Carpe Diem, Sung Woo Lee Hangs the “W”
Did they wait until it was too late to make from their lives even one iota of what they were capable? Because, you see gentlemen, these boys are now fertilizing daffodils. But if you listen real close, you can hear them whisper their legacy to you. Go on, lean in. Listen, you hear it? – – Carpe – – hear it? – – Carpe, carpe diem, seize the day boys, make your lives extraordinary.
–Robin Williams in Dead Poets Society
It was midway up the second of three terrifyingly narrow ladders that I wondered if this might have been a horrible mistake.
Above me was KayCee, the host of the Royals Hall of Fame, dressed in period wool baseball uniform/costume, below him was Sung Woo Lee, my South Korean friend who has been visiting the last few days. Next, in this train of terror, was my fat ass and finally the curator of the Royals Hall of Fame, Curt Nelson.
So we are halfway up the second of three ladders and Kaycee yells down to Curt, “Maybe we should’ve had them sign something, yanno, for liability.” It’s been that kind of week.
This has been a week that Kansas City will never forget. The week that this nutty Korean, a Royals fan of nearly 20 years. A Royals fan who decided to come to Kansas City and see Kauffman Stadium because of a Jeff King homerun. (He only hit 55 in his three years with the Royals.) This goofy Royals fan who has either sparked or extended or propelled an inconceivable run of winning and luck and charity and goodwill, is now going to die in a terrible industrial accident because of a cardboard “W” with velcro on the back.
Of course, nobody fell. Nobody died. Sung Woo successfully climbed to the top of the third ladder, he peered through the crack in the door three stories above the Hall of Fame like some nutty “knothole gang” out of the 1930’s and I begin to weep. Of course Greg Holland notched his league leading 35th save of the season. Of course he overcame two runners on to do it and of course the Royals gained sole possession of first place for the first time in August in as long as I can remember. Of course it worked out just as it has all worked out this week.
This is maybe the 35th such tale in the incredulous, improbable, impossible story of this week. If it were a movie, you wouldn’t believe it. It if were a book, you’d laugh at it. But so it has been this week. This insane idea of travelling 6,500 miles, to see a team that hasn’t made a playoff in 29 years, to a country where you struggle with language, to visit complete “Twitter Strangers” one of whom has the word “Fake” in his twitter profile name. To crash on couches and be treated like, pardon the pun, Royalty. It’s all preposterous. It’s all silly.
It all happened. It continues to happen.
There will be more stories about this week once our brains have had an opportunity to process it, but this one I wanted to share with you as soon as possible. Once you see the video below, you might have some idea of what this week was like for me, for Dave Darby, for Jeff Huerter, Ethan Bryan and Kevin Robinson and countless others.
For now, enjoy the video. And Carpe Diem.
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