Going back to the Friday Links method for one week, as I have three baseball-related links to share and bundling them seemed like a good idea.

First, Will Leitch has been one of the national writers who most appreciated the Royals’ recent run of success. Perhaps that’s because, although he is a lifelong Cardinals fan, he is also a child of the Midwest and understands what the last 32 years have been like for Royals fans.

Monday he wrote about where the Royals stand, where they seem to be headed, and how he approves.

Let’s Stay Together: KC Makes a Run

Funny how quickly things can change. My wishy washiness is long gone. That’s what eight-straight wins will do.

Second, when I was a kid I would spend part of each summer with my grandparents in central Kansas. Each night we watched the local, ten o’clock news together. And each night in late July we heard scores reported from the National Baseball Congress World Series in Wichita. I never knew what level of baseball NBC was, nor did my (maternal) grandparents who were only the most casual of sports followers. But I always thought it was cool that teams from Hutchinson and Liberal were competing against teams from Arizona, Alaska, Massachusetts, and other widely scattered locations.

I now know that NBC is summer ball for college-aged players, draws teams from the vaunted Cape Cod and Alaskan leagues, and that the Kansas teams play in the second-tier Jayhawk League. Barry Bonds played in Hutchinson, KS in 1984. Albert Pujols, Rafael Palmeiro, Roger Clemens, Trevor Hoffman, and Ron Guidry are among other legends who spent part of their summers in small Kansas towns playing ball.

A few weeks back a Royals blogger I follow in Twitter retweeted something from the Hays Larks, his hometown. I thought that was cool, as I lived in Hays the first five years of my life. I did some digging and found that there is a new Jayhawk League team in Great Bend, my dad’s hometown and a place I usually spent part of my Kansas vacation in with his parents. I started following the team and they not only made it to the World Series, but are now a win away from advancing to championship week. Pretty cool.

While looking for info about the Jayhawk League and NBC World Series, I came across this essay from a former player. It’s not all that well written, but kind of an interesting read anyway.

Fields of Dreams: My Summer of Baseball In The Jayhawk League

Finally, it’s been another extraordinary week in the history of our Republic. It’s a shame I can’t be unbiased or uncaring about things and take a step back and marvel at the amazing events of the past five days without getting worked up about the consequences.

Joe Posnanski writes about an old baseball cliche – how home runs kill rallies – to distill that argument to what it really is. And in his final paragraph, he adroitly connects it to the state of our nation.

Rally Killing With Homers