We now know that happened: In the latter half of the decade the Royals won multiple World Series and became America's team. Kauffman Stadium filled up with Hollywood stars (actor and longtime fan Paul Rudd finally had company), every other team tried to follow their model. (The book Daytonball spent 23 weeks on The New York Times best-seller list.) And because we know that happened, it's hard to go back in time and remember just how bad the Royals were.
"There was only one way to do it," Picollo said in 2011, when all that success was still a dream. "Dayton realized that, and he brought in a lot of other people who realized it too."
When Moore arrived in Kansas City, one of the first things he announced was that he would love to have a World Series parade go through the Country Club Plaza, a shopping district in the middle of town. In 2015, when the Royals won their first Series in 30 years, the parade indeed happened. It featured car after car, rolling along the road, close enough to touch for more than 200,000 people who had long thought the day would never happen. The flying car wasn't invented until later.
Now on SI.com
Follow SI.com's Jon Heyman on Twitter (@jonheyman) for all the latest camp scoop