KANSAS CITY: Thousands of Kansas City Royals supporters gathered at Union Station on Tuesday (Wednesday in Manila) after a victory parade to celebrate the team capturing its first World Series title since 1985.
The Royals, who lost in last year’s best-of-seven Major League Baseball finals, rallied from behind to win four times in defeating the New York Mets 4-1 to seize the crown this year — 30 years after taking their only other title.
A sea of blue-clad supporters at the US Midwestern metropolis watched as the victory parade stretched 2.3 miles (3.73km) through downtown Kansas City until halting for the rally.
“You know when there’s a celebration going on in Kansas City, they do it right. Just unbelievable,” first baseman Eric Hosmer said. “You look at every building, you look at every street, people are on the roof, people are jam packed out there. It means so much to all of us that we get to have this moment with our fans.”
Waving signs and cheering, fans saluted team players and officials, with Royals manager Ned Yost hoisting the World Series trophy high into the air for spectators to see when the caravan turned into Union Station.
“This is a day like none of us have ever seen before, and we appreciate it from the bottom of our hearts,” Yost said. “We are so thankful for your support. Kansas City is the greatest town in the world, they have the best fans in the world and now you have the best team in the world.”
Royals catcher Salvador Perez, the World Series Most Valuable Player, took the trophy into the crowd and posed for pictures while and outfielder Jonny Gomes gave a passionate speech as players marveled at the large turnout.
“Just so amazing,” said the Royals’ Jarrod Dyson.
Some schools called off classes so students could attend the championship rally and even police horses had the Royals logo tattooed on them.
“Congratulations, Kansas City,” Royals general manger Dayton Moore said. “What an amazing blessing it is to celebrate this team, these players on this stage, their perseverance. They’re tough. They all have a story that’s very special and forever we’re honored by these great players. Here you go, Kansas City. Thank you for your faithfulness, thank you for believing in us.”