The Royals’ postseason play calls for new gear. Here’s what to wear

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Win or lose, the Kansas City Royals have had a heck of a year, and nothing brings a city together like a team in the throes of a pennant race. The players’ easy camaraderie and peculiar magic have extended beyond the ballpark, prompting strangers — waiting in line at the grocery store or playing neighboring slots at a casino — to high-five after Moose’s nine-run game or commiserate over Jeremy Guthrie’s rough outing.

Another way to make new friends: Don one of this year’s clever, locally produced Royals shirts. If last year made wearing royal blue cool again, this year has turned KC tees into a full-on fashion statement. Show your team spirit in preparation for a blue October.

CHARLIE HUSTLE
1810 Cherry
charliehustleshop.com
Odds are, you’re familiar with Charlie Hustle’s signature shirt — you know, the one with a big, white “KC” on the front and a heart around it. Take your local love to the next level with the “Kegger at my mom’s house” tee, inspired by the time Paul Rudd invited everyone to his mom’s place after the Royals won the pennant.

As we head back into the postseason, even Royals players are rocking Charlie Hustle gear. Second baseman Ben Zobrist stopped by the shop after the Royals clinched the division, so you know it’s legit.

NORMAL HUMAN
827 Westport Road
nrmlhmn.com
The best part of a Royals win is when catcher Salvador Perez soaks a postgame interviewee with a bucket of Gatorade — and it’s even better if good-natured broadcaster Joel Goldberg’s fancy suit gets splashed. Westport-based Normal Human has captured the moment perfectly on a gray-and-blue tee that depicts an anonymous player with a water bucket on his head and the words “Kansas City 2015.” Here’s hoping that the players get soaked with champagne — in addition to electrolytes — this fall.

BUMPLEFT
bumpleft.com
A new player on the scene, Bumpleft began making Royals tees during last year’s playoff run. Bumpleft’s primary design resonates because it’s one of the more clever combos we’ve seen, featuring a basic image of the Royals crown with a silhouette of the KC skyline along the top.

Strangely, the Royals’ official Central Division Championship shirts feature a similar image. Bumpleft owner Michael Martin says he watches every game live, so he saw the shirts at the same time that everyone else did. He isn’t concerned about the coincidence, though, especially because the New York Mets’ postseason shirts had a similar design.

“I didn’t take it as a negative at all,” Martin says. “On the very slim chance it had anything to do with me, it’s kinda cool that something I did influenced the sport I love so much.”

If the Royals win either the American League Championship Series or the World Series, Martin has some top-secret plans for limited-edition T-shirts and care packages. His main goal is to keep making shirts for people like himself who “really fucking love baseball.”

“I’ve got some Denny Matthews stuff planned for next year,” Martin says. “He’s kind of the voice of my childhood. I’m also going to do something for Rex Hudler. I’ve loved this town for 30 years, and I’m glad there are so many people who are proud to be from Kansas City.”

LOVE LETTERS
facebook.com/lovelettersllc
This pop-up retail and home-décor shop offers lots of local love, from a vintage-style blue tee that simply reads “Hos Salvy Moose” to a classic baseball shirt with the words “Forever KC.” Want a little extra attention? Go for the one that says “OMG Becky, look at that bunt.”

“The ‘Forever KC’ message captures the spirit of the Royals and the pride our city has supporting them on their amazing journey,” says Love Letters’ Amy Hunter. “The shirt also looks great on all women.”

Printed and designed right here in KC, Love Letters’ T-shirts are available at Restoration Emporium in the West Bottoms and Charm by RE in Martin City.

RAYGUN
1803 Baltimore
raygunsite.com
With its simple designs (white block letters on bold, monochromatic tees), Midwest retailer Raygun has immortalized many of the Royals’ meme-worthy moments. We’ve got “Straight Outta Kauffman,” born of the team’s early season brawls with the Oakland A’s and Chicago White Sox; “That’s What Speed Do,” regarding Jarrod Dyson’s ability to run 21 mph; and the first lines to that Fetty Wap song that everyone in town has been singing all summer: “Hey,

what’s up? Hello?”

LOYALTY KC
loyaltykc.com
Everyone loves a good baseball brawl. One of KC’s most memorable incidents happened when George Brett lost his shit during 1983’s famous “Pine Tar Game.” Relive some baseball lore with Loyalty KC’s “No. 5 Loyalty” pine-tar shirt. Modeled after the iconic Chanel-fragrance logo, it pays homage to Brett being physically restrained from punching an umpire.

“It is all about a moment that is engraved into any baseball fan’s mind,” says Loyalty KC’s Branden Hughes. “Pine tar: a smell you would never wear but a moment that is timeless in baseball history.”

If you’d rather revel in the glory of last week, Loyalty KC has printed some comfy, vintage-style “Division Champions” T-shirts.

“For the last 29 to 30 years, this team had been irrelevant, and so few people proudly wore their Royals gear,” Hughes says. “Kansas Citians could pull two or three Chiefs shirts from their closet at any time, yet a Royals shirt was typically nowhere to be found. That has all changed.” 

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