As Royals’ year comes to a dramatic end, sadness, appreciation for a great season

Rachel Raile in the parking lot Kauffman Stadium after the Royals loss.
Rachel Raile in the Kauffman Stadium parking lot after the Royals loss.
Well, gang, the plan for this morning, of course, had been to run a bunch of great photos and video of Royals fans celebrating the team’s World Series title. Alas, as we all know by now, it was not to be.

The back up plan had been to run a few photos and reactions from fans after a Royals loss. But after the last out on Wednesday, I didn’t have the heart to write that story. And I’m not sure many people would have wanted to read it. So we were going to run a story on Joyce DiDonato’s National Anthem performance. But then Rachel Raile, the Prairie Village woman who posted dozens of Hunter Pence signs in her front yard, sent us a note. And I figured it probably captured the mood of the moment as well as anything. “Much to the chagrin of [her financial] advisor,” Rachel sold a portion of an investment in order to buy a ticket to Wednesday’s Game Seven at the last minute. She sent us the following message early Thursday morning as she was finishing clearing the Pence signs from her yard:

It’s 12:23 and I’m slowly, sadly, taking down my Hunter Pence signs. It’s been a fun ride. I’ve made some new friends, a woman who told me my sign made me think of her mom who died in 2005, a die hard Royals fan who would have gotten a kick out of my antics. A woman who drove up from southern Johnson county to see my signs and gave me a suggestion from her son, Jackson… A contractor who shared his story of moving to Kansas City from California, we must have spent half an hour in front of my house chatting. Getting closer with an old friend, bonding over the love of baseball. Laughing with my sons as we came up with new digs at Hunter Pence. But as I left the stadium tonight it seemed like everyone just wanted to get to their cars as quickly as they could. And me? Silly me, tears streamed down my face and I sobbed as I ached for the Royals. For poor Perez, my beloved #13, whose jersey I wore tonight. All I could think about was him. I just hope our boys know that there are fans out there like me, who feel their pain, and I hope and pray that they know how much we love them. Tonight is a tough night but I, for one, will send silent thanks to the Royals for all they have done for our city and look forward, with great hope and excitement, to 2015! I have no more insults for Hunter Pence. I can only say, “Thank you Royals!”