Sunday, July 29, 2007

Day 36: Kauffman Stadium

All photos of Kansas City and Kauffman Stadium available on Flickr.

Today was a very important day for us. Not only was it Induction Sunday in Cooperstown, in which Tony Gwynn and Erik's favorite player Cal Ripken Jr. were inducted, but it was the start of week 6 and the midway point of the tour! We left St. Louis around 8 and arrived in KC around 11:30. It was my turn to drive today, which meant another hefty nap for Erik. As expected, we made a lot of money quickly fundraising, but got kicked out right away because we were on team property; we really didn't have much of an option since the park is in the middle of nowhere. The Royals' park and the Chiefs stadium are side by side in the Truman Sports Complex, which is about 10 miles east of the city.

We were both fairly impressed with Kauffman Stadium. It was built in the mid '70s in between the "cookie-cutter" phase and the retro-style phase of stadium building, and it has a style entirely different of any other park in the majors. It has a concrete structure accented with white posts and fixtures, making it appear very streamlined and least it was when it was built 30+ years ago. The most notable feature of this park are of course the fountains all throughout center field. Kansas City's nickname is "Fountain City" due it its extraordinary number of fountains throughout the city and its suburbs. Between innings, the fountains shoot up in an array of patterns and it's pretty awesome. The scoreboard is also really cool, in the shape of the Royals' crown logo. There are two decks and it has a very simple circulation pattern. Overall, it was one of my favorite parks so far, and I hope the team continues to fight to keep the stadium from moving downtown.

What we expected was a low attendance and lots of between-inning novelties. What we didn't expect was a 10-0 whomping by the home team. Ross Gload and Mark Teahen each had three hits and pitcher Nunez tossed 6 and picked up his first win in the Royals victory. Despite the large margin of victory, Peralta picked up a save out of the bullpen since he tossed 3 in relief. And what better to follow up an action-packed game then.....all fans run the bases! Every Sunday the Royals allow ALL fans, not just children, to run the bases, and it was pretty exhilerating. Erik and I both really wanted to slide into home but thought better of it since we have a long drive ahead of us tonight and we are both relatively clean at the moment.

After the game, we went to John's parents house in the city and took care of some blog and laundry stuff, as well as some dinner. Tonight we plan on driving a good chunk of the way to Colorado Springs so that we don't have to get up too early tomorrow to catch the 12:05 start for the Sky Sox.

park stats and rankings:
aesthetics - 7
views from park - 9 (freeway behind, but the fountains are awesome)
view to field - 6
surrounding area - 1
food variety - 4
nachos - 4
beer - 4 (not much variety, expensive)
vendor price - 6
ticket price - 8 ($8 upper deck)
atmosphere - 3
walk to park - 2
parking price/proximity - 7 (on property, but $9 is steep for the Royals)
concourses - 6
team shop - 7

best food - polish w/ kraut
most unique stadium feature - fountains
best jumbotron feature - "Base Hit" animation
best between-inning feature - "And the Oscar goes to..." segment with players

field dimensions - 330/410/330
starters - Kameron Loe (TEX) v. Leo Nunez (KC)
opponent - Texas Rangers
time of game - 2:50
attendance - 15640
score - 10-0 W
Brewers score that day - 9-5 L

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