I had considered treating myself to the Royals-Twins game this past Saturday — at least, up until I checked to see the price of tickets for that night’s game. The chart below demonstrates my decision to stay in, rather than drive out to the ballpark. By the time you factor in parking and food, a fan ends up relinquishing a good part of their paycheck to attend a Saturday ballgame.
This chart was actually created in 2010, but I’m sure we can all agree it’s still a pretty accurate depiction of trends in ticket prices today.
This sounds like a good plan to me!
Though it took me until late-August to finally make it to a game, I suddenly seem to have made quite a shift in my luck, as the other night I made it to my second game in two weeks. This past Wednesday night was Bark at the Park night at Kauffman Stadium, and the ballpark was full of our furry friends.
We arrived early enough to take a detour through the Royals Hall of Fame. We’ve seen much of it all before, so we didn’t linger too much, though I had yet to see the short film the Royals had created chronicling their journey to the 2015 World Series championship. Watching it turned out to be a moving experience, almost like reliving the whole trip in a Reader’s Digest format. It was enough to make me wish the Royals would hurry up and have a repeat season.
The gal who invited me to come along to the game with her had some impressive seats, so I was able to enjoy being in closer proximity to the field than I was last week.
Unfortunately, the Royals were unable to pull off another win with my presence. I suppose I can’t be lucky all the time, eh? Jason Vargas gave up three home runs, and even Whit Merrifield’s 3-run homer in the bottom of the third wasn’t enough of a spark to keep the Royals in it. The Royals are now 11 games out of first in the AL Central, and our chances at a Wild Card slot are starting to look a bit slim. Then again, these are the Kansas City Royals, and as we all know, you can’t count them out even in the bleakest of circumstances.
Yours truly finally made it to Kauffman Stadium for a Royals game this year! My first of the season — yes, I’ve been slacking. Need to get back on that. A lady at work had tickets, but then realized she had another obligation, and was kind enough to pass them on.
Yesterday had been a challenging day at work, which gave me the perfect excuse to splurge on a dog and an overpriced beer.
The crowd was small, just over 25K, as it usually is at Kansas City baseball games — unless, of course, they make it into the playoffs. I had forgotten what a stress release being at the K always seems to be for me. Even though I am very much an introvert, sometimes being in a crowd can be nice. I think I like the opportunity to blend in and become relatively anonymous.
I enjoy some of the distractions that being at the stadium can present. The hot dog derby, for example, never fails to bring out my inner little kid. Relish won this round, but ketchup is still leading the standings — at least at Kauffman. Go ketchup!
I love being able to see I-70 from the stands:
And the fountain display at the K is always worth taking a look.
However, none of this beats the excitement of sticking around to watch Eric Hosmer blast a walk-off home run off Greg Holland. No, I didn’t get any pictures of the celebration that followed that event. I found that I was much too happy and excited to do anything other than grin like an idiot and cheer. I will say, though, that oftentimes when I go to Royals games, I feel like I rarely get to see a win. It sure was nice to feel like I brought them a little bit of luck for once.
Congratulations to the Baseball Hall of Fame’s latest inductees! Jeff Bagwell, Tim Raines, and Ivan Rodriguez.
If you decide you want to watch your view through the different eras of baseball via the movies, here’s a handy guide to help you out. The image is a bit small here, but you can click on it for a bigger look.
Brännboll is a game similar to rounders, baseball, and lapta, which is played at the amateur level throughout northern Europe, including Sweden, Norway, Denmark and Germany. In some areas, it is better known as slaball or brennball. For the most part, the game is played in parks and fields, though some schools include it as a part of their physical education curriculum.
Since there is no central governing body for brännboll, there are no codified rules, though games played generally follow the same regulations and traditions. The game is usually played with a tennis ball, and unlike baseball and cricket, there is no pitcher or bowler. Instead, the batter himself throws (or bounces) the ball and hits it with his bat. “Fair territory” is usually determined according to natural features such as trees, or sometimes is little more than an imaginary border, and like baseball, these borders don’t restrict how far the ball can be hit straight away from the batter. As a result, there is no standard size for the field of play.
Upon hitting the ball, the batter then makes their way around the four bases (usually counter-clockwise), while the fielding team catches and throws the ball back to the designated catcher positioned by what is known as the outing base (brännplatta). The catcher announces the end of the batting round with “out” (bränd, “burned”) when they step on the outing base with the ball in their possession.
If the runner is caught between two bases at the end of the batting round, they move back to either the last visited base or, according to some local rules, back to first base. When this occurs, the fielding team earns a point. The offensive team can have as many players on the bases as they like, as there are no restrictions (i.e. you can have more than one runner to a base, as both those runners might be caught between the same two bases when the ball makes it back to the catcher).
If a fielder catches a fly ball before it hits the ground (lyra), the fielding team also earns a point. However, if the batter makes it past fourth base before the ball gets to the catcher (varvning), the hitting team earns a point. If the hitter gets what we’d call a home run (frivarv/helrunda), the offensive team gets 6 points.
If all players on the batting team fail to reach fourth base (and thus rejoin the queue to hit again) and no batsmen remain in the queue, the hitting team as a whole is caught out (utebrända). This results in 5 points awarded to the catching team. The indicator at which the two teams switch sides also remains unclear, and likely differs from location to location. Typically, however, each team get to play on each side, usually one or two times each.
Interestingly, in spite of the lack of organization, there is a brännboll world championship known as Brännbollscupen. It is played annually in Umeå, Sweden. Brännbollscupen was first organized in 1974 with 44 teams taking part. Over the years, the tournament has grown to over 1,000 participating teams.
You can watch a bit of brännboll (including a team of superheroes, it appears) being played here: