Mica Marriott-Ward
Special to The Gardner News
The Kansas City Royals brought home the World Series trophy for the first time in 30 years. The breathless, extra-inning game in New York City last week created long-lasted memories, just like the 1985 World Series win.
Several local people have special memories of the excitement during the fall of 1985.
Todd Houston, the owner of Todd’s Diner, was 11 years old at the time. He attended game five of the series, and remembers watching the final game on television.
“I remember waking up Dad and telling him they won,” Houston said.
Carol Stricker of Stricker’s Auction remembers her husband, Jerry Stricker conducted an auction during one of the games.
“We set up different TVs around the sale barn so people could watch the game during the sale,” she recalled.
Shirley Brown-VanArsdale, the owner of Bruce Funeral Home, attended the final game of the series with her mother, Betty Bruce.
“Mom and I sat right behind third base,” Brown-VanArsdale said. “I stll have the ticket and a signed ball by George Brett.”
Deb Willnauer, Gardner, also attended the winning game in 1985. She shared the experience with her husband, Kipp Willnauer.
“We sat right under the fireworks, and they were magical,” Deb said.
Steve and Beth Hines, owners of Groundhouse Coffee, were stationed in California with the U.S. Navy in 1985.
Steve recalls watching the 1985 World Series on television. He was impressed by the Royals’ pitcher, Bret Saberhagen. Still, the New York Mets winning the 1986 World Series stands out more in Steve’s mind. That year, he was serving on a ship in the Indian Ocean.
“Beth recorded the 1986 series for me and sent me the tapes so I could watch it,” he said.
Jeff Barber, Gardner, was 14 when the Royals won the 1985. Barber is a transplant to the Kansas City area. He and his family moved to Gardner in 2000.
“I grew up in Detroit and the Tigers won the 1984 World Series, but George Brett was my favorite player, so it was awesome when the Royals won the next year in 1985,” Barber said.
Sam Boyjian, pharmacist, and owner of Gardner Pharmacy remembers attending the celebration parade in Kansas City after the Royals won,
“I was in pharmacy school at KU and two buddies and I skipped class to go to the parade. We were right in front of Willie Wilson’s car when it caught fire from the confetti getting on the exhaust or something. We watched Willie and the others in the car bail,” Boyjian said.
After last Sunday night’s fifth game win to take the series, the question years from now for Kansas City area residents will be, what do you remember about the Royals winning the 2015 World Series?