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Odes to the Royals: The best of readers’ Blue October poetry

The Royals’ World Series win over the St. Louis Cardinals in 1985 was the stuff of poetry.
The Royals’ World Series win over the St. Louis Cardinals in 1985 was the stuff of poetry. The Associated Press

As we prepare to cheer on the Kansas City Royals in their first game of the postseason on Thursday, let’s give a round of applause to our creative readers as well.

About 300 fans with poetic souls answered our call to write poems for the Boys in Blue. We received lyrical odes, silly limericks, uncanny rhymes and a full bullpen of haiku.

Our favorite delivers a line drive into our nemesis, the Cardinals. Its author, John Murry of Kansas City, wins a $50 prize. Leading off with that winner, here are the best of the entries. Enjoy.

The winner

“Royal Blue vs. Cardinal Red”

Surely every Royal fan alive

Remembers the fall of Eighty-five

When Cardinal red came to town

And over at Kauffman strutted around

But our Royal blue stared them down

Then beat them up and won the crown

Some say history’s a repetitive thing

And this season has a familiar ring

So as the World Series does begin

The Cards may show up here again

And once more begin to strut and boast

But if they do, they’re gonna be toast

Salvy and Cain won’t put up with that

And Hoz will startle them with his bat

Dyson will show ’em what speed can do

Gordy and Kendrys will help out, too

Oh, the home runs they can produce

Especially if the Moose gets loose

Yes, the boys in blue, they’re heroes all

And up for the challenge again this fall

So let’s welcome the Cards again to town

Just wine them and dine them all around

And make sure that they are all well-treated

Before sending them home again defeated.

John Murry,

Kansas City

Runners-up

“The Stage Is Set”

After thirty years of waiting,

The stadium is quiet.

It is row after row of dark blue seats, and

The graceful curves and lines of a crown,

And water rushing in the outfield.

It’s cool grass and soft dirt,

And wooden bats waiting in an empty clubhouse,

And a bronze statue beyond center field of a beaming couple,

Their hands lifted high in welcome.

As the fall air arrives,

The stadium lights brighten slowly.

Cleats are slipped on and laced tight,

Uniforms are proudly donned, and

The heirs apparent jog up the dugout steps

To the crowd’s hopeful roar.

The scoreboard flashes memories:

A ball hit down the third-base line,

A catcher’s arms rising up while running to victory;

A third baseman suspended over a padded railing,

And the fans that keep him from falling;

A left fielder flat on his back after another meeting with the fence,

His lofted glove proving his catch;

A center fielder who seems to be everywhere at once,

Grinning after defending his domain;

A first baseman whose bat flips are a thing of beauty.

The lingering scent of champagne still hangs in the air,

Mixing with anticipation and excitement,

And all the magic and the heartache of last year

Are ready to give way to a new story.

As Kansas City begins its final push toward glory,

We pledge ourselves true, blue, and loyal —

In this fight for our long-lost crown, we are Forever Royal.

Catherine Strayhall

Shawnee


“That Night”

October 27, 1985, was one of the greatest days to be alive

It was a nice night out, and I was feeling flirty

You see, that’s the day that I turned 30

Such a great party, all dressed in my gear

I knew that the Royals would win that year

Brett and Bret; Frank and Wilson

Hal and Balboni; Duke and Jackson

Quite a night, if I say so myself

The Royals put the Commissioner’s Trophy up on the shelf

So this year in November remember that night

These Kansas City Royals are up for that fight

Alex and Moustakas; Eric and Zobrist

Kendrys and Infante; Alcides and Cueto

Will all be at Kauffman working for you

And, well, I’ll be watching, wearing my blue

Oh, and also … I’ll be 30×2

Debra Luptak,

Lee’s Summit


Take me out to the ball game,

Take me out to the K.

I’d buy some peanuts and cracker jacks,

But at the K, can’t afford all those snacks!

Bruce Erickson,

Lee’s Summit


For 3 hours we drove from Omaha that day.

I was taking my son to his first game at the “K”!

We were dressed in Blue and our hats were on straight,

We drove nonstop, for this game, we would not be late.

On our way I told him stories of Brett, Quisenberry and McRae,

I explained that they were all fine players for the Royals back in the day.

We shared memories of games played in more recent times, too,

That catch by Cain, that homer by Hosmer and that stop by Moose!

This game we will not watch on TV. No, today it is real.

The pageantry, the rush, words cannot explain what we feel!

This would be a good game for our boys on the field today,

A victory at home — we could not have scripted it any other way!

We feel as though we are a part of the team,

If only for a few hours and in our dreams.

As we drive north, I look at my son.

The smile on his face proves he had fun.

Forever Royal — there is no doubt.

We will always cheer for KC … down to the final out!

Bill Fleck,

Omaha


Boasted the ketchup to the mustard,

“Hot dog! KC now knows it is true.

We should savor the taste of winning.

Let’s indulge in watching the blue crew.

They’re our ALC champions at the moment,

But since baseball fans love to embellish,

I proclaim our Royals ‘certified wieners.’

I’ll be watching the World Series with relish!”

Mary Don Beachy,

Prairie Village


Royals ruled these days of yours —

These nights of White and Blue —

Cleated princes, weapons cracking,

Sent invading nines a-packing.

Jesting Salvy, jousting Cain,

C’pulters flinging spheres of pain.

