Fans of the Kansas City Royals have been cranky of late. With the second half of a sometimes uninspiring season bearing down, they’ve been wondering about the baseball team’s inability to rise to greatness. Do we have a lineup of underachievers? Why oh why couldn’t the team manage an uplifting trade before the recent deadline?
Well, people, take a breath and chill out. And enjoy the enthusiasm of a real Royals fan. He is SungWoo Lee of Seoul, South Korea, who traveled halfway around the world this week to satisfy his inexplicable but quite welcome devotion to the Royals.
He has become quite a celebrity since arriving Tuesday. Cameras are following him everywhere.
It was nice to see him visiting Wednesday with Bob Kendrick at the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum. And undoubtedly the Kauffman Stadium crowd will go wild this weekend when introduced to the globe-hopping fan.
He’s on tap to see five games before he leaves town next week. And all will be challenging outings for the local boys in blue, given that they’ll be facing two of the best teams in baseball — the San Francisco Giants (an interleague game) and the Oakland A’s.
With luck, the Royals will give SungWoo Lee reason to be even prouder.
Lee will also take in Thursday’s night’s preseason football opener at Arrowhead Stadium between the Chiefs and the Cincinnati Bengals. And he’ll take a road trip to catch the Royals’ Northwest Arkansas farm team, perhaps witnessing some powerhouse talents awaiting their call to the bigs.
At a time when it’s tough to be happy (despite Pharrell Williams’ ubiquity), the travels of SungWoo Lee should give us all pause to reflect on the idea of optimism as well as a joyous smile.