June 14th, 2012

6-13-12 (@ Kansas City)

Wednesday started off slow, and I was working on the blog post for Tuesday until about noon. I decided to hit up Arthur Bryant’s Barbecue, due to a recommendation from Trenni Kusneriek (and others). It’s on Brooklyn Ave and 18th Street southeast of downtown. There are two other locations but this location was the original (ok, not really the original, seeing as Arthur Bryant’s has been around since 1908, but it’s near where the original was). I got there around 2:15, and was not disappointed. The four-parter below, going clockwise from top left:

1) The exterior of the restaurant from across Brooklyn Avenue.

2) The interior of the restaurant. The wall had pictures of famous visitors, and articles that Arthur Bryant’s appeared in. Some notables visitors were President Jimmy Carter, Steven Spielberg, Danny Glover, John Lithgow, and John McCain and Sarah Palin (while campaigning for the 2008 election).

3) The menu, I ordered the chicken sandwich. The menu says “chicken-half”, and I thought that meant I’d get half a chicken’s worth of meat.

4) I was wrong, it’s literally half a chicken, bones and all. I wasn’t sure if I was supposed to just eat the chicken off the bone, and then have two pieces of bread, or shred the chicken myself. I also got a side of potato salad.

I did some deconstruction and then some assembly, and this was the result:

My first bite had a bone in it; bad job on my part. On each subsequent bite I was more careful. That first bite was the only one that had a bone, so I wound up doing a decent job. It was a great sandwich, and the potato salad was spectaculous.

The Negro Leagues Baseball Museum was nearby, and I visited that as well. I spent about an hour and 45 minutes walking through the exhibits and reading about the history. It was cool and sad at the same time, and makes you wonder how many MLB records would be different if players of color would’ve been allowed to play in the majors sooner. You can’t take photographs when you’re inside the museum, so I’ll give you a photo of the exterior of the museum(s). The building also houses the American Jazz Museum. The sign reads “The Museum at 18th & Vine”. It was $8 to see one of the museums, and $10 for both. I do like Jazz, but I knew I wouldn’t have time to do both so I just went with the Negro Leagues Museum.

I was done at the museum just after 4:45, and left for Kauffman Stadium from there. I was meeting my friend Matt (it feels weird using first names), and he got to the parking lot shortly after I did. We went to middle school and high school together, and we both went to UW-Madison as well. We didn’t see each other much during college, but we’re still friends, and he’s in the fantasy baseball league that I’m the commissioner of. I was planning on getting the game number photo from behind home plate in the upper deck on Wednesday, and then from my seat on Thursday. Since we had plenty of time, I figured we should at least see if there was a good spot to capture the back of the scoreboard. It took some walking, but we found a good spot. I know I usually don’t get two pictures from outside the stadium, but I made an exception. Game photo number 62:

After getting the above picture we entered the left field gate and visited the Royals Hall of Fame. It’s located in the left field corner of the stadium and was added during the remodeling of Kauffman Stadium. They did a great job with it and I took a bunch of pictures. This first four-parter, going clockwise from top left:

1) The ceiling of the museum when you first enter. It might be a little confusing because the wall is at the bottom, which makes it kind of look like the floor.

2) Garth Brooks’ guitar and a note: “To all my friends in low places in KC. Love you Guys!! God bless you and yours.” They play Friends in Low Places (a Garth Brooks song) during the game and most people sing along.

3) The bobble heads that they have in the all-fan-giveaway display. I attended two Brewers-Royals games at Kauffman Stadium back in 2006, and they had a bobble head giveaway one of the days. I have the Frank White bobble head, with him holding his 8 gold gloves in his left hand and you can see it in the middle of the bottom row.

4) A letter from President Nixon to George Brett after the famous pine tar incident (George Brett was ruled out after a home run at Yankee Stadium when he was found to have too much pine tar on the bat he used). The letter reads: “Dear George, As one who roots for the home team I am a Yankees fan. As a long time George Brett fan I thought you got a lousy deal. I’ll wager they change the rule in the future. In the meantime keep slugging! With warm regards, Richard Nixon” In a word: cool.

