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Baseball's World Series Returns to Heart of the USA


 
Mark Martinez’s decision to arrive at Kauffman Stadium with his son McKinley seven hours before Game 2 of the World Series is a calculated move.
“We are here only because we have standing room only tickets.”
That means despite the fact that Martinez paid almost $700 for two tickets, they don't get seats inside the stadium.
Souvenir! Souvenir!
He hopes that by getting through the gates first, they can find an extra space to watch baseball’s biggest game, in a town where it happens so rarely.
“It’s a once in a lifetime chance. The Royals haven’t been here in 29 years and might not be back in 29.”
For Martinez’s son McKinley, it’s the first time the Royals have reached the World Series in his lifetime.
“It’s like, it’s everything. It’s just so exciting because we’ve not made it to the World Series in 29 years.”
“Kansas City is in love with the Royals right now, and so are we.”
That love is on display throughout the city, even in its iconic water fountains, dyed with blue colored water.
“The atmosphere is just absolutely crazy. People are so excited.”
Including Bob Kendrick, president of the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum in Kansas City.
“It’s been a tremendous opportunity for the museum. As these national sporting events, when they come to Kansas City usually are.
Kendrick said the playoff games at Kauffman Stadium, and now the World Series, have been an economic shot in the arm to the local economy. Not only are fans buying more merchandise and memorabilia, they also are buying tickets for admission to his museum.
“So I would anticipate that we will likely see a 25 to 30 percent jump in attendance, you know over this time last year.”
The Negro Leagues Baseball Museum honors African-Americans who played in a segregated league - founded in Kansas City in 1920 - that formed as a result of racism in Major League Baseball and ended when Jackie Robinson took the field for the Brooklyn Dodgers in 1947.
Kendrick says baseball fans may be drawn to the museum because this year’s Royals team - which few expected to reach the World Series - echoes the spirit of the African-American players in the now- defunct Negro Leagues.
“It is that story of the underdog rising to greatness. You know, that’s a story that is so steep in the American spirit.
“I expected them to get close, but I didn’t expect them to make the World Series.”
For Mark Martinez, he hopes it won’t take another 29 years for his son McKinley to experience his next World Series in Kansas City.
“I think he’ll probably be back next year. If not, the year after, maybe.”
But there is still baseball left to play this year in a best-of-seven series that also will bring America’s favorite pastime back to San Francisco.
Now everybody give me number one like this. Come on! Kane Farabaugh, VOA News, Kansas City, Missouri.

Source: VOA
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