The Royals began 2014 with great anticipation. Through the ups and downs of the first few weeks, we saw beautiful ballparks, (occasionally) beautiful weather and (of course) cold weather. Here are some memorable images from the first few weeks.
Houston was cooler than normal for April…but still nicer than most of the country. As the Royals swept the Astros, they played under the Texas sky with the roof open all three nights (they apparently leave the roof open more frequently now than in the past. The first night we were there was the chilliest evening, as temps dipped into the mid 50’s. Don Free did not bring a jacket with him that evening and with the AC blasting him, he was cold. But being the loyal 29 year Royals employee that he is, he REFUSED the offer of an Astros jacket to wear. Instead he draped himself in the light blankets he uses to cover our equipment he leaves in visiting radio booths once we leave the air.
The last day in Minneapolis was MUCH colder than Houston. The high temperature on that Sunday was around 44 degrees. Minnesota is, of course, a state populated by hearty people who aren’t afraid of a little cold weather. So to see a few people bundled up in the upper deck didn’t seem unusual. What DID seem unusual, was that fact that I took this photo MORE THAN 90 MINUTES BEFORE THE GAME! It’s one thing to sit outside in very rough weather, it’s another to sit out there for the equivalent of an extra 4 or 5 innings before the game even starts.
While the Royals were in Minneapolis, the University of Minnesota hockey team was playing for the national title in Philadelphia, in The Frozen Four. Minnesota is a storied college hockey program and enjoys great fan support in the Twin Cities. What seemed unusual was that police had to set up on campus in riot gear, as the students celebrated the Gophers’ win over North Dakota. This pic was taken after the Gophers lost in the championship game to Union College. Fortunately no major problems developed in “Dinkytown,” a neighborhood adjacent to the campus.
Here was the first pitch of the season at Kauffman Stadium. After a couple of one-run losses in Detroit, the Royals opened the home schedule with a win over the White Sox. Always great to win the home opener. Relatively speaking, the Royals enjoyed pretty good weather for their early April games at home.
On Opening Day we had Missouri Governor Jay Nixon as our special guest on the air. The Governor played all the sports in school. He’s from Desoto, Missouri, a small town where he says EVERYBODY plays all the sports in school.
I CANNOT claim credit for this but it’s obviously an AWESOME photo of the flyover on Opening Day above Globe Life Park in Arlington (the new name of the Rangers stadium). The photo was taken by Louis DeLuca of the Dallas Morning News. He was in a helicopter above the flyover. Wow!
As far as this photo is concerned (another I didn’t take). Well there’s an old saying “a picture’s worth a thousand words.” I’ll just leave it at that. Bartolo Colon, Mets pitcher. (Not Mets hitter).