Sam Page
Tuesday December 10th, 2013

Young fans hold up baseballs for Royals star George Brett to sign (Getty Images)

Just hearing the lyrics of mega-hit song "Royals" by New Zealand-born singer Lorde, you would think the inspiration came from the way monarchs are treated as celebrities in modern society. Nope! It was the above photo of George Brett signing baseballs:

In an interview a few months ago with VH1, Lorde (real name Ella Yelich-O’Connor) explained how she “had this image from the National Geographic of this dude just signing baseballs. He was a baseball player and his shirt said, ‘Royals.’"

“It was just that word. It’s really cool."

After The Star wrote a story on Nov. 19 about the interview, an astute reader found a photo that matched the description.

The photo, published in July 1976, shows the star third baseman surrounded by adoring fans and signing baseballs. According to a National Geographic spokeswoman, “this appears to be the only photo in our archives of a Royals baseball player signing autographs.”

We'll just go ahead and assume "Ribs" is Kansas City-inspired too. [h/t Ben Reiter]

SI Apps
We've Got Apps Too
Get expert analysis, unrivaled access, and the award-winning storytelling only SI can provide - from Peter King, Tom Verducci, Lee Jenkins, Seth Davis, and more - delivered straight to you, along with up-to-the-minute news and live scores.