Last night I attended my first Royals game since before the COVID-19 pandemic. Not that I’ve been avoiding Kauffman Stadium altogether — last summer I ran the Royals Charities 5K and at the end of 2022, I took a behind-the-scenes tour of the K. But it had been quite some time since I last attended an actual Royals game, and to rectify that, I bought my ticket to watch the boys in blue take on the Guardians.
This return to game attendance was certainly memorable, but unfortunately, not in a good way. For one thing, it was broiling hot outside: 96°F officially when the game started, and it felt like triple digits. As for the game itself, I knew things were going to be rough when the Guardians hit a grand slam in the 3rd inning. This was followed by a two-run homer in the 5th inning and another two-run blast in the 6th. By the time the 7th inning stretch arrived, the Royals were down 14-0.
The Royals did manage to score a run in the bottom of the 7th, but this was small consolation in the face of what was probably the worst defeat I’ve ever seen live at the K. To make matters worse, Relish won the hot dog derby — my least favorite of the three condiments.
Attendance in general was sparse, with the official number coming in at 11,978. Kansas City is feeling a bit disgruntled with its baseball team these days, and with games like the one we experienced last night, it’s not hard to understand why.
In spite of all this, I am still glad that I made a point of attending the game. Kauffman Stadium has long been one of my favorite places to visit, and sitting in the stadium last night, I find that the sentiment remains. It breaks my heart that the organization intends to move the team out of Kauffman and into a new venue in downtown Kansas City. Until that day arrives, I want to try and get out to more games and soak it in while I can.