Hate to say it, but it wasn’t that long ago that the Royals stunk. In 2002, ’04, ’05 and ’06 the team lost at least 100 games a season. Things didn’t get much better for a while after that.
So in August 2007, the state of Missouri stopped offering a Kansas City Royals license plate — authorized in 1999 — because of lack of interest.
Over the preceding five years, not a soul had applied for one.
“This gets me upset every time I see another team on a plate,” said Tim Shaw of Liberty, who has personalized GO RYLS plates.
He says he’s contacted the state several times about getting an official Royals plate but is always told they’re not available.
“I’m the guy that goes to the games … win, lose or draw,” he said. “I’m the guy that’s gonna be there, and I’d like to have them on my plates.”
State Rep. John Rizzo of Kansas City, who calls himself a die-hard Royals fan, says he doesn’t think the state ever actually produced a Royals license plate.
A Missouri statute says the Department of Revenue doesn’t have to issue a specialty license plate unless it gets at least 100 applications. “I don’t think they ever got to that point,” Rizzo says.
And there’s no way to apply for one now.
“At this time, none of the conditions required by state law have been met to establish a Kansas City Royals license plate,” Department of Revenue spokeswoman Michelle Gleba said by email.
Gleba referred us to Section 301.2998: “If no applications for such plate have been received within five years from the effective date of the section authorizing the plate, then the Department of Revenue no longer will be required to accept applications and issue such plate.”
“Kansas City Royals” does appear on a list of specialty plates on the revenue department website. But it’s nowhere to be found on a drop-down menu that shows what each plate looks like.
Typically, a motorist has to first make a contribution to the organization featured on a specialty plate. In the case of the Chiefs, that would be $35, which goes to the Chiefs Children’s Fund. The Department of Revenue charges $15 for specialty plates on top of regular registration fees. (Go to dor.mo.gov/motorv/plates to apply for a Missouri specialty plate.)
Even official Chiefs license plates aren’t exactly selling like hotcakes. As of Oct. 3, the Department of Revenue reported issuing just 181 in total.
Did we get you all revved up about the idea of something Royals-ish on the front or back of your car only to hit the brakes?
Consider a Royals license plate frame. They’re available online from several retailers for less than $20.
But Rizzo, for one, thinks there would be plenty of demand if the state would make a Royals license plate available.
“I don’t think (Fox sportscaster) Joe Buck’s gonna ask for one, though,” he said.