After seeing nothing but high fastballs from eventual World Series MVP Madison Bumgarner, Salvador Perez’s foul ball floated into Pablo Sandoval’s glove for the final out and San Francisco claimed its third World Series title in the last five years.
A collective cry of anguish ripped through the district and patrons left the bars in groups of four and five, reminiscing about plays or screaming into the air over missed balls and lost chances. Those hoping for a World Series victory mourned what could have been.
“I can’t buy a T-shirt that says ‘World Series, second place,'” Jake Pritchard, senior in finance, said.
David Dowling, senior in criminology, and Chase Russell, senior in marketing, have watched every game of the season together. As the final score is posted on the televisions in Johnny Kaw’s, they reflect on the culmination of a grueling postseason.
“It felt like somebody grabbed your insides and pulled them all out,” Russell said. “I feel empty. I have been alive for 21 years. This is the first time I’ve seen the Royals do this. It’s a heck of an accomplishment.”
Downing echoed Russell’s sentiments.
“I want to punch Buster Posey in the face,” Downing said. “Which is sad, because he’s a good guy and I like him. But still. I hope Ned Yost gets fired too.”
The game rages on.
A normally purple Wednesday night in Aggieville was lit up in Royals blue for Game 7 of the World Series. The Royals’ spectacular battle through the postseason left many fans elated. This is the first time in twelve years the series has gone all the way to Game 7.
“This is destiny! You couldn’t even script this. This is a dynasty! This is amazing!” Vince Lamas, senior in public relations, said as he screamed in joy as he watched Alex Gordon hit a triple with two outs in the inning.
But Giants fans were not entirely absent from the night.
“This game’s not as dramatic as all the other games,” Maryann Brown, Manhattan resident, said. “They’ve been 10-0, 14-3. It’s like they’ve slipped up. I’d expect more from a team that hasn’t been to a World Series in thirty years.”
Brown was born in California and was rooting for the Giants near the big screens at Kite’s Bar. Joining her at the table was Natalie Ryan, a former resident of New Jersey. Both Army wives, the two had met at Fort Riley. Ryan, however, did wear blue.
“I live in Kansas now,” Ryan said. “I’m supporting the Royals because people don’t cheer for Kansas City enough. It’s exciting.”
Even bars not known for their sports showings drew fans.
“Auntie Mae’s – all year, even when they weren’t doing so good – always had the sound on during the Royals games,” Jeff Kreuser, a 1994 alumnus, said. “They’ve supported them before they started winning during the regular season, and now the postseason too. It’s been really cool to see more and more people here to watch the games.”
The bright side.
A few, however, decided to look on the bright side after the loss.
Ryan Jones, graduate student in architecture and Australian exchange student, watched the whole game in Tanner’s Bar and Grill. He and a group of other exchange students had met some American students and watched the game with them.
“They were chill,” Jones said. “They helped us when we misunderstood the rules, which was quite often. It was a pretty good game until the ninth inning. I’m in America, I might as well immerse myself in the culture. Baseball is the American pastime.”
After the Royals lost, he and his friends headed across the street to Kite’s to dance.
“The mood in Tanner’s was suicidal after the game,” Jones said. “We thought we would try to brighten our evening with a change of venue.”
Spencer Hawkins, senior in landscape management, and Dustin Schmitz, senior in sociology, had staked out a few tables on the balcony of Tubby’s at 5:30 p.m. From there, they could see the televisions better and soak in the atmosphere of the whole bar. They planned on staying at the venue all night, celebrating despite the loss.
“I want to forget the game,” Hawkings said. “When Gordon hit that triple, hopes were high. But we will just move on to the Chiefs until the Royals come back. It was great to see what they did.”
Perspective and opportunity helped keep Schmitz in check despite the disappointing loss.
“My parents took me (to Royals games) when I was tiny,” Schmitz said. “It sucks to lose, but we didn’t expect this going in to the postseason.”