All Star City
July 16, 2012
After spending far more than I should have, I was able to procure for myself and a friend tickets to the Major League Baseball All Star Game in Kansas City held on July 10 at Kauffman Stadium. I was excited to go as this may have been a once-in-a-lifetime event for me in my hometown. That is, assuming it's another 40 years before it comes again. Unless you were hiding under a rock or living overseas, even non-baseball fans were inundated with baseball all over the city and its surrounding areas for the weeks leading up to the game.
Personally, I was looking forward to attending the Fan Fest held at Bartle Hall and the game itself. But what I enjoyed most was seeing downtown Kansas City...and areas like the Plaza, Crown Center, and even suburban neighborhoods and cities on both sides of the state line transformed into a Royal blue welcome center for out of town visitors. Fans and visitors from all over the country...and the whole world actually...descended upon our Midwestern berg to experience the mid-summer classic contest, which displays the exemplary talents of the best players from the major leagues. I'm sure there are still numbers to be crunched and statistics to be tallied, as far as how much of an economic impact the game had and how much of a boon to tourism it was, but I hope that people who had never been to KC before learned a little about the Midwest and saw we are much more than just barbecue, Dorothy, and Toto (and, by the way, as we all know, Wizard of Oz references are to Kansas, not Kansas CITY, MO).
This city has such a a colorful past and rich history, full of noble and not-so-noble bigger than life figures. Kansas City was the birthplace of 4-beat big band jazz music. It was considered the "wide open" frontier town back in the day. And of course, there is a whole lot of baseball history here. I was so impressed by the number of visitors to our Negro Leagues Museum, which is a world-class museum in itself.
To learn more about our baseball history, there are many books in the Library system, as well as some fantastic books about Kansas City history ... the good and the, well, let's just say "infamous" history.