Dud of a Game Doesn't Diminish All-Star Week
Mike Hammett - Wed 06:50 AM 07/11/2012
An exciting All-Star Week came to a not-so-exciting end Tuesday night in Kansas City.
The five-run blitz by the National League in the top of the first put little doubt in the outcome of the game, especially after the American League struggled to get anyone on base in the first five innings.
Still, it was fun for me anyway inside of Kauffman Stadium.
Very rarely do you get a chance to see so many of today’s top players in the same place at the same time, and I took advantage by paying attention to this game a little better than a typical Royals game.
It was a chance for fans to see the best in the game, even if it meant seeing a few former Royals take part.
Royals and Cardinals fans in attendance both gave strong ovations for Carlos Beltran, the current Cardinal who won Rookie of the Year honors in 1999 with Kansas City. There was a bit louder of a cheer for Melky Cabrera, who was traded away this past offseason by the Royals for the beleaguered Jonathan Sanchez. With Cabrera earning All-Star Game MVP honors, that trade continues to look worse every day.
I tip my cap to the fans that helped give louder ovations to those who deserved it. The story of New York Mets’ pitcher R.A. Dickey’s first half is amazing, and he received one of the best cheers of the night.
The best cheer was saved for Kansas City’s own Billy Butler. The fan base has fallen in love with him this season, especially since he was snubbed from the Home Run Derby. Billy appeared to be a bit embarrassed by all the cheers when he was introduced and when he stepped to the plate for the first time. He confirmed that after the game. He’s starting to get the feel of a guy that should be a Royal for life.
But the cheers for Billy didn’t get to me. My biggest reaction was when Atlanta’s Chipper Jones stepped to the plate in an All-Star Game for the final time in his career. I won’t lie. I had goose bumps watching the crowd rise to their feet and cheer loudly for the long-time major league superstar. That will truly be one of the moments I remember most from this All-Star Game.
If you ever get a chance to attend Fan Fest with a child, do so. It’s a great event with lots to look at for adults, but the amount of activities for kids is amazing. I spent my entire afternoon at Fan Fest thinking how cool it would have been to be 10-years-old again to enjoy all the activities, or to have a kid old enough to enjoy the activities. I guess I’ll have to find my way to another All-Star Game some day and take my son or daughter with me.
Kansas City did a great job with the game, and is to be commended for their hard work. It was the first time on the national sports stage since the 1988 Final Four, and Kansas City did not disappoint. We can only hope it is not another 24 years before the focus of the national sports scene returns to Kansas City.