One big reason behind their first playoff appearance in 29 years may be their Korean superfan SungWoo Lee, reports NPR.
Lee is such a big fan he provided color commentary for the Royals 3-2 win over the Angels on the Korean broadcast of the game by MBC. He often watches the Royals live from Korea late in the night despite a huge time difference.
But Lee truly rose to fame when he visited the US for the first time in August specifically to go to Kansas to see his beloved Royals play.
The team went on an incredible streak, winning nine out of 10 games during his visit and catapulted themselves into first place. It was the first time they were in first place that late in the season in more than a decade.
Kansas has embraced Lee as its good luck charm. They have shown images of Lee on their scoreboard and that has often lead to good things happening for the team.
“I find it very heartening to see middle America (quite literally middle America) really embrace SungWoo as it has,” says Tommy Kim who has been watching Kansas fascination with Lee. “If this were 20 years ago, I don’t think this would have happened, or if it did it would be accompanied by a host of offensive racist caricatures.”
You can read more about Lee’s impact on the Royals on NPR.