As we wind down the final days of 2012 let me take one more look back at my top five moments of this past season. I made it into Kansas City more often than most years, and I was able to take in many significant moments. Here are my top five.
1 Opening Day at the K: I always hate when the Royals begin a season on the road then come home but for some reason that never ruins opening day for me. Luke Hochevar was good enough to do that on his own. Despite the final result, the home opener always has such a special feeling. My dad and I have driven from Omaha to the K for years to attend which will always hold a great place in my memory.
2 Return of Greinke Day: I had a little fun and taped Danny Duffy’s name over the Zack Greinke shirtsy I wore to the game. But the tape job didn’t hold so I was back at where I started the day. Seeing Zack in a Brewers jersey in KC was strange but I was glad to be there live. Alex Gordon opening the Royals half of the first with a “welcome” back homerun seemed to set the tone as Kansas City wound up winning the game. It was an awesome scene on a June night for interleague play with an old friend returning for the first time.
3 The 83rd Midsummer Classic: I’ve been to a World Series game before in St. Pete in 2008 but this was by far the biggest game I’d attended at Kauffman Stadium. I’d also been in town since Sunday attending all the events leading up to the game but didn’t know what to expect on Tuesday night. Turns out former Royal Melky Cabrera would steal the show (before a short while later exiting stage left for the season) and the National League cruised to an easy win to take home field in the Fall Classic. It was great to see all the game’s greats and everything that goes into the actual All Star Game.
4 MLB Futures/Celebrity Softball Game: My dad and I got into town just before the game started and arrived to a crowd outside the stadium that neither of us anticipated. We got in just as the game started and by the time we got to the seats the top of the first was nearly complete. Wil Myers and the USA squad was the main draw for us but seeing all the young talent from both teams was pretty cool. The stadium being packed on a Sunday for a game that usually isn’t usually well-attended set the tone for the entire week so being there felt that much better. In the end Team USA, managed by George Brett, defeated the World team. After the game they taped the celebrity softball game which I will mention since it did happen but it never matched the “undercard” however still cool to see Hall of Famers and Celebrities playing softball at the K.
5 Home Run Derby: Another event that I like many of you who attended didn’t know what to expect being at the stadium. Watching on TV is hard because it feels the event just drags on and on and on but being there it didn’t feel too bad. During commercial breaks on-field stuff took place that keep the crowd interested but then the moment that got everyone talking happened. Enter Robinson Cano, the new most hated opponent in KC. To remind you Cano, said he’d take the hometown guy on his derby team which would’ve been Billy Butler. This didn’t happen which lead to the stadium booing him each and every time he was shown on Crown vision or stepped to the plate. It was fun to chime in with all the fans, even if many in the national media didn’t get the point when recapping the booing. Country Breakfast’s spot with Royals fans was cemented based on the support he was given on this Monday night and reminded people that pinstripes are still not welcomed in the city of fountains.
So this is my list of events witnessed in-person this past year which I admit will be pretty hard to top in 2013 but all that can change quickly if, say, the team competes for a playoff spot. What are your favorite moments of this past season?