June 15th, 2012
The first half of Thursday was uneventful, but the second half made up for it. I worked on the post for Wednesday until about 2:00 pm and then started getting ready for the day. I was going to be meeting Kris Miner, a Kansas Citian, who is in need of a bone marrow transplant and doesn’t have a match. Her family is promoting Be The Match and trying to find a match for Kris. I agreed to meet with Kris at Kauffman Stadium on Thursday to do a few TV spots for Fox Sports and a couple local news stations.
I left Tom and Danielle’s place at 3:18 and got to Kauffman Stadium just after 3:30. Apparently if you get there early enough parking is free. They have toll booths set up where you pay for parking, and all but one of them had a cone in front of the lane that you drive through. The farthest one to the right didn’t have a cone and I proceeded to park in the A lot. There was an attendant nearby, and after parking (there were a bunch of other cars parked as well) I asked if I just pay her. She said no, and that I got there early enough and didn’t have to pay. Uhhhhhh, OK!!! I put my pass from the previous day on the dash just for good measure and made my way to Gate C, where Erik Miner (Kris’ brother-in-law) told me to enter. They weren’t there yet and the guy manning the door didn’t know what I was talking about so I just waited for everyone else to arrive. In the meantime I took an artsy shot of the exterior of the home plate entrance, with some wheat-like vegetation in the foreground.
When team Kris Miner arrived we entered Gate C and congregated in the lobby while the details for the TV spots were worked out. Kris and I talked about our experiences while we waited for the interviews. She is getting an aggressive chemo regimen 24/7 to try and suppress the Lymphoma until she can find a match.
After about 15 minutes we entered the Diamond Club behind home plate and got situated. When the Royals were taking batting practice I took a picture from the restaurant.
Kris and I eventually got seated and Nate Bukaty (from FSN) sat between us. I had actually done a radio interview on Wednesday with Nate, as he also co-hosts the morning sports talk show on ESPN Radio’s Kansas City affiliate. I had a few hiccups, but overall I think it went well. The audio is a little tinny, but it will suffice. This aired during the Royals pre-game show.
Erik took pictures during the interview and here’s one that I picked out.
After the FSN spot we did a few other short interviews for a couple of the local news stations (thus the microphone clipped to my jersey in the photo above). Kris and I posed for Erik after we were done with the media.
It almost brings tears to my eyes thinking about the situation Kris and her family are in. I was in the same boat three years ago and was bailed out by a couple of matches in the umbilical cord blood database. The doctor’s gave Kris 7-9 weeks without a transplant. She is an amazing individual who understands that even if a match isn’t found for her, she is still helping out others. What we’re trying to do is prevent people from being in the situation where the clock is ticking and there isn’t a match. Check out bethematch.org and find out how easy it is to join the registry. I said it before, but there is a drive in Madison on June 21st, and another in Milwaukee on June 27th. You can also order a kit online to do the cheek swabbing at home.
We left the Diamond Club and went up to the .390 Bar & Grill on the second level of the stadium. George Brett hit .390 in 1980, thus the name of the restaurant.
They started taking orders around 5:30 and I had a co-worker of Erik order for me as Erik and I went to the upper deck to get game photo number 63. It took a bunch of tries to get a decent picture. It had nothing to do with Erik and everything to do with the sun and the problems it was causing. The sun was just showing throw the gap between the stands and the roof of the upper deck. We had to find a spot where the sun would illuminate me and the sign otherwise I would have just been a shadow.
On our way back to the .390 Bar & Grill I took a picture of one of the spiral ramps that is connected to Kauffman Stadium. It doesn’t make for a very pretty exterior, but they need ramps, and this was the style in use when the stadium was built. Arrowhead Stadium can be seen in the background, where the Kansas City Chiefs (NFL) play.
When we returned to the restaurant this was waiting for me. I ordered the build-your-own burger, and put on lettuce, tomato, onions, bacon, cheddar, and mushrooms. It was going to set me back $15 but Erik graciously offered to pay. He said it was for helping them out, but it was the least that I could do to raise awareness for something that is so important for Kris and many like her.
