ST. LOUIS — There was a grand total of 18 of them, lined up in blue behind the visitor’s dugout at Busch Stadium at 3 a.m. on Friday.
The question that had to be answered was … Why?
“A chance to see a win,” Rob Hennon said.
“A chance to see a win against the Cardinals,” another Royals fan added.
How long would you have waited? Would you have made it through the first delay, the one that lasted an hour before the Royals and Cardinals started playing at 8:15 p.m Thursday? What about after that, when another delay — this one a whopping 4 hours and 32 minutes long — didn’t end until 3:04 a.m.?
Rob Hennon stayed with his 16-year-old son and his son’s friend because the three of them were in town for a 16-and-under baseball tournament that had already been canceled due to the night of heavy rainfall.
Down the row to the left, 15-year-old Michael Magyar was out the latest he’s ever been.
“We drove four hours,” the high schooler from Overland Park, Kan., said. “We didn’t want to leave.”
“We have a hotel,” Michael’s mother said. “I don’t know if we’ll be able to use it.”
The dedicated fans were rewarded. Royals players handed out baseballs as the game lingered on. Later, long after the concession stands closed, third baseman Mike Moustakas tossed out sunflower seeds and bottles of water. That was nice and all, but these fans wanted more.
“We don’t want autographs,” Rob Hennon said. “We want a win.”
His team had lost eight games in a row, but now had a 4-2 lead on that cross-state rival, the St. Louis Cardinals. No amount of rain, or time, could keep him from seeing this thing through.
“Sometimes, it takes something like this to turn it around,” Rob Hennon said.
He spent a total of 5 hours and 32 minutes waiting on baseball before the rain stopped, the field was fixed and the final inning was finished.
For him and 17 others, it was worth it.
Follow Ben Frederickson on Twitter (@Ben_Fred), or contact him at email@example.com
Ben Frederickson is an award-winning writer for
FOX Sports Midwest. His work has appeared in the Columbia Missourian,
the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, the New York Times, the Las Vegas
Review-Journal and the Casper Star-Tribune.