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How one fan rediscovered his love of baseball"WhiteFanpo

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sts Fanshots Sections Royals Trade Rumors & Hot StoveRoyals Minor Leagues & ProspectsRoyals Review ClassicRoyals Review Users GuideThe 100 Greatest Royals Of All TimeWhy I’m joining Royals ReviewNew Santiago Casilla Jersey ,47commentsHow one fan rediscovered his love of baseballEDTShareTweetShareShareWhy I’m joining Royals ReviewDarryl Motley. I carried that name around like a passport—a sign that no matter where I went, I was still a Royals fan. Darryl Motley, because that’s the name of the right fielder who caught the final out in the 1985 World Series, transporting me to little-boy heaven in small-town Kansas. And Darryl Motley because before Google, that fact used to be an obscure bit of trivia. It showed I knew my Royals history. Or better, my Royals lore. Because around the time I left for college, the 1985 Royals became mythical. And not necessarily in a good way. They seemed like something I’d imagined, in all those Seasons That Shall Not Be Named. The Royals weren’t just bad. They were hopeless, battered and rudderless and adrift in an era that was landing one truth like a cannonball: if you didn’t live in New York or Boston or another big place, your team didn’t have a chance.In the meantime, I was living in some big places of my own. Basketball adventures took me to Athens and Atlanta and Barcelona and Chicago and Phoenix and the truth is, I pretty much gave up on being a Royals fan. Oh Mark McGwire Jersey , I still had my hat. And sometimes I would go to a game with friends. But even that was to see who else was in town. Pedro Martinez. Randy Johnson. Those damnable Yankees.Then the basketball adventures came to an end courteous of the relentless nature of time and the finite nature of bones and ligaments. I came home to a house in Kansas City where, you might think, I picked up the thread again—where I regained my status as a Royals fan. But I wasn’t ready. Or the Royals weren’t ready. Or some combination thereof. It didn’t help that I’d spent the previous fifteen years of my life around sports and its players and its poseurs. I needed a break. I wasn’t missing much. The Royals were still bad. But they were about to get better, way better. Paradoxically, I found my way back to the Royals in Los Angeles. It didn’t hurt that I’d moved to a town with no discernible soul or sports culture. And it didn’t hurt that the Royals were—get this—winning almost as much as they were losing. So maybe it was just that the timing was right: I was missing home and the Royals got good and pretty soon I was watching World Series games in a bar in West Hollywood, flying home to watch away games, watching another final out. Drew Butera, this time.But I suspect something else was at work, as well. Like a lot of people, I spent part of my twenties and thirties play-acting—trying out different personalities while on a search I wasn’t aware of. And during those decades, baseball seemed insufferable. Its games were too long or too slow or any of the other things people say. It was on its way out, a third-rate sport after the NFL juggernaut and the NBA’s social media-ready personalities. It wasn’t cool , man.But here’s a little thing about me that’s also a little thing about a lot of people I know - it all started with baseball. Pee Wee games, Little League games, batting practice with my father and brothers in the backyard as the sun set over northeast Kansas. And as I returned to Earth after those tumultuous twenties and thirties, there it was again - baseball. Still long, still slow, but now meditative and reflective of our lives because of it.And so here we are, with a version of the Royals that isn’t very good again. But with a version of me that’s OK with that, because this version is a little older, a little more patient, with a little more faith that the game that started it all is back in his life for a reason.That’s why I’m planning my life around Opening Day’s Pacific start time. That’s why I’ll be writing in this space all season long. And that’s why I’m back in on baseball, the summer, the Kansas City Royals , and whomever the next Darryl Motley (or Drew Butera) will be.Paul Shirley is a former NBA player who played collegiately at Iowa State. He was a contributor to and is the author of Can I Keep My Jersey?, about his stop-and-start basketball career, and Stories I Tell On Dates, about his stop-and-start dating career. A Kansas native, he now lives in Los Angeles where he runs a co-writing space called Writers Blok. Lachlan Cunningham/Getty ImagesSan Francisco Giants catcher Buster Posey left Friday's game against the Arizona Diamondbacks at Chase Field with an apparent head injury.Per NBC Sports Bay Area's Alex Pavlovic, Posey was removed in the third inning after recording a single. He took a foul ball off his catcher's mask during the first inning.The Athletic's Andrew Baggarlynoted it was possible Posey experienced symptoms after running down the first-base line prior to his exit.The 31-year-old became an All-Star for the sixth time in 2018, though he didn't represent the National League in the All-Star Game itself. He sat out the event in order to deal with a lingering hip injury.The injury could help explain Posey's somewhat underwhelming offensive numbers compared to his production in recent years. Through 90games, he's batting .293 with five home runs and 37 RBI.By comparison, Posey averaged 15 homers and 81 RBI with a .308 batting average over his previous three seasons, per Baseball Reference.The Giants are hanging on the edge of playoff contention with a 56-54 record. They trail the Los Angeles Dodgers by five games in the National League West.Nick Hundley will take over for Posey as San Francisco's primary catcher. The 34-year-old is slugging .475 in 56 games this season.

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