The Royals were a hit at the All-Star Game in New York. Greg Holland, Alex Gordon and Salvador Perez all contributed to the 3-0 American League victory. In the days leading up to the big event at Citi Field (home of the Mets), the Royals made their annual visit to Yankee Stadium.
In honor of the All-Star Game being in The Big Apple, 35 baseball-themed apples were spread throughout various landmarks in NYC. I found the Royals apple only a few blocks from our hotel. It was in front of the Fox building on 6th Avenue.
On the night of our first game at Yankee Stadium a thunderstorm popped up in the 5th inning, delaying the game for 59 minutes. Royals VP Mike Swanson tweeted this pic of the Yankee Stadium grounds crew having a MISERABLE time trying to cover the infield after the skies opened up.
Earlier that day it was gorgeous when we arrived for the opener of the 4-game series. New Yankee Stadium is in it’s fifth season, as is Citi Field. Both NYC stadiums opened the same year as the renovated Kauffman Stadium.
In Cleveland we had good weather for our second consecutive visit. The weather in NE Ohio changes in the blink of an eye, thanks in large part to Lake Erie. Just a few blocks from the Royals hotel, right on the Lake are the Great Lakes Science Center and the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Inside the GLSC is the NASA Glenn Visitors Center, named for former astronaut and senator John Glenn, an Ohio native.
The Royals made Father’s Day very special. The Royals Senior Director of Team Travel/Clubhouse Operations tried something that was apparently new for a baseball team (hockey teams have done it)…and that was to have a Dad’s trip. The players and other clubhouse personnel were allowed to invite their dad (or in a couple of cases their sons) to join the club for an entire 2-city, 7-game road trip. The trip covered Father’s Day weekend, as we traveled to St. Petersburg and Cleveland.
The trip began with a 4-game series with the Tampa Bay Rays. The Royals team hotel is across the street from the marina near downtown St. Pete. The dads got to fly on the team charter, stay in the team hotel. The Royals even provided a special Dad’s bus about 45 minutes before each game. The team had a reception for fathers and sons in both cities upon arrival. The players and their dad’s really appreciated the chance to spend some in-season time together.
The low point of the trip was when a hard line drive hit Tampa Bay pitcher Alex Cobb in the head. You could hear a pin drop after Cobb went down. He was taken to a local hospital and was conscious the entire time. But at Tropicana Field the incident was on everyone’s mind the rest of the game. It seemed as though everyone in the building had been punched in the gut. The Royals lost that game…the incident really seemed to take the wind out of their sails. Prognosis for Cobb is very good.
The second leg of the Father’s Day trip was Cleveland. Before one of the games they had a special “Dad’s Batting Practice.” The dads and sons had lots of fun. A lot of the dads had played in their younger years…and several reported feeling sore a few hours later. Here, George Brett pitches to his son Jackson, who came along on the trip.
Being mid-June and our first trip to Cleveland, it marked one of the first times in Cleveland I remember not having to worry about rain or cold. Unfortunately, after winning the first game, the Royals lost the next two. But the Royals finished the trip 4-3 and the father/son week gave all involved a memory that will last a lifetime.