My Dad loves baseball and had me playing from a young age (although I was known to run off the field to play on the swing set now and again). I played baseball every summer up to the age of about 16 I think. I had a great time.
I grew up in rural central Missouri, roughly two hours from Kansas City to the west and two hours from St.Louis to the east. We would go to Royals games, about one or maybe 2 a year, when I was a kid. My Dad was able to get tickets to Royals games through his job (they must not have had a Cardinals hookup).
The first game I went to in Kansas City, I don’t remember exactly what year it was (it was the late 70s), and I don’t remember who they were playing, I do remember a fight breaking out on the field. I don’t remember why they were fighting, I do remember that Al Hrabosky “The Mad Hungarian” was on the mound for KC. I remember Hrabosky pacing the mound and pounding his glove (I think) and I remember all the players out there for the bench clearer.
My Dad likes to tell that story and he always adds that he was so mad that he took his young son to his first major league game, and a fight broke out. I don’t think I’ve been to a game since that featured a full squad brawl.
It might be a bit strange that I grew up attending Royals games but turned into a Cardinals fan. I liked to see the Royals do well, but I followed the Cardinals. I was very interested in history as a kid and I think the fact that the Cardinals were an old National League team with a long colorful history played a big part. I was a Cardinals fan in 1985 when they met the Royals in the World Series, I didn’t back the winner then.
As an adult I guess you could say I’ve been a casual baseball fan. My wife loves watching baseball, many of our summers have been filled with evenings of Cardinals games on the TV. For whatever reason – chasing two kids around the house, general decadence – we didn’t watch much baseball this year. Just a few Cards games I think and almost no Royals games.
So we missed the Royals big season for the most part. Both the Missouri major league teams had great seasons, especially the Royals, I’m glad they did. Sure I would have liked to see the Royals take the championship but I’m glad they had such a successful run. Hopefully it’s something upon which they can build.