Saturday, May 23, 2015

Mission Accomplished

Despite a crazy morning full of silent alarms, missed flights and frequent flyer miles, we made it safe and sound in Kansas City early Saturday afternoon.

So around 4:30PM Saturday, after we had a delicious BBQ lunch and checked into our hotel, my father and I decided to check out the hotel lounge for some afternoon refreshments. On the elevator ride up to the 41st floor, we ran into a couple dressed in Royals gear.

"Going to the game tonight?" my father nosily inquired.

"Yeah, we'll try to see if we can get a few innings in before the storm comes. They say it's not supposed to rain hard until later tonight," they politely responded. "We just bought tickets a few hours ago when we saw it was going to be clear for the first part of the game."

Lucky for them.

Unfortunately for us, the weather forecast was still ominous for our 2PM Sunday afternoon baseball game. There was a major thunderstorm (and flood warnings) due Saturday night, lasting through Sunday night.

That was a huge disappointment for my father. After all, the KC Royals game versus the in-state rival St. Louis Cardinals was the entire reason we came to Missouri in the first place.

So we head back down to our room and my father hopped on the computer. He wanted to see if there were any Saturday night tickets still available. Unfortunately, they weren't selling online anymore (this was 5:00PM before a 6:10PM game time).

Undaunted, my father asked my mother if we could all drop everything and rush over to Kauffman Stadium immediately. The plan was to try to buy scalped tickets in the parking lot assuming that there would be people not showing up given the weather forecast.

My mother said it wasn't a good idea to bring a 3.5 year old (no matter how adorable), so she suggested my father go alone. After all, it would be easier to get a single ticket than 3 together and if it started raining hard, they wouldn't have to deal with a drenched toddler getting sick.

Within seconds, he was on looking up a fare estimate from our hotel to Kauffman Stadium. It came out to just $11-15 for UberX.

So he decided to go for it. 

Within 10 minutes, he was on his way down I-70 to see a game in the final Major League Baseball city on his list.

He told the Uber driver to drop him off across the highway by the gas station so that he wouldn't get stuck in the parking lot traffic. You can make out the gas station in the upper left corner of this photo next to the Four Points hotel. 

Eventually, my father found himself in front of the Right Field Gate and walked up the line asking if people were selling an extra ticket. He started to get worried as the Missourians just stared oddly at this short Asian fellow begging for a ticket to a sold out Royals-Cardinals game on a holiday weekend.

But then, my father spotted 4 guys just standing by themselves, not in line... He walked up and asked if they had an extra ticket. They did. In fact, they had a bunch of extras, as they bought a group package for a bachelor party, but not everyone could make it.

At first the scalper asked for $30. My father asked where the seat was. Section 427 (nose bleeds). He made his normal Asian face void of any emotion, which was interpreted by the white Missourian as an expression of disgust.

So then the scalper said he'd take $20, and my father hit the bid and even paid cash! The face value was actually $18, so not a bad deal at all.

After getting back in line, he was inside beautiful Kauffman Stadium. His first stop, the Gift Shop to see all the Royals merchandise. It's my father's way of jumping into the heart of the stadiums he visits. 

Soon after immersing himself in blue and white, he then looked for his seat in the upper, upper deck..

But what it lacked in visual detail of the actual players, the seat made up for it by giving you such a grand view of the beautiful Kansas City stadium.

So now my father has been to a Major League Baseball game in every single one of the 30 MLB cities. In case you don't have them memorized, they're shown below:

In approximate order:
  1. New York Yankees
  2. New York Mets
  3. Chicago Cubs
  4. Chicago White Sox
  5. Milwaukee Brewers
  6. Los Angeles Angels
  7. Arizona Diamondbacks (Phoenix)
  8. Houston Astros
  9. Baltimore Orioles
  10. Philadelphia Phillies
  11. Boston Red Sox
  12. Texas Rangers (Arlington)
  13. San Diego Padres
  14. San Francisco Giants
  15. Pittsburgh Pirates
  16. Los Angeles Dodgers
  17. Seattle Mariners
  18. Oakland A's
  19. Toronto Blue Jays
  20. Washington Nationals (DC)
  21. Cleveland Indians
  22. Detroit Tigers
  23. Minnesota Twins (Minneapolis)*
  24. St. Louis Cardinals
  25. Cincinnati Reds
  26. Tampa Bay Rays
  27. Miami Marlins
  28. Colorado Rockies
  29. Atlanta Braves**
  30. Kansas City Royals
* While my father has seen a Twins game at the old Metrodome, the Twins have a new stadium Target Field that he has yet to visit.
** Atlanta has announced they will build a new stadium to replace Turner Field in the next few years.

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