The view from the .390 Bar & Grill is pretty good, but the beams are a little distracting. If you’re in the seats right up against the glass they wouldn’t be a problem though.
We stayed in the restaurant until after the National Anthem, and then headed down to our seats. I thought we all were in 224, but I looked at my ticket and saw 234. Apparently the Royals only had 8 together in 224, and then the rest were in 234. I still just sat with Kris, Ken (Kris’ husband), Erik, and some other family members in section 224. Marcum was on the hill for the Brewers, and he pitched a great game. Here he is delivering a pitch early in the game.
The game was knotted at zero heading into the fourth, and that’s when Braun went deep to give the Brewers a 1-0 lead. Apparently he didn’t want his picture taken, as he shielded himself from my camera as he rounded second.
Ok, he actually was making sure his helmet was on tight, as he routinely does at least once during his home run trot, but it’s fun to imagine, isn’t it? In the bottom of the fourth the Brewers turned a 6-4-3 double play, and I captured Rickie as he was making the turn at second.
In the sixth inning the Royals took the lead on a two-run home run from Eric Hosmer. Hosmer is on my fantasy team, but I honestly don’t even know if I was playing him, as I haven’t checked my lineup in 10 days or so. Either way, I’d much rather see the Brewers succeed than my fantasy team, seeing that I have much more invested (emotionally and financially) in the Brewers than I do in fantasy ($25). Aramis Ramirez tied it at two with a solo blast in the seventh, and I captured him as he stepped on third. Alcides Escobar looks on, as 3rd base umpire Dale Scott makes sure Ram-Ram touches the bag.
In the top of the eighth the Brewers played some small ball and took the lead. Gomez singled, Maysonet sacrificed him to second, and Ransom drove him in to give the Brewers a 3-2 lead. Marcum pitched into the eighth and his final line was 7 and 2/3 innings pitched, 4 hits, 2 walks, 2 earned runs and 5 strikeouts. He was definitely deserving of the victory. K-Rod relieved him and got the last out of the eighth. Axford came on in the ninth to try his hand at save number 11 for the second consecutive night. He struck out the first batter (Maier) but his curveball was a 57 footer and got by Maldonado. With the tying run on base Axford induced a groundout and struck out Escobar for what should’ve been the final out of the inning. Jarrod Dyson then drew a walk and the winning run was now on base. Brayan Peña lined Axford’s 1-1 pitch to left field for a base hit, and Maier scored easily. Peña had started going to second and the cutoff throw went to Maysonet (the Brewers shortstop). Maysonet then tried to get Peña and threw low to Rickie Weeks at second. In the meantime Dyson had taken off for home, and Maysonet’s bad throw to Weeks led to him not being able to get the ball home in time. Final Score: Royals 4 – Brewers 3. It was a devastating loss and I was speechless. I honestly didn’t see the winning run because I had turned my back when I saw the tying run score. I was preparing myself for another walk-off in the upcoming at bat or another extra inning affair. I don’t know if I would’ve seen it anyways because I was standing in the concourse and everyone was on their feet with their arms in the air as the Royals finished the sweep.
I was planning on leaving Kansas City early Friday morning, but Thursday’s results made me reconsider. I was really down and figured I probably wouldn’t get much sleep anyways. I went back to Tom and Danielle’s, packed up, said goodbye, and left their place at 11:36. I pulled up to Victoria’s friends’ place in Minneapolis at 6:10 and made it in just over six and a half hours.
I’m leaving for Target Field in about an hour, and I need to get going. I’m doing an interview with a TV station at the park, and then meeting some Be The Match staff at an Irish Pub nearby.
I just want to thank Team Kris Miner for letting me help out with their cause. Stories like hers make me realize that I made the right decision in regards to quitting my job and stepping up to the plate. They were all very nice and I look forward to her finding a match and making a full recovery.
If you want to learn more about Be The Match and how you can help, CLICK HERE