August 20, 2011 [LINK / comment]

Baseball road trip 2011: Missouri

Whereas my annual road trip last year veered toward the north, this year I focused on the "Show Me" state of Missouri. I saw the New York Yankees play at beautiful Kauffman Stadium in Kansas City with my brother Dan. We arrived about a half hour early, while there was still plenty of light for photos:

Andrew at Kauffman Stadium

Yours truly at Kauffman Stadium. Photo by Dan.

My brother Dan, who is a veritable genius at work and at play, came up with the bright idea of getting box seats. Being habitually cheap, I hesitated at first, but then realized I would never get such a closeup view of all those future Hall of Fame Bronx Bombers in any game at New York. See what I mean?

Derek Jeter

Leadoff hitter Derek Jeter gets ready to bat in the first inning. That's Curtis Granderson's elbow.

Of course, any visit to Kansas City would be incomplete without feasting on some of the local barbecue treats. Unfortunately, we had to walk all the way around the concourse to the outfield to find the top-quality BBQ place, but it was worth it. We paid a high "price," however: while we were out there, we missed a home run by Robinson Cano. It splashed down not far from where we were standing, ironically. The Yanks scored five runs in the fourth inning, but the Royals closed the gap with two runs in the sixth. It was a great, exciting game, one to remember. Final score: Yankees 9, Royals 7.

Derek Jeter doubles

Derek Jeter doubles to left in the fourth inning.

I took several other photos, which will soon be posted on the Kauffman Stadium page.

The next day I drove to Saint Louis, and stopped at the site of Sportsmans Park on the north side of town, and later took a tour of Busch Stadium (III), the first time I had been inside. It was a wonderful day.

Derek Jeter doubles

Yours truly at Busch Stadium III.

Pennant races heat up

The American League East divisional race is every bit as hot as the outside temperatures this year, with the Yankees and Red Sox jostling back and forth for the lead. It was during their visit to Kansas City that the Yanks edged ahead of the Bosox, but it's only a half game lead at this point. The next six weeks are sure to get very tense.

In Our Nation's Capital last night, the Washington Nationals put a speed bump in front of the Philadelphia Phillies. The visiting team, cheered on by thousands of fans (who may have outnumbered Washingtonians), had a 4-2 lead going into the bottom of the ninth. That's when former Phillie Jayson Werth outlasted closer Ryan Madson and finally punched a single to left field, starting an incredible comeback rally. Ian Desmond tied the game with an RBI single, and with bases loaded, two outs, and a count of 3-2, good old Ryan Zimmerman hit a grand slam. WOW!!!! smile