Waiting for Spring Training
January 23, 2012
Well, I find myself counting down to the end of February already. That is when the pitchers and catchers report to spring training.
I love baseball. I never excelled as a player as a boy, but as a teenager and now as an adult, I love watching and following the game. I love following the statistics and achievements. I love going to Royals games and cheering for my home team. I love those moments when our pitchers throw a wicked slider to catch the final batter of the opposing team looking at strike three. Or watching in the bottom of the ninth as one of our batters knocks one into the right field gap to drive in the winning run.
This year is especially exciting for me as Kansas City will host the 2012 All-Star Game at Kauffman Stadium. Even more exciting is the fact that my beloved Royals are making a lot of off-season moves that will ensure improvement upon last year’s team and help put a winning squad on the field.
I can’t help it. I’m a "homer." All my life I have rooted for the home team. I can’t stand the Cardinals, even though they are just across the state. I still relish the glorious memories of the 1985 World Series. (If anyone wants to discuss the "safe" call in game six, bring it on!). I don’t root for teams just because they have bigger payrolls and come from more glamorous cities. I am proud of what we have here. I have endured years and years of bad teams, but with every spring, I have hope. Hope for what can be. I am the eternal optimist.
I had the opportunity to attend the week-long Fanfest and All-Star Game in 2000 in Atlanta. What a fantastic experience that was. The city was transformed into a baseball lover’s paradise. Even if you aren’t a baseball fan (and I won’t hold that against you!), having the All-Star game and its accompanying FanFest will be a great boon to Kansas City and a chance to shine in the national spotlight. We have lots to be proud of here and so much to share with the visitors who be coming from all over the country. What a great baseball history and heritage we have here in Kansas City! Imagine all the visitors to the Negro Leagues Museum. It’s a one-of-a-kind gem we have here in this great town.
I realize we haven’t had a lot to cheer for in Kansas City on the sports scene for a little while. Okay, make that a long while. But if you are interested in reading stories or remembering the good times, we have some great books at the library.
The Story of the Kansas City Royals by Nate LeBoutillier,
Kansas City Royals: Facts & Trivia by Mark Stallard,
Number 5: George Brett and the Kansas City Royals by the Kansas City Star
The Ultimate Kansas City Baseball Trivia Quiz Book: Royals, Monarchs, Athletics, Blues, and More by Phil S. Dixon
Kansas City Royals: AL West by Richard Rambeck,
Moments, Memories, Miracles: a Quarter Century with the Kansas City Royals by Steve Cameron,
Denny Matthews's Tales from the Royals Dugout by Denny Matthews,
Play by play: 25 years of Royals on Radio by Denny Matthews
See you at the ballpark this summer!