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Ehlert's World Series memories

T-Bones president Adam Ehlert (left) chats with T-Bones coach and Royals Hall of Fame player Frank White. (2012 File Photo by Matthew Hicks.)
10/24/2014 1:08 PM -

When we were getting World Series predictions, along with championship memories, from our front office and baseball staffs, president Adam Ehlert sent the following. We decided it’d be fun to run this as its own article. So, as the Royals continue playing this weekend in the World Series, here are memories from a life-long Minnesota Twins fan.

“Kiiiiirrrr-beeeee Puckett!”

I still get goosebumps as I recall Bob Casey’s enthusiastic voice ringing out in the magical Metrodome. 

I was in high school when my hometown Minnesota Twins won the World Series in 1987. It was an amazing seven-game series, replete with thrilling defense and overpowering offense and the home-field advantage ringing true for both teams for all seven games. 

The Twins were the underdogs, and they relished that role. Much like today’s Kansas City Royals. It was a bunch of can-do players who never garnered much national attention during the regular season. I felt like I knew them all, and I was personally thrilled when the rest of the country was introduced that October to Bert (now ‘Circle-Me’) Blyleven, Frankie Viola, Timmy Laudner, closer Jeff Reardon, the G-Men (shortstop Greg Gagne and third baseman Gary Gaetti), and of course Tom Brunansky, Kent Hrbek and the inimitable Puck.

Much like Kansas City’s Moose, Big Game James, Cain, Aoki, Hoz and Holland, the country is falling in love with these small-market darlings of America’s pastime. The past decades’ frustrations quickly melt away. 

Minneapolis’ Metrodome was an awful place to watch baseball. But it was nirvana for a young baseball fan’s first firsthand World Series. I waved my Homer Hanky until I thought my skinny arm would fall off. And it worked. The Homerdome lived up to one of its most-PC pet names. The atmosphere was electric, and loud. I think they passed out earplugs on the way in. I’m certain I did not wear them. I know I wanted to soak in every decibel, all the way through Hrbek catching the third out to record Reardon’s scoreless ninth in game seven.

They opened the doors, allowing us to rush out in a Teflon-roof-accelerated flow. We only had the patience for those pedestrian revolving doors on the way in. Once out on the street, everyone went exactly nowhere. We Minnesotans were so thrilled, and we simply didn’t know what to do. We milled about cheering and embracing strangers for hours. Maybe just for 10 minutes as we walked to the car, but to me it felt like an endless night. It did probably take two hours to drive the 10 blocks out of downtown, and my buddy, Jed, and I hung out of my dad’s sunroof and slapped five with thousands of baseball fans.

A couple days later we got to relive it with the parade. School was not officially canceled, but playing hooky was the right thing to do as we raced block to block, hoping to see our favorites multiple times as the parade wound through downtown. It was a life-influencing experience for a 14-year-old.  I hope to see it again, a few decades later, in my adopted hometown of Kansas City. 

Go Royals!