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For Faithful Fans, A Royals Shrine Keeps Good 'Voodoo' Flowing During World Series

Cody Newill
Valdez Campos (left), Tommy Palmer (middle) and Jon Watkins (right) pray to the Royals altar they've created as a good luck charm for the boys during the World Series.

Baseball is a notoriously superstitious sport for both players and fans. The superstition is so powerful that it has led two Royals fanatics to make a portable shrine to keep the boys in blue lucky during their battle for the World Series against the New York Mets.

Valdez Campos and Jon Watkins both love the Royals and they both work at Blvd. Tavern. One slow Sunday night at the bar, they got to thinking about how they could honor the team and create a good luck charm to see them through the Series.

"We just sat there with a piece of paper and literally for like four hours kept writing and coming up with ideas," Watkins said. "We came up with some really outlandish voodoo stuff."

Credit Cody Newill / KCUR
The shrine holds items like a baseball signed by the 1985 World Series Champion Royals, baseball cards of famous players and items from last year's pennant.

Some of the pieces of memorabilia they planned to get were fairly simple: old jerseys, a baseball signed by the 1985 Royals team and vintage baseball cards. But some items were a little more far fetched.

"A hunk of Dan Quisenberry's mustache, you know, things that aren't attainable really," Watkins said. "We couldn't find that." (Quisenberry died in 1998.)

The two took to social media and asked their friends to find pieces that they couldn't readily find. When all was said and done, they collected former Royals second basemen Frank White's jersey, a hoodie that Campos wore during every playoff game last year and even Royals colored rosaries among other items.

But the linchpin of the entire box for Campos is a lock of hair from a woman who claims to have had a chance encounter with George Brett when she was 10-years-old.

"She stole a peach in the River Market from a peach cart, and the owner chased her down and was screaming at her," Campos said. "And George Brett walked up and said, 'Leave this little girl alone,' and gave the [peach cart owner] $20."

Campos and Watkins' friend Stephanie Richardson assembled the items in a Quintessa Wine box, and they took it to different bars from the Crossroads to Westport. 

"People are freaking out about this every time we show it to somebody," Campos said. "I was amazed that people were willing to give up prized memorabilia for this."

The box now rests at Blvd. Tavern where dozens of fans paid homage. Campos takes pictures of most of the people who take a moment to send good vibes through the magic of the simple wood box.

But the magic doesn't stop there. After the World Series is over, Campos and Watkins have big plans for the shrine.

"If we were to lose, which we're not going to, we're going to burn it," Campos said. "But when we win, we're going to bury it at Kauffman Stadium, or as close as we can possibly get. We don't want to break any laws."

If the Royals win and then make it to the World Series again in future years, Watkins says him and Campos plan to unearth the buried box to keep the good vibes or voodoo or whatever you want to call it, flowing once again.

Until then, they'll keep praying at their handmade altar until the World Series is over. 

Cody Newill is a general assignment reporter for KCUR. You can follow him on Twitter @CodyNewill or send him an email at cody@kcur.org.

Cody Newill is part of KCUR's audience development team. Follow him on Twitter @CodyNewill or email him at cody@kcur.org.
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