BU students help Royals celebrate championship


Story by Jim Joyner, Sports Editor

Kansas City has become the center of the sports universe thanks to the Royals winning the World Series title for the first time since 1985.

After coming back from the pits of despair in the eighth inning of the American League Division Series, knocking off the power-hitting, bat-flipping Toronto Blue Jays to win their second consecutive pennant and finishing off the action-hero themed pitching staff of the New York Mets, the Royals and their fan base came together Tuesday for the biggest party in Kansas City history.

Approximately 800,000 people showed up. Most settled into their spots on the parade route three hours prior to the Chevrolet trucks carrying the world champions down Grand Street in downtown KC.

Nearly every school district in the Kansas City metropolitan area canceled classes for Tuesday’s parade, leading to the massive attendance. Baker University didn’t cancel classes, however, forcing some students to skip class to attend the coronation ceremony. Based on posts in Twitter, Facebook and Snapchat, plenty of BU students were there.

Senior Megan Henry, a native of Mansfield, Texas, attended the parade and loved the entire day despite not being a Kansas Citian.

“I thought it was really cool to be a part of something that you don’t know if it will ever happen again,” Henry said.

Henry said she was astounded at the number of people filling the lawn in front of Union Station and the Liberty Memorial.

Tori Paul, a lifetime Kansas City (Blue Springs) native, put on her Royals attire and drove up I-35 for the parade and rally. For Paul, this event was way overdue.

“Being from Kansas City, I’ve been a fan ever since they were horrible and losing almost every game,” Paul said. “It was good to see the team come together and come back from last year.”

Paul arrived downtown around 9:15 a.m. She enjoyed the family feel of the day’s events.

“It was great to see everybody come together to celebrate a team that came from nothing to now having something that they haven’t had in a long time,” Paul said.

Senior Allie Bauer also thought the atmosphere around the parade and its festivities was one of the best parts about the event.

“I felt like we were all one big family of 800,000 people who were all rooting for the same thing,” Bauer said.

Junior Trevor Lininger’s classes for Tuesday were informally canceled due to the lack of students that the teachers expected to be in class, so he made the traffic-congested trek to Kansas City. He was amazed at the number of people there.

“I had heard that early on they were expecting a couple hundred thousand, but I really wasn’t expecting 800,000 plus,” Lininger said. “It was unlike anything I had ever seen and it was beyond my wildest expectations.”

Lininger has attended 20 or more games a season for as long as he can remember. He was even at Game Five of the ALDS to witness Johnny Cueto’s fantastic performance. Lininger loved how the success of the Royals brought the town together.

“The city really came together, came out and represented the team really well,” Lininger said.

Junior Zach Vredenburg, another die-hard Royals fan, has waited his entire life for the ticker-tape parade honoring a Kansas City world championship team.

“It was something I’ve never been to before so it was an awesome experience to get to see the players and celebrate a World Series,” Vredenburg said.

The abundance of fans with blankets, strollers and other personal belongings created a hectic day for parade-watchers attempting to navigate through the crowd. Some people parked at Kemper Arena and rode on shuttles to the parade area, some parked in Westport and walked to Union Station, and rebellious ones abandoned their cars on exit ramps along I-35.

Junior Jamie Hodge thought that all the people made for a crazy but fun day.

“Even though it was really chaotic and it stressed me, I’m glad I did it,” Hodge said.

Kansas City’s World Series celebration has been the hot topic of national news. After an epic speech, Royals player Jonny Gomes was a trending topic in the United States.

After a sea of blue covered Kansas City to congratulate the World Series champion Royals, Nov. 3 will be a day to remember for a long time, and plenty of Baker students were part of it.