Results tagged ‘ Kansas City ’
I got out of the hotel early this morning and started my way to the ballpark at 10:30 a.m., but Kauffman Stadium would have to wait. The historic 18th and Vine neighborhood of Kansas City is being redeveloped as the homes of the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum and the American Jazz Museum.
Today was a really great day to go because, for some reason, it felt like I had the run of both places and all of the exhibits. The admission price? A remarkable $8.00 for both museums.It was well worth every penny and I would highly recommend both. I learned a little about music history and, to see how the Negro Leagues formed and enjoyed their heyday prior to Jackie Robinson’s 1947 debut was stirring. It was equally enjoyable to see the league disband as they lost their quality starts to the Major Leagues in the late 1940s — historians feel that the last quality year of the Negro Leagues was ’48.
It’s interesting to note that, as we focus on Robinson’s April 15, 1947 debut, he was one of five African American players to play in the big leagues in ’47 alone. I would also note that you don’t hear enough about Larry Doby, who cracked the American League color line with the Indians just later that summer. The league served its intended purpose. As one sign said in the gift shop, the Negro Leagues were “a revolution disguised as guys playing baseball.”
I capped the afternoon off with another visit to the original Arthur Bryant’s barbecue. It doesn’t look like much from the outside, but this is a real cafeteria style place and it’s a classic. You get your meals slapped on Wonder bread and wrapped in butcher paper. Throw in some fries and a smattering of pickles and it’s entirely too much food for any human being to consume. There’s a long-running debate on the best Kansas City BBQ, but for me, Arthur Bryant’s just took the crown.
The visiting manager’s office at Kauffman Stadium is something like a trip down memory lane. Besides the fact that the clubhouse is decorated with all sorts of beer paraphernalia – the digital clock that tells the Yankees to hit the field is on Michelob Time – the walls of Joe Girardi’s office for the next two games have a few relics of days gone by.
Hovering right over Girardi’s desk is a framed commemorative poster from the 1991 All-Star Game in Toronto, as well as one from the 1990 Midsummer Classic at Wrigley Field. Besides the fact that they’re nearly two decades old, the posters are something of foreshadowing for the summer to come in New York. If these items are still displayed prominently, can you imagine what will be around from the final Yankee Stadium season in, say, 2026?
The office also has two very large prints of 33-cent postage stamps (remember those?) depicting Satchel Paige and Roberto Clemente. Those, also, are very nice and would be a suitable addition to any baseball office or library. It’s a nice day in Kansas City and, though I have to postpone checking out the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum and the American Jazz Museum until at least tomorrow, I’ll be grabbing some Arthur Bryant’s barbecue before heading over to the Big K. See you all there.
Greetings from my hotel room in Kansas City, where the same type of Opening Day clouds that dogged the Yankees have decided to pop up as the Royals prepare to crack the seal on their 81-game home slate at Kauffman Stadium.
George Brett was on television this morning pumping up the Royals fans for a team that appears to be under construction in search of better days, and that’s appropriate, since their ballpark is also undergoing renovations.
The most striking change, and one I’m looking forward to seeing, is the new giant HD scoreboard in center field — the largest of its type in the world, apparently. I always liked the classic shield scoreboard but this one is supposed to be a beauty. By the way, everyone around here is going absolutely nuts for Kansas. So am I … I had the Jayhawks in a pool.
The rain is expected to pass and the Yankees are supposed to get the game in. It won’t matter much to Derek Jeter, though, as he mends a strained left quadriceps that we’ll have to watch closely. Jeter plays through injuries often so I wouldn’t expect this to keep him out of action for too long, but it could affect his productivity.
When I was covering the Mets in 2005, Carlos Beltran (a Kansas City alum, by the way) gave a day-by-day play-by-play of a strained quadriceps that seemed to last for months, and explaining why he wasn’t able to use his speed on the bases anymore. Jeter won’t go into that sort of detail, but that doesn’t mean he won’t wince in pain.
Here’s this week’s Yankees Mailbag in case you missed it.