Born in March 1986, Tim Grimes was still in his mother’s womb when the Royals last made the playoffs. So when Salvador Perez secured the final out last Friday against the White Sox, securing the Royals’ first playoff appearance since 1985, there was little doubt that the lifelong Royals fan was going to attend the playoffs game. And the win only bolstered Grimes’ courage in the face of a deadly disease.
“Welp, guess this means I’m beating cancer,” he said shortly after the victory.
Grimes is set to begin treatment under a clinical trial at the University of Kansas Hospital next week for the advanced-stage skin cancer that threatens his life. But for the past week, he’s been focused on rooting on his favorite team.
As if the 2004 SM East graduate didn’t have enough drama right now, the Royals’ first two playoff games have provided plenty of excitement. Grimes said that, like everyone else in the stadium during Tuesday’s Wild Card Playoff game against Oakland, he and his friend felt like they’d been punched in the gut when Brandon Moss hit the sixth-inning homerun off of Yordano Ventura.
“But in my life outside baseball,” he said, “people have been showing me how to be optimistic. We never stopped believing.”
In the roller coaster ride that ensued, Grimes said he and his friends never gave up hope.
“I kept telling people in the stands, ‘I’m going to beat cancer. But I don’t know if I’ll survive the heart attack this game gives me,'” he said.
When it was all said and done, he’d thrown out his arm waving his rally towel and lost his voice from cheering. But on Thursday, he was in Anaheim to see the Royals 11-inning win over the Angels. He’ll be in the crowd again tonight.