The Boys of Summer

The view from my seat.

I don’t watch much baseball, but I probably should, since I enjoy it very much when I do. My lovely wife and I joined the Eldest Son and his lovely wife at Kansas City’s Kauffman Stadium last night to see the surging Royals take on the struggling Miami Marlins.

The Royals are an interesting team, with an ability, surpassed only by the Chicago Cubs, to take their doggedly loyal fans from the pinnacle of elation to the pit of despair. They start each season strong and usually fade into anonymity by July, but this season finds them making a strong run at the playoffs, which probably had something to do with the 21,000-plus crowd at the “K” on a Tuesday night (besides it being T-Shirt Tuesday).

Nicely-groomed outfield…and infield.

It was a beautiful evening for baseball, with clear skies, light breezes, and temperature hovering around 75 degrees—and the K is one of the most striking ballparks in the league.

You know, striking, like…oh, never mind. Fans were treated to a remarkable 7-inning pitching duel between KC’s Bruce Chen, a 36-year-old master of off-speed fastballs and corner-nipping curves, and the Marlins’ Jose Fernandez, a 21-year-old rookie fireballer. The game remained scoreless through 9 innings, and the Royals faithful had cause for great hope with the heart of the lineup coming to the plate in the bottom of the ninth, home run threats all.

They went down, 1, 2, 3. Somewhere in the heavenlies, Charles Schultz was laughing.

The Marlins scored a run in the 10th off KC reliever Kelvin Hererra, and the Royals could not reply. Disappointing, but we still had a fun night at the park. If you cheer for the Royals, you learn to be philosophical about these things and keep a tight rein on your expectations.

I think I’ll try to catch a few more games this season. There’s still hope for a Blue October.

Hey, it could happen.


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