During our final weekend of the Hall of Fame Tour's activation in Kansas City, the Royals returned home for a series with the Twins. After work Friday night I walked over to the game despite storm clouds looming in the distance. I had every intention of fully re-exploring the stadium and going through the Royals Hall of Fame as I hadn't during my visit the week before.
Jess and I had Saturday off so naturally we found ourselves at Arrowhead Stadium for the Chiefs first preseason game against the Seattle Seahawks. We bought the cheapest tickets on StubHub for $6 each and got dropped off at the stadium at noon to fully partake in the tailgating!
The crowds coming through our exhibits in Kansas City have been very interesting and I've been pleasantly surprised to hear a ton of Yankees stories while visiting an American League city. There was a gentleman that saw Roger Maris' 57th home run in Kansas City during his 61 homer season and another that claimed to be a relative of Babe Ruth. Then there's the Joe DiMaggio files. One fan said Joe dated his mother before Marilyn and used to change his diapers and gave him his first ice cream cone, another met him in a cafe in Topeka and Joe bought him lunch. Also, after George Brett (Royals lone Hall of Famer), Mickey Mantle seems to be a Royals fan favorite. Wasn't expecting so much Yankee love, but I will never complain when I get a chance to talk pinstripes!
The Our Memories houses another group of phenomenal artifacts that get the ball rolling in the New York discussion- Babe Ruth's final home run ball, Yogi Berra's glove that caught Don Larsen's perfect game, Roger Maris' bat that hit number 61. Of course it's not all about the Yanks and honestly the "Crown Jewel" in here is Willie Mays "the catch" glove. What I enjoy most about this exhibit are the four films that run on a loop and show each of the artifacts being used, tieing together their stories. I've seen all the films at least 100 times now, but I'm still blown away by the stories and how baseball has the flare for dramatics. So many records happen at the last possible moment almost giving them a fairy tale aspect. From what I hear during the films, the players that set them are just as in awe!
I hadn't visited Kauffman Stadium since 2012 and I was anxious to get back in the park, as I had enjoyed it immensely despite Mariano Rivera getting injured the day before and New York losing. Can't remember what I ate yesterday, but I can give you a play by play of every game I've attended over the years. #Priorities!
During setup of our tour stage, Matt and I went in the stadium and hung out in the air conditioning of the suites until they need us to come back down and help. The team was out of town and they were working on the field, but it was still a beautiful view. Lucky for us the Royals would be back in town that Friday and would be rematching with the Blue Jays, who they had eliminated in last season's ALCS.
After three amazing weeks in Wisconsin, it was time to kiss Milwaukee goodbye and drive the eight and a half hours to our next stop- Kansas City. Our group split up between vans and trucks, so I was traveling with Jess and Matt. The other van was concerned with speed and would only be stopping a single time for breakfast. We on the other hand, were all about exploring, especially after mapping out the drive and seeing we would pass through a couple of Big Ten schools- Wisconsin and Iowa. Matt went to South Carolina, but agreed that their stadiums were worth a couple pit stops. Jess didn't care where we stopped as long as she didn't have to drive and could sleep along the way. We might've extended our arrival an additional hour, but we had fun making the necessary work drive sports themed.
Seeing the Cubs at Miller Park wasn't enough for me, I had to see them at home, especially since I didn't make a trip out last summer. I've been going to at least one game at Wrigley Field since my sister Alex and I visited in 2008. This is my happy place and if you disagree about it being baseball heaven on earth, well we probably can't be friends. It worked out that Alex was able to meet me for the game and it was double special day for us. We hadn't been to a game together for what seemed like years (ok we were at AT&T Park last September together) and this was the site of our first official "Sister Trip." I was 23 back then, fresh out of college traveling with a minor (Boo Boo was 17)... boy how things have changed- we get to go in bars now!
While our tour was stopped in Milwaukee I made it to three games in Miller Park and had three different experiences. Coincidentally this was my third visit to the city and park, visiting it in 2012 during my 30 stadium trip and in 2014 to see Derek Jeter play in his final season with the Yankees.
The first week we were in town the Brewers were on the road and all we were able to do was look at the ballpark, which is a big tease. I concentrated on learning more about the team from the fans that came through our exhibits and was surprised to find out the fan favorite in town isn't Hank Aaron, but Robin Yount. A close second was Eddie Mathews. Of course Hank, Rollie Fingers, and Paul Molitor got mad love, but Robin seems to be the bees knees in town. Also learned the fan base loved County Stadium and misses their Braves. It was interesting to see how many people still hold onto the Braves over the Brewers. I can understand a bit as the Brewers haven't been the best team of late. Though I will say when I saw them play, things are looking up. Aggressive base running and homers made the games I attended exciting!
My roommate Jess might not be a baseball fan, but girl loves loves the NFL and is a huge Green Bay Packers fan from Florida. Being only two hours from her Mecca was enough to tempt us into a road trip up north to take a tour of the stadium and stroll around the city... something I wasn't able to do when I visited last September.
We bought our tickets for the tour ahead of time because the shareholders meeting was wrapping up and the first day of summer camp was the following day, so didn't want to risk the drive to find them sold out. Of course we were bummed we wouldn't get to see the players ride out on bike, but we only had Sunday off.
As I've probably mentioned wayyyy too many times now I'm working on the Hall of Fame tour and living, breathing, and at times sweating baseball. Figured today would be a good day to show you around my exhibit and share a few stories I've heard from visitors in Davenport.
Our Hall of Fame Tour officially opened Sunday July 3rd and we have been busy bees welcoming baseball fans into our mobile museum for the first time. Little did I know, Davenport is home to the #1 MiLB park, multi years running- Modern Woodmen Park. With games going on all week, we have had fans by the droves stopping in our exhibits before going across the train tracks to the ballpark. The owner of the team, Dave Heller invited us to a game Tuesday night and after all the hype (Iowans have been raving about it), we were eager to see the stadium ourselves.