Baseball answered the biggest question to confront the game in decades Thursday when the owners’ lockout came to a merciful and peaceful end—there will be a 2022 season. KC Royals fans can breathe a long sigh of relief.
Putting the unfortunate work stoppage behind them didn’t immediately resolve a key question for the Royals, however. Left unresolved for some time was the Opening Day issue.
When would it be?
Initial indications, which Internet and mainstream media outlets universally carried for several hours after the clubs and players resolved their differences, suggested an April 7 launch to the regular season. Picking up MLB’s original schedule at that point meant the Royals would host the White Sox for one game before opening a Kauffman Stadium series against Cleveland.
Given baseball’s long-established practice of scheduling season-starting series, including off days immediately following Opening Day, Kansas City and Chicago opening the campaign with a single game before moving on to other opponents seemed unorthodox.
So it came as no surprise when, as Kings of Kauffman reported in its updated story about the lockout’s end, the 2022 schedule on the club’s website, apparently updated sometime Thursday evening, indicated the Royals would welcome Cleveland to town for an evening contest to open the season and their first home series of the year.
But even that scenario seemed odd. Choosing an early April night game to kick off a new campaign put the occasion squarely at the peril and mercy of Kansas City’s unpredictable weather.
The KC Royals now have a certain date and time for their Opening Day.
Now, Opening Day details appear set in stone. The club’s website schedule now indicates the Royals will indeed host the Guardians April 7, but in a more traditional, and climate-friendly, 3:10 p.m. CT contest at The K. That makes the first game of the season a Thursday game followed by the typical day off. The Royals and Cleveland then play Saturday and Sunday afternoon games before Kansas City heads for a two-game series in St. Louis.
So, there it is—certainty about Opening Day.
The Royals open their season April 7 with a home afternoon game against Cleveland.