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Despite A Royals Loss, There's Still Joy In Kansas City

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

That famous baseball poem "Casey At The Bat" ends on a sad note. There is no joy in Mudville. But, you know, there's still joy in Kansas City, even though they lost the World Series. Frank Morris of member station KCUR reports.

FRANK MORRIS, BYLINE: The day after losing game seven, Kansas City Royals fans filed into Kauffman Stadium under dark clouds. But right as the rally got going - I kid you not - the sun broke through.

UNIDENTIFIED FANS: (Chanting) Thank you Royals.

MORRIS: It was festive, joyous even. There was a sea of royal blue packing much of the stadium. Erin Schauer brought her little kids, Lila and Cooper.

ERIN SCHAUER: The least I can do for what they've done for us.

MORRIS: And your daughter looks like a cheerleader.

SCHAUER: Yeah, say go Royals.

LILA SCHAUER: Go Royals.

SCHAUER: Yeah, she's working on it, and we were working on our pitching yesterday with this guy.

COOPER SCHAUER: I know how to pitch too.

SCHAUER: You do?

COOPER: Yeah, but I don't know how.

MORRIS: Lots of smiles. But Mike Arnott stood watching it all with tears in his eyes.

MIKE ARNOTT: I wouldn't have missed this for the world. It's just a final chance to say thank you Royals. Thank you for giving us something that - that we needed.

MORRIS: What did they give us?

ARNOTT: Just hope, just joy, fun. I had so much fun this October.

(CROWD CHEERING)

MORRIS: All this love in the face of a World Series loss moved former U.S. poet laureate Billy Collins to jot down a poem, an alternate last verse to "Casey At The Bat."

BILLY COLLINS: Here it goes. (Reading) Right here in this favorite land, the sun is shining bright. A band is playing and some hearts are even light. Men and women are cheering and children are not dreary. There is some joy in Kansas City. The Royals made this series.

MORRIS: And though it's turned cold, Kansas City is just not quite done with baseball.

JAMES EDWARDS: How you doing today, sir?

UNIDENTIFIED MAN #1: I'm good, how are you?

>>EDWARDS I'm doing all right. It's a little chilly out here, but hey.

MORRIS: James Edwards is still out selling Royals T-shirts in a windy gas station parking lot.

EDWARDS: Yeah, they're still buying. Not as much as they were, but, I mean, they're still buying. It's a piece of history. I mean, it's - their team - it's been 29 years since they've been in a World Series and now they're here. I mean, they don't want to let it go.

SAM BILLEN: (Singing) I'm royally happy.

MORRIS: Sam Billen, a local guy, wrote this song, capping a spectacular season, one that's drawn an entire city together.

BILLEN: (Singing) We may have lost the World Series, but Kansas City is still number one.

MORRIS: For NPR News, I'm Frank Morris in Kansas City.

BILLEN: (Singing) I'm royally happy. This was royally fun. We may have lost the World Series, but Kansas City is still number one. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.