Last October, Royals fans at home were in wonderment of just who that "guy in the bright orange" was behind home plate on their TV sets. Surrounded by a sea of blue, his contrast stuck out like a sore thumb. It had been rumored that Royals ownership had even tried to no avail at moving him from such a prominent location . For the first nationally televised Royals postseason games in 30 years, this was a bit of an unwanted distraction.
It was discovered that the mystery man was Laurence Leavy, otherwise known as Marlins Man. Marlins Man attends hundreds of sporting events every year and tries to find the best games and the best seats, typically somewhere where his bright attire can be prominently displayed on television. He claims his mission is a "pay it forward" campaign where every good deed can reap a plethora of benefits in a community as it grows. Leavy had also been at the games in Baltimore, but with the Orioles being orange and black, obviously he blended in. Kansas City was just the backdrop he needed to help his campaign grow.
During Wednesdays deciding game 5 tilt, there was a secondary storyline unfolding behind the already dramatic scene of postseason baseball. As Kansas City mourned the loss of two firefighters, Larry Leggio and John Mesh, the real world had suddenly collided with the fantasy that sports often brings to us. Here is a link to anyone looking for information on donating to the victims families
When it was announced that the Royals intended to honor the fallen by wearing a commemorative hat, Marlins Man stepped up and said he too wished to wear it.
MLB baseball managed to shut down the Royals from wearing these hats during pre-game batting practice, but Marlins Man, true to his word, wore the hat with pride. Not only that, he took it a step further and also wore a commemorative shirt as well.
While wearing a hat and shirt isn't something that many would consider to be an act of courage or significant in any way, for a man who's entire identity rests on the color of his shirt and hat, it was a gesture that was most appreciated amongst many of the Royals faithful.
So the next time you see that bothersome bright orange set against a sea of blue, remember that its a good sign he is there. It means this game matters. It also means a friend of the community is in the house, even if his colors don't quite match.
There had been few reasons for him to venture to Kauffman Stadium prior to last season, but now that he has become a regular customer, we want to say thank you for giving a little back.
Ohh, and by the way…hang on to that hat, you look good in blue!
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