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Baseball the old fashioned way – no A/C and a lot of sweat

By John Toth / Editor and Publisher

I’m sitting in Kauffman Stadium in Kansas City, waiting for the sun to set so the temperature can go back down to the low 90s.

This is a grand stadium, but there is something missing – a dome. Air conditioning would be nice also.

Of course, we have to walk all around the place so that I can see everything in one visit. Who knows when I’ll be returning here? I’m trying to stay in the shade. It’s one of the hottest days of the year here.

The domeless concept takes a little getting used to after decades of attending games in the Astrodome and Minute Maid Park. I can look up and see the sky as I wipe the sweat from my eyes. I am sweating in the seat, and we’re not even in the sun.

Across the field, I can see people filing into their sun-baked seats. They will be tanning for another two hours until the shade extends over them. They don’t seem to mind it much.

But aside from the heat, this is a nice place, very friendly. To my right sits a small-built older woman who is really into the game. She is a long-time fan and season ticket holder. Her son sits to her right. They are following the game intensely. I’m following the Astros game on my phone.

I’m really here just out of curiosity. I don’t care who wins this game, and I hope it is over quickly so we can get out of this sauna.

My seat neighbor’s son leaves, and the woman and I strike up a conversation. She’s had a beer already, so she is quite talkative. I tell her I’m from Texas. That gets the conversation going quickly.

She is a native Kansan, has held season tickets for years, and doesn’t like coming to day games because of the heat. Her son is a computer tech, and they always attend games together.

I’m maybe five rows away from the field. These are good seats.

We chat some more between innings, but otherwise she is riveted to the game. The son returns with beer after beer. We’re in the late innings, and she is on her fourth one. The son leaves periodically to either go to the bathroom or to get more beer. My neighbor never gets up.

How does she do that? It will have to remain a mystery. I never ask. It would be awkward. How would you even phrase something like that?

A man behind me starts screaming at the Royals pitcher, who just delivered an 0-2 pitch down the middle, and the batter slammed it into center field for a double. I forgot to tell you that they are playing the Chicago White Sox. Yawn.

“You don’t throw an 0-2 pitch anywhere near the strike zone,” he explained to the pitcher very loudly. The pitcher didn’t hear him because he was too busy listening to his coach, who decided to pay a visit to the mound.

I don’t blame him getting mad. I’d be mad also if the Astros did that. But right now, I really don’t care. I am staying for the entire game because of the fireworks afterwards. I am really hoping that the White Sox wrap this up quickly.

Unfortunately, the game becomes tied and goes into extra innings. And, I set a new personal record for continuous sweating. But the fireworks are great. It reminds me a little of Minute Maid Park – with the roof open.