From left: Alex Gordon, Shavon Shields, Benny Parker and Herbie Husker at Royals' Stadium.
Photo by Kansas City Royals

Husker Hero at the Hub of Royals' Resurgence

By NU Athletic Communications

Randy York's N-Sider

Official Blog of the Huskers

The Kansas City Royals remained the hottest team in baseball Thursday afternoon, scoring five runs in the seventh inning to overtake the Oakland A's, 7-3.  The Royals have won 10 of their last 11 games, 18 of their last 22, and seven straight series to remain in first place in the American League's Central Division, one-half game ahead of the Detroit Tigers.  “You want crazy?  The Royals are giving you crazy,” a Kansas City Star headline declared, reminding fans that the Royals are the team with the longest playoff drought in North American sports.  But they now also have the longest winning streak in baseball this season, and a former Husker All-American and AL All-Star is at the hub of the Royals' resugence.

Kansas City Royals Photo

Alex Gordon Leads Fans in Postgame Chant

Last weekend, Alex Gordon had an experience that he’ll remember for the rest of his life. Last Friday, he went 1-for-3 and had an RBI in Kansas City’s 4-2 win over the San Francisco Giants in the friendly confines of Kauffman Stadium.  On Saturday night, Husker Night at the K, Gordon’s solo home run gave the Royals a 1-0 lead heading into the sixth inning and he finished 2-of-4 at the plate with two runs scored and the most pivotal RBI in a 5-0 win over the Giants. 

Even if you watched it live on Fox Sports, it’s worth watching Alex again lead 9,000 Husker fans in a packed house of more than 35,000 in the post game.  His Go Big Red chant fulfilled a promise he made if he should happen to be one of the game’s stars.  On Sunday, the first 10,000 Royals’ fans through the gates were given an Alex Gordon bobble-head, and the honoree was more than willing to celebrate another special day.  In the first inning, he jacked a two-run home run to increase his season RBI total to 53 and set the tone for a 7-4 win over the Giants.  Check out Gordon’s two-run shot to deep right field.

Kansas City Royals Photo

Gordo Would Love to Postpone Football Tailgate

Nebraska fans can travel and set up tailgate space for baseball just as easily as they can sell out 333 consecutive home football games dating back to 1962.  In Saturday night’s post game, Gordon admitted he’s among those who can’t wait for football season, so he can tailgate with Husker fans.  “But this is pretty cool, too,” he said with a wry grin. 

Make no mistake.  If the Royals make the playoffs and find a way to extend their baseball season into October, no one will be more excited than Alex Gordon, who grew up making the same drive that countless Nebraska fans made to Kansas City for the weekend.  What an awesome experience for No. 4 and the Kansas City Royals, and please don’t forget who threw out the ceremonial first pitch before Gordon’s heroics.  Shavon Shields threw one baseball to Gordon and Benny Parker threw a second one to Herbie Husker.

Telecast Takes Fans Back to Gordon’s Husker Days

Film clips of Gordon and live interviews with Shields and Parker were woven into this special night throughout the telecast.  Multiple flashbacks harkened back to Gordon winning college baseball’s top award.  Shavon, son of Will Shields, one of Kansas City’s most popular athletes of all-time, was his usual soft-spoken self.  Benny, Kansas City’s High School Basketball Player of the Year, made Royal announcer Joel Goldberg laugh when he said he quit baseball because of all the bugs in the outfield.

Saturday night’s televised game was crucial, crowded and center stage, and it begged an interesting question: Who but Nebraska can celebrate three sports – baseball, football and basketball – before a packed house in another state?  What a showcase it was and what a catalyst it can be if Alex Gordon and his teammates are still playing under an October Sky.

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Baseball Voices from Around the World

Just read your great column on Alex Gordon and want to say Go Big Red from Japan.  Cheers!  Murray Trim, Kobe, Japan

My wife and I were there in KC after buying the appropriate tickets within minutes of them going on sale back in March.  Last year, we did the same but were shut out of the free hat because the Royals front office had no clue of the impact of Husker Nation.  A 2,000-hat give-away in 2013 bumped up to 6,000 hats this year.  With fans wearing Husker gear and the chants, the atmosphere was like a Nebraska home game in basketball or football.  Our friends who were there experiencing Husker Night for the first time were blown away.  My wife and I met some Husker fans from Manhattan, Kan., and Columbia, Mo. hmmm.  As long as Alex is still a Royal, this event is a must go-to for all Husker fans.  Jeff Kreifels, Springfield, Nebraska

Nebraska was well represented.  A friend and I had a ball.  It was the best Royals’ game I’ve watched in years.  Bernie Amyot, Overland Park, Kan.

Like your column.  With the wins over the Oakland A’s, it really is crazy in Kansas City.  Bill Werner, Overland Park, Kan.



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