The thing that I thought was coolest was the letter from a fan of the new franchise. The owners had asked people to suggest names for the new team, and this was the winner. I never would’ve guessed the reason for the Royals name. I probably would’ve thought it was just implying that they were royalty. You can click on it if you need a larger image (as is the case with all of the pictures).

A few more notable items from the Royals Hall of Fame. Again, going clockwise from top left:

1) The Royals’ Statue of Liberty, a gift from the Yankees when they hosted the 2008 All-Star Game.

2) One baseball for each base hit that George Brett had in his career: 3,142. It’s a really cool piece of artwork. Inside the glass display is the bat he used to get his 3,000 hit, and the ball that he hit.

3) The eight gold gloves won by Frank White (’77-’82, and ’86-’87). I think the player gets the original and then the team gets a replica.

4) The Royals World Series trophy from the 1985 Fall Classic when they beat the Cardinals. There was a terrible call in the 9th inning of game six, and it led to a Royals victory. They then won game seven and the rest is history. I was reading more about that game six just now and learned there was also a blown call that cost the Royals a runner at second base earlier in the game. So maybe it all evened out. The Cardinals now have 11 other World Series titles to soak up their tears so I can’t be too upset about the blown call.

In left-centerfield there is a statue of Ewing Kauffman and his wife Muriel. They were the founding owners, and brought baseball back to Kansas City. The Kansas City A’s (previously the Philadelphia A’s, and currently the Oakland A’s) were in KC from 1955 to 1967. The Royals’ first season in Kansas city was 1969 and they’ve been in Kauffman Stadium since 1973. It was known as Royals Stadium from 1973-1993. The park was renamed Kauffman Stadium just a month before he passed away in August of 1993.

Matt and I met up with a friend of Victoria’s, and he bought us a beer. His name is John, and he was a hotdogger in Victoria’s “class”. Oscar Mayer hires 12 recent college grads every year to drive the six wienermobiles around the country. John was never Victoria’s partner (they have a partner for the first six months and then a different one for the other six months). We talked about my mission and how it’s been going so far. He had the Midwest region for six months, and he said he misses Madison, as do I. Before we took off I had John take a picture of Matt and me. Thinking about it now, I should’ve had a stranger take a picture of the three of us.

We thanked John for the beer but then had to hustle over to the visitor’s dugout. I was going to be doing an on-air interview with Craig Coshun during the game. Since there isn’t a gate that allows access to the camera well from the stands I had to meet Craig before the game and pick this up:

We were sitting on the third base side somewhat near the camera well (on purpose), and this was the view from our seats in section 117, row P.

The game got underway and again the Royals jumped out to a 1-0 lead after a leadoff double and two groundouts. The Brewers got on the board in the third, and it was an inning that I will likely never see again. After Kottaras popped out to leadoff the inning, the next three Brewers all reached on infield singles. Maysonet reached on a swinging bunt, and then Aoki and Gomez both bunted for base hits. A Ryan Braun strikeout followed the hits, but then Aramis Ramirez hit a ground ball to short that was ruled a base hit as well. The shortstop tried forcing out Gomez at second, but his wheels allowed him to get there before the throw. Maysonet scored and the Brewers tied it at one. Four infield hits in one inning: very rare.

I had met Craig Coshun by the BATS Club entrance and we went under the seating bowl to reach the camera well. While walking down one of the tunnels Zack Greinke was coming up to get something out of the visitor’s clubhouse. I missed the Kottaras pop out because it takes so long to get to the well, but saw the infield hits and the run that scored in the top of the third. This was my view from Craig’s chair in the camera well. He graciously allowed me to sit in his folding chair while he stood next to/leaned on an electrical box.

We did the interview when FS-Wisconsin came back from commercial break at the start of the bottom of the fourth. Here is Craig pointing to the camera out in centerfield, and me waving to the camera guy who was waving at us. Thanks Matt for taking the pictures.

