Not so terriblly long ago, at least in my mind, I made multiple trips to Kansas City, mostly to visit relatives. Quite often, though, along with the visits, came some quality time at what was then called "Royals Stadium," This stadium, along with the general look of Harry Truman Sports Complex, never ceased to amaze me as to the beauty of the overall design of having two brand new major league stadiums side by side. Royals Stadium and Arrowhead Stadium, two absolutely beautiful structures, built in such a way, at least in my mind, to provide total access to each fan that showed up for a game. The location was easy to get to, the parking lot was "easy access," and cheap (at the time), and there was very little hassle in getting safely to the ball park for what I new would be a great game, whether Kansas City won that day, or not. Cheap, or inexpensive, however you might like to say it, were the prices to see a game back then. Howabout $3 for general admissiion to see the Royals score 23 runs in a game (This did happen more than once)? Howabout $1 to park your car in the massive parking lot that made up the "easy access" to the game? This was very affordable entertainment, and pure entertainment, a game at Royals Stadium was. I saw some absolutely great Royals teams during those years. Many contenders for the Pennant virtually every year back then. Players like George Brett, Al Cowens, Amos Otis, John Mayberry, Freddie Patek, Frank White, Pete LaCock, Dan Quisenberry, Clint Hurdle, John Wathan, Hal McRae, and Al Hrabosky, just to name a few, made life at Royals Stadium a total joy.
Today, the name of the stadium is different. The stadium has seen some changes in it's look, as well. Prices have virtually skyrocketed to see a game, and not just in Kansas City, but all around the league. Players come and go very quickly, almost to the point that loyalty to a team just doesn't seem to exist. In general, baseball has become much different, I think, than when I was young, In general, I believe these changes have not benefited the game, or the fans. It is now a major investment to go to a game, which for me, has taken the fun out of it. I can no longer do as I used to do in college; just get in the car on the spur of the moment, drive 150 miles to Kansas City, just to see the Royals take on Reggie Jackson and the New York Yankees. One has to plan a trip to a ball park alot more now, and for many, it cannot be as frequent as perhaps they would like. In general, I believe this has made me less of a fan of baseball, and although I like to see the Royals do well, I no longer know the names of all the players any longer, and I don't strive to know whether they have won each day any longer. Along with baseball, I have changed, also. Perhaps it is my responsibilities to my family that has changed me, and perhaps the distance that I now live from Kansas City has changed me. I do know one thing; Baseball, in its present state, is no longer for just any fan. More and more, baseball is for the wealthy to enjoy, and the rest of us are left to listen, if possible, to the games on radio or television, if one resides in the area in which coverage is given. Even the internet is just a way to make money. Radio broadcasts, that could be streamed over the internet, to fans that couldn't go to the games anyway, due to the distance from a team's home city that they live, have to "pay to play," even to just listen to their favorite team's radio broadcast. I guess MLB doesn't want "distant fans" to be a part of baseball, at least these tactics seem to be the case in my mind.
Baseball, wonderful game. The business of baseball is today treating this sport as just another "tourist trap."