It has taken the World Series to remind us: We are all Kansas Citians.
Forget the state line. And those nasty KU-MU jokes (at least for a while).
The series that starts tonight between the Royals and San Francisco Giants at Kauffman Stadium already has been a tremendously unifying event for the metropolitan area.
It doesn’t matter whether you live in Gladstone or Gardner, Lee’s Summit or Lenexa, Raymore or Roeland Park, even Kansas City in Missouri or Kansas City in Kansas.
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We’re all rooting for the Royals today and for however long it takes to beat the Giants.
And we’re having fun doing it.
Anything with the color blue in it is flying off the shelves at local retail stores. Friendly arguments are being waged about who should sing the National Anthem or throw out the first pitch at the games here.
The media are highlighting stories of kindness toward others that should make Kansas Citians proud to live here, such as the tickets and help provided to people battling cancer so they can get to see a World Series game in person.
People are thoroughly enjoying the Royals’ improbable and unprecedented eight-game postseason winning streak, made much sweeter by the team’s 29-year absence from the playoffs.
Meanwhile, the rest of the world is learning a little bit more about the strengths of not just the Royals but of Kansas City and this region through reporting in the national media and — soon enough — on the nightly broadcasts of the games themselves.
The sport of baseball also is enjoying a renaissance in Kansas City. Parents are playing more games of catch with their children. Casual fans suddenly are perusing all kinds of sports websites, looking for nuggets about the Royals and their postseason opponents.
The power of major league sports to bring this entire community together has been obvious in the past few weeks. It’s a big reason taxpayers were told they needed to approve public funding for a renovated Truman Sports Complex in 2006. And it has worked as advertised.
No one really knows who’s going to win the World Series. But let’s enjoy the ride, Kansas City, for however long it lasts.