A Fair-Weather Fan's Guide To Jumping On The Royals Bandwagon
Even if you don't pay attention to sports, social media or Kansas City, you probably saw something about the Royals winning their first playoff game in 29 years Tuesday.
Fans were left stunned after what was arguably the most intense game in Royals history. But what about people who generally don't follow baseball and want in on the excitement? What about those who don't know a bunt from bean?
For those who need a primer on some Royals basics to help you through the postseason as a new fan, look no further. Here are our six informational tips about the Royals and baseball in general that will help you get on the fandom bandwagon:
- Baseball games are divided up by "innings."
Games run for nine innings, giving each team the chance to score and then defend. If a game is tied by the "bottom" of the ninth inning, then it goes into extra innings. Tuesday's wild card game between the Royals and the Oakland Athletics went into the 12th inning. Games usually last anywhere from three to five hours.
- Fans often chant during games to show support.
The most common chant is "Let's go, Royals!" but fans also tend to shout "Moose!" when third baseman Mike "Moose" Moustakas goes up to bat (some fans even wear blue moose antlers to show support as well).
- You'll see terms like "sacrifice fly," "bunt" and "stealing" quite often.
Baseball is full of jargon that may be confusing at first. Bunting is where a batter doesn't swing at a pitch, but strategically taps it instead. A steal is where a player on base advances before a hit is made. A sacrifice play is any hit or steal that allows another player to advance a base, but earns the team an out as well.
- The Royals have fans around the world.
Perhaps the best known international Royals fan is SungWoo Lee, who lives in Seoul, South Korea. Lee visited Kansas City during the regular 2014 season, and many considered his presence to carry good omens and luck for the team. He is very active on Twitter during games.
- There's an entire world of Royals lingo on social media.
Royals fans have several hashtags that they routinely use during games. Whenever the team wins, many use #HeyHeyHeyHey on Twitter to imitate the Beatles' rendition of "Kansas City/Hey, Hey, Hey, Hey" that plays at Kauffman Stadium. For the wild card game, #HuntForBlueOctober was popular, as well as #Yosted when some fans felt that Royals manager Ned Yost made bad decisions during the game.
- Fans feel that the Royals are long overdue success.
The last time the Royals made it to the playoffs was 1985, and they managed to win the World Series that year. The drought since then was the longest in North American sports, until the boys in blue won Tuesday.