I hadn’t visited Kauffman Stadium since 2012 and I was anxious to get back in the park, as I had enjoyed it immensely despite Mariano Rivera getting injured the day before and New York losing. Can’t remember what I ate yesterday, but I can give you a play by play of every game I’ve attended over the years. #Priorities!
During setup of our tour stage, Matt and I went in the stadium and hung out in the air conditioning of the suites until they need us to come back down and help. The team was out of town and they were working on the field, but it was still a beautiful view. Lucky for us the Royals would be back in town that Friday and would be rematching with the Blue Jays, who they had eliminated in last season’s ALCS.
Our Opening Day in KC on Friday was eventful with tours to George Brett, Frank White, and Amos Otis. Amos was my favorite of the day by far! My trailermate Blake and I were a little held up at the end of the day and joined the other latecomer fans in line to enter the stadium. Since we entered Kauffman near the right field, we went and stood on the outfield porch behind the fountains to watch the beginning of the game. Jose Bautista was heavily booed as I expected and I secretly hoped he would hit a homerun or something, but he did not.
I know I should’ve been cheering for the Royals because the Blue Jays are ahead of the Yankees in the East, but I couldn’t help it. Royals fans reminded me of Indians fans and I wasn’t feeling them, so I chose to be spiteful and pull for Toronto. AL Central is my least favorite division, followed by the AL West. I need to stick with National League parks for unbiased good times I think!
After watching the first few innings, we made a loop around the outfield and walked by the Hall of Fame. It’s free for fans and is open until the 8th inning, but Blake didn’t want to stop inside. He wanted to meet our coworkers in our upper deck seats. I thought about going in but actually wanted to watch this game and figured I could go in when the Royals were playing the Twins the following week.
As we made our way up to our seats I kept stopping along the concourse to read the pillars that highlighted important moments in the team’s history and spotlighted players. It was neat to see George Brett and Frank Thomas come through as guests and then see pictures of them in their prime. I totally wish we had Brett’s pine tar bat on tour with us!
Our seats were in the upper deck behind home plate and we had a great view. Even though they were classified as nose bleeds, it still felt very close to the action as the park isn’t that large. We had a great view of the outfield fountains as well. My one critique of Kauffman is the view beyond the stadium. It’s the freeway and nothing else. Wait, I lied there is a Denny’s… the finest Denny’s you’ll ever see from a ballpark. It’s too bad they couldn’t build up the area around the sports complex or face the field towards the city at least. Facing the field to the actual Kansas City might not do anything as the skyline is so small and a good eight miles away.
The game itself was playoff worthy with the lead changing hands a couple of times before being tied 3-3 heading into the 9th. The Blue Jays managed to score another run and the Royals had one out and a runner safely on second following a throwing error to first. Then the dumbest call I’ve seen in awhile, they had the runner try to steal third. He got caught. Obviously, if he was safe, it would’ve been awesome, but he didn’t and the stadium deflated. It had been electric with the hopes of a tied game or even a walk-off win, but after that- crickets. The Royals ended up losing, which was very anticlimactic. Even though I wasn’t cheering for them at the start of the game, by the end I was hoping they’d win to help the Yankees, who had won that evening. Serves me right! Oh well, there were fireworks and they were pretty awesome. Great Friday night and the start of our tour stop in KC!