Guest poster Ryan Kath lives in Kansas City and works at the local NBC affiliate as a reporter. He's a graduate of Mounds View High School and went to Gustavus Adolphus College in St. Peter. He used to work at KTTC-TV in Rochester.
There are definitely worse cities to be a displaced Twins fan than Kansas City.
The Royals are a division opponent, so it’s a guarantee your favorite ball club will appear in at least nine games per season. The majority of those are likely to fall in the ‘W’ column, thanks to Kansas City being waist deep in a two-decade rebuilding project. And, as I’ve discovered during my four seasons in Kansas City, your giddy cheers of support will be echoed in the stands by thousands of like-minded fans donning #7 jerseys.
When I first took the job here and announced my Twins allegiance to the newsroom, the revelation was met with rolling eyes. It’s not because the Twins annually beat up on the local 9 (they do). It’s because Twins fans have swarmed upon Kauffman Stadium with an obnoxious fervor not matched by any other American League team (although the St. Louis Cardinals have strong following for the annual I-70 series).
Minnesotans itching to shake the cabin-fever feel of the Metrodome have needed little motivation to make the 6-hour jaunt down I-35. Tickets are reasonably priced. The expansive parking lot is a tailgater’s Mecca. Finally, the 1970s era stadium just underwent a $250 million renovation, only enhancing the novelty of outdoor baseball.
(Seattle Times video)
As a result, Twins fans have made “the K” their home away from home. Last year, Minnesota was in town for a July series and Mauer was still flirting with .400. The first time he stepped to the plate, the “MVP” chant rumbling in the bleachers would have been impressive inside the Cretin-Derham Hall gym.
One year later, things are dramatically different. The Twins’ home has transformed from dingy dump to a beaming icon of Minnesota. I have received at least one picture message per game from a friend showing me he is at Target Field, and I am not.
As I gear up for the first 2010 series in Kansas City, I am wondering if Kauffman Stadium will feel a little lonely this year. My brothers — equally diehard Twins loyalists — are flying in from southern California to keep me company.
Who’s joining us?
Section 219 is running mainly on guest posts for the next week 'cuz Howard and Ms. Baseball are getting married this weekend. You can send guest posts HERE.