Royals baseball has been a tradition in Kansas City for years and even more so in the past two years with the team’s newfound successes. The college’s baseball program holds a similar rich tradition.
The Kansas City Royals just finished their third straight season of winning at least 85 games. This season, the Royals achieved a record average attendance per game at Kauffman Stadium with 34,439, beating the previous record of 30,589 in 1989.
Johnson County is coming off back-to-back seasons of at least 40 victories and is two years removed from the school’s first-ever 50-win season. But with the Royals’ success, is the interest in the college’s baseball team growing?
“I have seen a growth in attendance during the Royals’ playoffs run,” said freshman pitcher and right fielder Chaz Burgess. “I’m not sure if it’s parents or students, but I have seen more people in the stands.”
While Burgess believes the Royals have a hand in the college’s baseball popularity, Tyler Cundith, College Information Editor, feels differently.
“I wouldn’t say it’s because of the Royals’ success but the tradition our sports programs have here,” said Cundith.
This semester the team played unofficial games for preseason experience and to bring in the new freshmen. Burgess cites the Royals being a bonding tool for the group, with the team getting together to watch the games.
“It’s been fun to watch all the games as a team. I think watching the games together and hanging out brought us closer,” said Burgess.
Around campus, Royals gear is everywhere. Many students enjoy baseball, but would they enjoy watching the college play since they have seen all the success of our local pro team in Kansas City?
“I enjoy all levels of baseball. It’s a fun sport to watch no matter what level you are there to watch,” said student Mia Richard.
The college has some history with the Kansas City Royals. Kit Pellow, who played here at the college in 1994, was drafted by the Royals and made his major league debut on August 14, 2002 against the New York Yankees. The Royals organization has drafted five former baseball players from the college and a total of 28 students have either been drafted or signed by professional teams.
The college’s baseball team just finished their fall semester season and won’t resume play until spring.