ROAD DOESN’T MAKE THE ROYALS CRABBY
Through the first third of the season, the Royals did not have a losing road trip. The records: 3-3, 4-3, 4-1 and 5-4. The 5-4 mark was the Yankees-Orioles-Indians trek. Our free day in Baltimore ended with a dinner that featured the seafood treat that the Chesapeake Bay made famous, and that made Baltimore one of the seafood capitals of the United States.
Despite the fact that Rex Hudler played ten big league seasons (and even played for the Orioles at one point), he had never been to a crab house, before we took him to one. We visited Mr. Bill’s Terrace Inn in Essex, Maryland (One of Ryan’s favorites, a few miles north of downtown Baltimore). Rex attacked the crabs with the same passion he approaches life: full-throttle. He loved them! Royals VP Mike Swanson, seated directly across from Rex, took this photo, which made its way on to the Royals telecast the next evening (much to Rex’s surprise!)
When the crabs were literally dumped on our table, it was a show-stopper. Everybody had to get a picture….before we “attacked” our dinner (which if you’ve ever eaten crabs is about how it is…hammer it to break it open, then start eating). As Royals TV director Steve Kurtenbach put it “you’ll never get fat eating crabs.”) Sammy Abramson, the man who brings you instant replay during Royals telecasts, Royals VP Mike Swanson and Ryan got photographic proof before we made an absolute mess of our dinner.
Rex and I donned the bibs. Rex had on a nice, new shirt. He still managed to get it dirty, which was also how he played baseball.
If you’ve never been to Baltimore, you have no idea how beautiful a skyline it has, and what a great waterfront it has. The Inner Harbor (not just “the harbor” as many visitors call it) is spectacular, with great views, great restaurants. It’s always buzzing, as is Little Italy, Fells Point, Canton and the whole waterfront area. It seems like you could eat at a different restaurant every night for a year, and not go to the same place twice.
The last day of the trip, the Royals clinched a winning series and a winning road trip. I actually had most of the day off, so I wandered around Progressive Field, the home of the Indians since 1994. Hard to believe next season will be its 20th. Great site lines everywhere you go. I spent a couple of innings down the left field line.
Behind the centerfield wall, the Indians honor their history (which goes back to the formation of the American league in 1901). They have a spot picked out to honor former Indian Jim Thome, who was with the Indians from 1991 through 2002 and then came back to finished 2011 with his original club.
Also just beyond those evergreens in centerfield, is Heritage Park. Replicas of the Hall of Fame plaques for such luminaries as Cy Young, Larry Doby (the first African American to play in the American League), Bob Feller, former Royals Manager Bob Lemon, and Tris Speaker among other greats are on display.