Baseball is a part of everyday life during the season in Kansas City. We are a baseball town. Sure, some people might say I’m jumping on the baseball bandwagon because the Royals are world champions, but our love for baseball dates back decades before the most recent craze. In my opinion, this town just looks better in blue.
The Chiefs are great, but nothing unites Kansas City like baseball. The Royals play 162 games in a season. That translates into 162 opportunities to tune in, meet up at a restaurant or, even better, grab a friend and head out to the game. Every night I have a chance during the season, I watch the Royals game with my family or friends. That simply doesn’t happen with football. Football might own one day of the week but that still only adds up to 16 games. They just can’t compete with a sport that plays nearly every day.
With the long-lived popularity of T-ball and Little League, almost every Kansas Citian grew up playing or watching some level of baseball. The Royals had the highest local ratings of any team in baseball since 2002 with nearly 114,000 families tuning in at game time. Every morning in the streets and coffee shops of Kansas City, you will hear people talking about the previous night’s game.
And that leads me to accessibility. With so many games each season, there are countless opportunities to head out to the ballpark. Tickets are affordable. Hot dogs are abundant. Drinks are cold. It’s the thing to do in the summer.
Then we took the crown in 2015. Nothing else in my lifetime has packed 800,000 people into the same place. Fans walked from miles away and ditched their cars on the highway to arrive at a downtown that was thoroughly unequipped to accompany the masses of people that gathered to celebrate a World Championship. Nevertheless, it was an ecstatic crowd. It was a “blue” snow day as the city shut down. If that doesn’t say something about Kansas City’s passion for baseball, I don’t know what does.
This is the Heartland. We love baseball, celebrations and Friday night fireworks. Baseball is as much a part of the Midwest way as barbecue is. In the humid months of summer, you can always find time to catch a baseball game. There is just something special about 7:07 pm.
Don’t get me wrong here, I will always enjoy tailgating in the parking lot and watching the Chiefs games on Sunday, but Kansas City has been and always will be a baseball town.