Three musketeers to guard the bases,

Infante, Hos and Moose, the maces.

Flanking them — of no small note —

Sir Galahads about the moat.

An ARMY of vassals to glove the kingdom,

And keep apace our hopes for ring-dom.

Clubbers all, around the table,

Zapping homers fit for fable.

Morales, Zobrist, Orlando, Dyson,

Rios, Escobar, our battered Gordon.

Their king? you ask; “No king!” they boast,

“Our leader’s a wizard — Merlin the Yost!

A juggler is he with nary a frown,

Crusading to bring his City a crown!”

Beware, Lords and Ladies, whose castle they keep,

Whose magic we wonder, whose legend we reap—

Fie any and all, the damsel or knave,

Who dares call Our Baseball — only a game. Huzzah!!!!!!

Sue Wright,

Liberty


“Upon Glimpsing the Field”

I never seem to make it

to the game on time,

so I hear it first,

the crack and roar,

like a sweet line in a jazz melody,

call and response:

the ball screaming through

the chilled October air,

the crowd’s exhalation

sweet-talking the ball to drop or fly on.

But then I see it peaking through

others walking the concourse,

the beams holding up this house,

and shadows of the balcony,

the green grass, brown dirt, and white uniforms

drawing me in with their richness:

a game governed by

the innocence of white foul lines, wild cards,

hot streaks, two-out rallies,

sweat-stained caps signed with a magical flourish,

fireworks and fountains.

That first glimpse of the field

always makes me pause.

And I stand and watch the action

before heading to my seat,

afraid I might miss a mythological moment,

a walk-off,

a stolen base stolen back by Salvy’s arm,

a stubborn run-down by Gordo,

or a young team playing their way

into stories that will be tossed

between friends, children, and our children’s children

like a cooling baseball between infielders

after a double play.

Danny Gammon,

Columbia


The how-did-they-just-pull-that-off men,

The crowd can’t take their eyes off them.

Waiting for the final walk-off, when

The trophy will return home to Kauffman.

Emily Baird,

Merriam


Got me a shirt,

Got me a car,

Both say Royals,

Don’t live that far.

Bought me a ticket,

Sittin’ down low,

Stadium is gorgeous,

No place to go.

Ventura is a-pitchin’

He takes his place on the mound,

Hosmer at first,

Batter slaps one on the ground.

Alcides at short,

Takes a step to his right,

Backhands the ball,

Beautiful sight.

Salvy is a-catchin’

He’s low behind the plate,

In position at third,

Moose can’t wait.

Zobrist on second,

Stadium is loud,

Out number three,

Satisfied crowd.

Royals a-battin’,

Gordon rips a line drive,

Headin’ towards third,

Soon to arrive.

Kendrys is up,

Hits a towering fly,

Gordon scores from third,

Just another RBI.

Lo Cain in center,

Rios in right,

Two SportsCenter catches,

Another average night.

Back to the Series,

We’re on our way,

Poem gets long,

Have a lot to say.

Thank you, Dayton,

Thank you, Ned,

Thank you, Denny,

For the words you’ve said.

Thank you bullpen,

You’re the best,

Thank you, starters,

And to the rest.

There’s Paulo, Jarrod and Omar,

They play ball,

Rex, Steve, Joel, Ryan,

In the booth for the call.

Now on to October,

It’s a Royal month,

Series to be played,

Games to be won.

So I got me a shirt,

Got me a car,

Going to need some tickets,

Don’t live that far.

David Vanderwell,

Olathe


Eyes open, dark still, game day … start the drill.

Coffee’s ready … find the cup. No, not that one, that’s bad luck.

Get my T-shirt, make a sign. Just “Go Royals” will do fine.

Find the tickets, grab some cash, Lorenzo bobblehead on the dash.

Got my cap, got my glove, got those peanuts that I love.

Escy’s up, Hos will swing, Zobrist can do everything.

Moose at third, protects the line. Sal is smiling all the time.

Game over, Royals win! … Now let’s do it all again.

Kate Baird,

Lawrence


The Royals are from Kansas City.

For decades their seasons weren’t pretty.

But one year of winning,

And the fans are all grinning,

And forgetting that this team was …

Awful.

Jim Martin,

Prairie Village


There they are, the boys in blue.

You can’t get away from that royal hue.

On the TV and radio the games will be there.

I’ll give the fans credit; it’s only fair.

To be honest, I find it all boring.

When it comes to sports, I’ll end up snoring.

Don’t get me wrong, 1985 was fun.

But that was then, and now I’m done.

I’m no sports fan. That’s not my quirk.

I’d rather argue who’s better — Picard or Kirk.

While others wait for a World Series event

I wait for the new “Star Wars” film for my money spent.

Fans go crazy for a close game won.

How I wish this city was as excited for Comicon.

It’s the same world. The realities one chooses.

But my mood isn’t dictated by who wins or loses.

I don’t mean to be down. To each their own.

But this is my chance to publicly moan.

Tim Rowe,

Kansas City


Now for some haiku

The Royals love to scare

Us with extra inning games

Keeping us up late.

Carmella Bailey,

Lee’s Summit


“Postgame Shower”

Goldberg interviews

Gatorade bath on the way

Salvy gets his guy.

Susan Tolleson,

Shawnee


I was 5 years old

The last time they Took the Crown.

Now? My daughter’s turn.

Kendra Phipps,

Lenexa

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