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By: Tim Pafford

       I have seen few things bring Kansas City together like the post-season (undefeated) Royals. We won't speak of the people who said this would never happen (even I wasn't sure it would be this good). Nor will we speak of those who haven't watched Royals baseball in the entirety of its history dating back to its 1969 birth. (The replacements to the old Kansas City Athletics' after they moved to Oakland, CA.)
         Once the Royals had made this post season Championship (of the American League) official,  my daughter Hazel and I were running outside chanting and cheering to fireworks being shot off in the neighborhood. Hazel's chat of, "Wwwoyals! Wwoyals! Yeah!! Yeah...." with her hands in the air, will forever be a beautiful memory for me. High-fives between her mom and I only capped off the excitement and joy. We did not go back inside until the award's ceremony was in full swing. 
        We laughed as David Glass was handed the American League Championship Trophy being told, "When I met you 20 years ago I never thought I would be doing this," by the baseball chair-people. We were moved to tears as Ned Yost was awarded, and interviewed, as he also got choked up by the emotionally charged awards ceremony.
         Here is a guy who was let go by an organization so close to post season play he could smell it. But his fiery reaction to a 4 game sweep of his Brewers team kept him from his dream of post season success in baseball.
         He was forced to take time away from the game and  center himself. In past interviews I've read, it sounded like it was the ultimate in Home Grown American Zen, with hours alone; hunting, fishing, away from the stress of the game and re-centering himself.  It was only a matter of time that what this learned experience taught him, through inner reflection, would come back out when he was hired to manage the Kansas City Royals.
        Those who know me personally know it is no secret I am also a huge fan of the San Francisco Giants and deeply respect manager Bruce Bochy. For all that he has been able to do to make San Francisco baseball a contending team each year is a feat that can never be honored enough. Now I will be watching my 2 favorite, and most respected, managers in baseball meet for a championship.
         This time the roles feel switched.  The Giants are no longer an underdog team.  They have been here time and time again (with a proven track record of success). The Royals have not been on this stage for a generation for baseball fans. Both teams have come in as the wild card contenders and are white hot. The Giants never lost more than one game in any series and the Royals never lost once in the post season, to date.
         When these 2 teams meet on Tuesday I'll be found sitting back and taking in my 2 favorite teams of professional baseball teams fighting for new hardware in the trophy cases in their home town.
        My wife says Kansas City needs one to give the solo one company, while San Francisco is looking to make for a trio of World Championships trophies for their case. Who will come out on top is only a matter of time, but I predict those series to go at least 6 games (if not 7).

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