Of the means for the Kansas City Royals to win their first championship in 30 years, it was the most fitting for the team that put the never in never say die: coming back again, competitive as ever, relentlessly penalizing the New York Mets for one closing, merciful time.
The final was 7-2 Royals, the World Series theirs after five games, and they jumped and hugged and did the standard fete a victor does on the mound at Citi Field. It was different, though, not only because the Royals fell last season but because this team, or even for its seven epic comebacks, would’ve found itself likewise conquered.
Instead, a five-run explosion blew start a match that the Royals had tied in the ninth, and the party that may last all autumn and winter in Kansas City was just starting. Pinch hitter Christian Colon supplied the very first strike, knocking to break the tie. Four more runs followed, and Wade Davis, the best reliever of baseball, ensured the last three outs to start the on-field dog heap.
Manager Ned Yost, so often maligned in Kansas City, stood amid the chaos, respecting the plucky, competitive, talented team he had nurtured from perennial losers.