The Royals and HST: Both Champs.
Most serious baseball fans I know were about 90% certain the Kansas City Royals were going to win the World Series. And most of us were glad for them and for their fans. It had been 30 years since the Royals last won it all and most of their teams in that long dismal interim were just plain awful.
I’ve been through Kansas City numerous times as I’ve traveled between Chicago and Los Angeles on the Southwest Chief, but have actually stopped there only once. About a dozen years ago, I took the Chief from L.A. to Kansas City to see the Red Sox in a three-game series with the Royals, who were in one of their awful years.
I stayed in a hotel that was just a quarter of a mile or so from the ballpark. It would have been an easy walk except for the heat and for the six-lane freeway that had to be crossed. All three games were at night in deference to the heat which was still smothering at game time. I spent a good deal of time in the hotel pool during the days.
I did venture out one morning to meet a friend who had moved to Kansas City from Honolulu. The two of us had a monster lunch of barbecued ribs at Arthur Bryant’s, which is the rib joint in a city justifiably famous for its barbecue. Although I can’t imagine how we managed it after that lunch, we drove to nearby Independence, Missouri, and spent an unforgettable few hours walking through the Truman Library.
Harry Truman and his wife, Bess, are buried side by side in a quiet courtyard within the complex. An elderly man was standing by the graves and, as I approached, I heard him say very quietly, “Well done, Harry. Well done.” He was right, too. Read Truman by historian David McCullough. It’s a great book about one of our truly great presidents.
As I’ve said, at the time of my visit, the Royals were not having a good year. Nevertheless, I must confess that I rode the Southwest Chief 1800 miles from Los Angeles to see my Red Sox play the hapless Royals . . . and the Royals won all three games. The ride back to L.A. seemed like a lot more than 1800 miles.