Social media spotlight shines on best friends’ revived Royals memory

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- Two photos snapped 30 years apart are now going viral, shining the social media spotlight on two lifelong friends who also happen to be die-hard Royals fans.

Tad Carpenter and Brad Hodnefield were just 4 years old when their families went to the 1985 Royals World Series parade together. That’s when their parents snapped a victory photo of them standing side-by-side in front of the fountain outside Crown Center.

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“I think about that photograph all the time,” Carpenter said, “because that’s Royals baseball, and Brad and Tad, and that’s just a big part of our relationship, is that photograph.”

Fast-forward three decades and they’re still best friends, and they just couldn't resist recreating that special moment at the Royals World Series parade in 2015.

“It’s like, ‘We have to do that again!’” Carpenter said of the idea. “That’s a huge part of our childhood and our lives, and we just thought it would be fun, and like I said, we knew our moms would eat it up!”

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They posted a side-by-side comparison of the photos to Twitter for close friends, but also caught the attention of MLB’s Cut4. Soon their photos were shared by thousands of people, including Royals pitcher Kelvin Herrera.

“He said, ‘This is so cool!’” Hodnefield said of Herrera’s social media shout-out. “I’m like, ‘Hey man, I think you`re so cool too!’ You know? It`s just wild how quick just two simple photographs spread like wild fire and everybody sees it! They’ve got like 30,000 hits on MLB! It’s just wild.”

They plan to continue the tradition, snapping that same photo at future Royals World Series parades; they just hope they don’t have to wait until 2045 to do it.