I’m back from vacation. Well, not exactly, since my employer won’t see me until next week. But I am back in Fargo-Moorhead. And I must say, I’m quite flattered someone in my last post actually noticed I was gone. That has to be some sort of milestone for the blog. Thanks for your regular reading.
But back to the vacation. I spent the last five days in the Twin Cities, Kansas City and St. Louis, and making a tiny detour to Van Meter, Iowa, to check out the Bob Feller Museum.
Saturday – from the Twin Cities to Kansas City, Mo.
The trip really started on Saturday, with a couple of friends from high school joining me on the way to Kansas City for Sunday’s Twins-Royals game.
On the way Saturday, we stopped at Feller’s musem, which is nearly halfway between Minneapolis and Kansas City. Bob Feller and Hall of Fame manager Earl Weaver were among those signing at Feller’s museum in that small Iowa town just off the interstate.
I already had Feller’s autograph on a baseball, which I got from a co-worker. But I had never met him and couldn’t pass up dropping the $25, going through his line and getting his John Hancock on a photo and shaking his hand. Pretty cool experience. I mean, here’s a guy who broke into the bigs in 1936. My grandpa was in like junior high at the time (well, they probably didn’t have junior high at the time, but you get the picture). Feller had a little story for everyone. He seemed in great spirits and pretty sharp for a 91-year-old guy. If I’m that with-it at age 51, I’ll be happy.
We met up with another former high school classmate in KC on Saturday night when we got into town and had dinner at the Jack Stack Barbecue. Doesn’t get more authentic than that. You may have had baked beans, but you haven’t enjoyed them thoroughly until you’ve been there.
Sunday – from KC to St. Louis, Mo., but a game first
The four of us went to the Royals-Twins game on Sunday at Kauffman Stadium. Absolutely outstanding ballpark, especially considering the era in which it was built. I know some renovations were done, but still, the footprint was there. I recommend checking out the KC Baseball Museum at the park. Very cool.
We had seats in the front row in left field in front of the fountains out there. Much easier to get cool seats when the home team isn’t drawing.
Game was close, but I sure am bad mojo for the Twins, who are now 0-3 in games I attend (counting the exhibition opener loss at Target Field). Ugh.
It’s amazing what 25 years without a playoff berth will do to baseball fans. We’re sitting in left field, which is where the Royals had Scott Podsednik stationed. A few fans are just riding Scotty Pods, who is hitting a league-leading .420 or something like that coming into the game. Geez! What do you want from the guy?
After that, we left our KC classmate behind, and the three of us headed to St. Louis.
Monday – St. Louis
Spent the whole day in St. Louis. We had tickets for the Braves-Cardinals game at Busch Stadium that night.
But before that, it was time to check out the town. Our hotel was at Union Station, which was really cool. Very old school, 19th-century feel to it. And it had a valet!
We were well within walking distance of Busch Stadium and the Arch, but we opened our morning by driving to the Budweiser Brewery. We passed up the free tour for the $25 one, which gave us greater access, a few gifts and free beer. It was worth the money.
After that, we walked around Union Station, where there are plenty of little shops to check out inside, including a Cardinals team clubhouse.
In the early afternoon, we took off for the Gateway Arch. Downtown St. Louis was great. It was nice to see how the city blended old with new.
And fitting right into that scheme was Busch Stadium. This is one of my favorite parks, and it doesn’t hurt that it’s in a baseball town like St. Louis. There was about 35,000 in attendance for the game that night.
We saw another one-run game, once again with the home team coming out on top. And it was nice to see Albert Pujols play in a game that wasn’t an exhibition, albeit at Target Field. This was a real game, and Pujols looked real good with a multi-hit effort.
Well, that’s about it. It was a fun trip. There’s a few photos below. I’ll try to write more about the trip in the coming days. Right now, though, some relaxing sounds pretty good after spending at least three hours in a car in five of the last six days. I might be in a walking mood tomorrow.
Bob Feller signing autographs at his museum in Van Meter, Iowa
Kauffman Stadium – Kansas City, Mo.
Busch Stadium – St. Louis, Mo.