A Hellatiously Royal Time


Since I have nothing of value to offer my legions of readers regarding major league baseball’s imminent amateur draft (don’t say it – don’t even think it), I thought I might write about my first visit of 2010 to Kauffman stadium last Friday. Now, you might think life as a contributing writer at Kings of Kauffman is all glitz and glamour; A-list events with A-Rod and Lady Ga-Ga (a singer, I believe), post-game parties at Blonde, and the occasional charity gig for some orphans or disaster victims. Surprisingly, it’s sometimes even better than all that. Take this past weekend for example. It started out good, and proceeded to get better. (Read on for the astonishing details).

My wife and I flew from Tampa to Kansas City via Atlanta Friday afternoon, arriving about two hours before game time. We managed to pick up our rental car, check in at the hotel, grab some Stroud’s pan-fried chicken, and still find our seats before Bruce Chen delivered his first pitch. Considering all that could have gone wrong — flight delays, missed connections, bad weather, traffic jams, lost tickets, etc. — that feat alone could have earned the label of success for the trip, regardless of any other eventualities. But that was only the beginning of a string of good fortunes, my friends.

My brother, sister, niece, and nephew met us at the game. We had great seats in the field box section on the third base side, near a few boisterous but good natured Tigers fans, who along with my wife in her very flattering form-fitting Detroit Tigers ladies t-shirt, took their Kansas City style butt-kicking with good grace and good humor. They didn’t take offense as we danced and screamed and high-fived while Royals kept smacking the ball all over the park. It was a great night all around, with a fabulous fireworks display, a cheesy magic show, a schmaltzy ceremony to honor our eighty five championship team, and some nice pitching from Bruce Chen and Robinson Tejeda. True, listening to Willie Wilson talk about the World Series made me long for the days when our running game was a thing of beauty. But even reflections on our current base running ineptitude couldn’t ruin this night. There was just a twinge of that old eighty five magic in the air, I guess.

Saturday brought time with my best Detroit girl as she embarked on a revenge-based shopping spree at Crown Center. But it seemed to make her happy, which made me happy too. I’ll gladly exchange a Royals win for some time and money spent at a mall. I’m always willing to lay down the sacrifice for the good of the team, and for my marriage.

Saturday night my brother Pat and his girlfriend Deanna and I went to see Jim White and Sam Baker perform at the Folly Theater on 12th Street. If you don’t know who they are, you should. They were brilliant. The acoustics in the Folly were unbelievable. And not only did we get to enjoy another great show, but we avoided having to witness a Royals loss, which would have really stepped on my buzz from the big Friday night win.

To top it all off, the flight back to Florida on Sunday was smooth and punctual, and we arrived in time to watch on television as Brian Bannister and the rest of the Royals administered yet another stiff beating on the boys from Motown. Oh yeah, it was a glorious Kauffman weekend indeed.