Well, I reported backin February that I had a big trip planned, and I bought my tickets to the Royals vs Rockies game on June 25 as soon as they came available. I'm back from the trip now, and it was ultra-fantastic! The Royals-specific highlights:
- The Royals continue to have a perfect record (2-0, now) when I'm in attendance, beating the Rox 4-2. The game was pretty messy, with the Rockies taking an early lead and the Royals coming back mainly by taking advantage of errors, but hey, a win's a win!
- Luke Hochevar recovered impressively from a rocky (pun semi-intended) first two innings
- Every time Ross Gload came to bat, I yelled, "Gload will explode!!" and hoped I'd see someone turn around in recognition. No one did, but it was still fun, especially since he did - two doubles.
- The roar of the crowd when Joakim Soria came in to close the game was an awesome thing to behold. Also, I saw him referred to as the "Mexecutioner" in the following day's KC Star, so I guess that's now an official nickname for him - did we originate that here?
- My wife, who is far more awesome than I deserve, had the Royals put "Welcome Mattis Keller, our most loyal fan" (no offense, loyal2) on the scoreboard.
- Even more amazing than that, I actually appeared (with my 10-year-old son and my 5-month-old baby daughter) on the scoreboard during one of the random "fan-cam shots" around the 4th inning. (The rest of my family was either sitting out of range or was on a bathroom break.) Just the thing to make the evening perfect - the image in my mind kept me energetic for the whole drive to Branson that night.
- The Royals drove us from the stadium entrance back to our van in one of their courtesy golf carts. I think this was the highlight of the evening for my children who are not yet capable of truly appreciating baseball.
Only two things I'd criticize: I was quite disappointed at the long line to claim my "will-call" tickets, and I'm pretty sure it's because that was also a ticket SALES line, I don't think there was a dedicated line for picking up already-purchased tickets. I expected that pre-buying my tickets would guarantee speedy entry to the stadium. Instead, I was still on line when the national anthem was sung, and I was practically in a panic that after having driven 25 hours to get to the K, I was going to miss some of the game (fortunately, I didn't, just barely). Also, the general parking is a HUGE walk from the stadium. I'm sure I passed at least two completely empty lots on my way from where we were directed to park to the stadium (though the aforementioned golf-cart ride later made up for this.
All in all, it was great to be there in the flesh again! Now, I'm back in New York, rooting from afar - go Royals!