At the halfway mark, in July, the Royals were a respectable 48-46. I was pleased, but not seduced. We celebrated the All-Star break by smoking Kansas City-style ribs and serving them to forty people at Grumpy’s, a bar patronized by rockers, artists, and baseball fans. I was dismayed that Frank White and his wife advised using Kraft-brand barbecue sauce rather than something created from scratch, so I improvised three different dry rubs from a recipe by Dave Nelson, an infielder from Oklahoma who hit .235 in 1976. The goodwill for the Royals at Grumpy’s that afternoon was fortifying. Over the rest of the summer, as Kansas City battled Detroit for the division lead, fans of the Twins, Rangers, White Sox, and even the Tigers had good things to say about the Royals. These fans from other cities didn’t carry the burden of lost decades, and they helped me to see the team for the thriller it was becoming, not for what it had been.
- Josh Ostergaard (The New Yorker)
Read the rest: "Hal McRae’s Favorite Swiss Steak, and Other Reasons to Love the Royals"
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