Kansas City Royal Jonny Gomes was not on the team’s playoff/World Series roster, but he is a clearly a winner, regardless of his role.
His speech after the Kansas City Royals’ World Series championship parade on Tuesday afternoon was possibly the most memorable of all the speeches.
An estimated 800,000 people turned out to watch the parade — an impressive number given the city’s population is only 470,000.
Throngs of people gathered outside Kansas City’s Union Station following the parade to hear their hometown heroes give speeches. Clad in black tee-shirts and hoodies that read “Thanks, Kansas City,” the boys generally kept it short and sweet, expressing gratitude toward their fans.
But the exuberant Jonny Gomes could barely contain himself.
Clutching an American flag in one hand, and the mic in the other, Gomes referenced the recent deaths in the families of Mike Moustakas, CY (Chris Young) and Eddie Volquez (who pitched one World Series game without knowing that his father had just died) and asked for a moment of silence.
Then he let her rip.
“It’s unbelievable what those boys did!” he bellowed. “It’s unbelievable what they did!!!”
“Hey, guess what?” he continued. “Cy Young winner: Not on our team. Beat him. Rookie of the year: Not on our team. We beat him. MVP of the whole league? Sorry, guys, not on our team. But we beat that guy, too!”
He went on: “You know why we beat them? Because all of y’all had our backs….Y’all wanna be politically correct? I’m an unpolitically correct person. WE WHOOPED THEIR ASS!”
And with that he dropped the mic.
Game 5 pinch-hitter Christian Colon gave credit to Gomes after he batted in the World Series-winning run in the 11th inning.
Colon was asked after the game how he maintained his composure and stayed prepared for his number to be called. He credited a familiar Boston Red Sox World Series hero who’s new to Kansas City this year. “I hit a lot in the cage, made sure I was moving around,” Colon explained to FOX Sports’ Erin Andrews. “Jonny Gomes, he was just taking me under his wing, letting me know what I needed to do in certain situations. That’s why you bring a guy over (in a trade).” Gomes, whom the Royals acquired at the Aug. 31 waiver trade deadline from the Atlanta Braves, was not on Kansas City’s active playoff roster. However, it appears he made an enormous impact.
Jonny Gomes has an interesting personal history of having survived several near-death experiences. He was attacked by a wolf at age 12, survived a sleeping bag fire as a high school freshman, walked away from a car crash in which his best friend was killed, was shot at while camping in high school, and had a heart attack when he was just 22.
“I can’t tell you how many times coaches have come up to me and said, ‘you just gotta settle down….Don’t swing as hard….You gotta just relax up there,'” Gomes noted in an interview last year. “I look at them like — you don’t get it. The time is now. The time is today. That’s a guarantee, tomorrow’s not a guarantee.”
That’s the perfect philosophy for the 2015 Kansas City Royals. The team is known for swinging hard and often, and putting the ball in play — even if it doesn’t end up as a base hit, they want the other team to work for the out. The Kansas City Royals didn’t settle down or relax all year — and that seemed to work out very well for them.