I was on for just a minute or two, but I got my message out. I haven’t gotten a chance to see the interview, but people said it went well. There were some hecklers that were giving me grief during the interview. I’m not used to such situations, and it actually got to me a bit. Not because what they were saying was hurtful, but just that I was trying to answer questions and my mind wanted to hear what they were saying as well. I can probably watch the interview and tell you when it happened, because I kind of lost my train of thought and stumbled briefly. I heard one of them say/yell: “answer the questions with your beard.” If you’re not aware; my initial goal was to not shave for the entire season. I’m having second thoughts. Here we are during the interview.

I missed eight pitches during the interview, three getting to the camera well, and three getting back, for a total of 14! By far the most of the season. The previous high was four and happened during my interview with Telly Hughes on May 1st in San Diego. I didn’t miss anything special, so I’m not too upset. The fact that someone tweeted me afterwards telling me that they had met me in the Miller Park parking lot and that the interview reminded them to order the do-it-yourself registration kit made it all worth it.

At one point during the game I looked up and saw something that Matt and I thought was pretty funny:

Ok, back to the game; in the seventh inning Ryan Braun drove in Edwin Maysonet on a single to center, and the Brewers took a 2-1 lead. They added to it in the ninth after a leadoff double by Aoki, a sacrifice bunt by Gomez, and an error on the play by the catcher led to Aoki scoring. The stage was set for Axford to pick up his 11th save. Axford retired two of the first four batters in the inning, but the other two reached on walks and Axford only threw one strike to the two of them combined. With two outs and two on Alcides Escobar lined a 2-1 pitch to left center, and wound up at third with a 2-run triple. Tie game. The Brewers had runners on the corners with two outs in the 10th, but failed to score. Kameron Loe came out to pitch the bottom of the 11th and the Royals wasted no time improving their on base percentage. They went single, walk, single, and Loe was taken out in favor of Jose Veras. Veras walked Moustakas on five pitches and the Royals had a walk-’em-in walk-off. Final Score: Royals 4 – Brewers 3.

It was one of the toughest losses of the season, and probably one of the most exciting for Royals fans. “One man’s pain is another man’s pleasure.”

I’ll be at Kauffman Stadium in two short hours, and I’ll be meeting with Kris Miner, a local whose Cutaneous T-Cell Lymphoma transformed into Stage 4B Large Cell Lymphoma. She needs a bone marrow transplant and there currently isn’t a match in the registry. Her husband and brother-in-law contacted me and asked if I’d be willing to help promote the registry and try to get people to join. I obviously agreed to do anything they need. She just recently got news that the chemo isn’t working to keep the disease at bay, and now the timetable is 7-9 weeks for her to find a match. If you haven’t joined the registry I encourage you to do so. She is of German and Dutch decent and those with similar backgrounds have a better chance of being a match. If you’re not of German or Dutch decent I would still encourage you to join because there are many other individuals in the same situation as Kris. You can join in person at a free drive by typing in your zip code to find an upcoming drive near you. You can also order a self registration kit online. If you have already joined or donated to the cause I can’t thank you enough.

Personal Stats:


Time inside Kauffman Stadium: 4 hours 34 minutes
Time on stadium grounds: 5 hours 29 minutes
Miles driven: 22
Sausages: 1 (hot dog)
Pitches Missed: 14 (Yes, FOURTEEN, it was for a good cause though)
Consecutive pitch streak ended at: 180
Percentage of pitches seen: 95.92% (329/343)
Current streak of pitches seen: 195


Brewers current record: 28-34 (.452 winning percentage)
Time inside stadiums: 261 hours 45 minutes
Time on stadium grounds: 306 hours 52 minutes
Miles driven: 5,870.6
Miles riding in car but not driving: 1,702.1
Public Transit miles: 262.7
Flight Miles: 11,263
Total distance traveled: 19,098.4 miles
Distance as % of Earth’s circumference: 76.70% (19,098.4/24,901)
Sausages: 50 (21 Hot Dogs, 14 Polish, 6 Bratwurst, 4 Corndogs, 2 Italian, Cheddarwurst, Bison Dog, Chicken Apple Sausage)
Pitches missed: 56
Longest streak of pitches seen: 1,469 (5/28 – 6/1)
Percentage of pitches seen: 99.70% (18,760/18,816)

If you want to learn more about Be The Match and how you can help, CLICK HERE