For quite some time, the KC Royals were known for two things: George Brett and the beauty of Kauffman Stadium. Brett, even though he retired more than twenty years ago, is still considered the face of the organization. Kauffman Stadium, meanwhile, is still a remarkable venue, especially after the renovations made in 2009.
Two days ago, an article came out in the New York Post ranking the thirty ballparks in Major League Baseball. Kauffman Stadium slotted as the ninth best stadium, behind such ballparks as Camden Yards, the gold standard for the modern ballpark, PNC Park and Coors Field. Even with the improvements, and the aesthetic beauty of the fountains, one could see why there could be a few stadiums considered better than the K.
However, there are a few stadiums ranked ahead of Kauffman Stadium that are just ridiculous. Take, for example, Fenway Park, which was ranked as the second best ballpark in the majors. Sure, Fenway has an amazing history, but the only way that stadium would be one of the top two is if one enjoys narrow seats, the stench of urine in the concourse and rodents the size of cats scurrying about. Maybe Fenway would be an excellent museum, but the second best ballpark in baseball? Sam Adams just is not that great of a beer to justify the ranking.
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While we, as KC Royals fans, appreciate and admire the beauty that is Kauffman Stadium, it may not get as much notoriety as some of the other ballparks on this list. Until recently, the Royals were not a frequent visitor to nationally televised games, limiting the amount that people would see the K. The ballpark has also been around for quite some time, renovations not withstanding, making it easy to lose track of the simple elegance behind the more modern parks.
Yet, given the questionable food practices at Kauffman Stadium, one can understand why this ranking would be on the lower side. After all, who wants to eat food that has been stored at room temperature, or from concession stands that have had critical food safety violations? That is enough to mar the simple beauty of the stadium.
Based on the rankings, Kauffman Stadium is an underrated gem, just waiting to take fans of other teams by surprise should they venture out to Kansas City. That actually sounds a lot like the KC Royals as well.