As a new Royals milestone nears, Kansas City favorite Willie Wilson reflects on 1985

Willie Wilson, World Series jewelry on hand, discussed his new book, "Inside the Park: Running the Base Path of Life."
Willie Wilson, World Series jewelry on hand, discussed his new book, “Inside the Park: Running the Base Path of Life.”

With Seattle beating Toronto, Kansas City Royals fans didn’t get to celebrate their team’s first playoff berth since 1985 on Thursday. But for a group of long-time supporters of the boys in blue, Thursday did provide an opportunity to relive some of the great moments from that World Series-championship year from one of its most popular members.

Willie Wilson appeared at the Antioch Library in Merriam Thursday to discuss his new book, “Inside the Park: Running the Base Path of Life,” a memoir that documents the highs and lows of his 18-year career in the major leagues. Convicted on cocaine charges in 1983, Wilson returned to the Royals and proved instrumental in their 1985 World Series season, hitting .367 on the year.

On Thursday, Wilson recounted traveling to St. Louis for game three of the series after the Royals had dropped the first two games at home. The Cardinals staff had hung a banner reading “Welcome home 1985 World Series Champions.”

“We’re all walking down the steps and look over to the right, and it’s like, ‘Are they kidding? They’re only up two games,'” Wilson remembered. “Nobody said anything. But you could see everybody started digging a little deeper.”

The Royals went on to take two of three from the Cardinals in St. Louis before winning the final two games at home to secure the series.

Asked about the use of replay in the modern game, Wilson said he “liked the era I played in.”

“We didn’t have all this video back then. The games take too long now,” he said. “It’s about [fans] buying stuff. Go get another beer. Go get another hot dog. Go buy this or that. Everybody’s making money.”