Being a fan at a Major League Baseball playoff game is much more intense than being at a regular season game. There are more fans tailgating with elaborate meals before the game, the fans are more dressed up in their team colors, and they are on the edge of their seats the entire game!
My dad and I arrived at Kauffman Stadium, home to the Kansas City Royals, an hour before the gates opened for Game 2 of the team’s American League Division Series against the Houston Astros.
When we parked the car, there were numerous people tailgating, similar to a football game. Most people were grilling out, but some set-ups were more elaborate than others. A few people just had burgers and chips, while others had burgers, hot dogs, chips, soda, fruit, and more. I was very surprised by the number of people there before the game.
When the gates opened, my dad and I went right into the stadium. Fifteen minutes later, about one third of the people who were attending the game were in the stadium too.
Once the game began, all around the stands you could see blue, the Royals’ color. It was a sea of blue people. Even though it is only about a two-hour flight from Houston to Kansas City, there were not very many Astros fans in attendance.
Through the top of the sixth inning, the Astros were winning 4–2, and the fans were quite anxious. After that, every time the Royals had someone on base, the fans would cheer and stand — a lot more than they do at a regular season game. After every pitch, there would be either a loud “yes!” or an “ugh!” depending on if the umpire had called a ball or a strike.
The fans felt that the home plate umpire had an interesting strike zone and that he was calling some weird balls and strikes. He received a lot of angry comments from the crowd throughout the game.
When, in the bottom of the sixth inning, the Royals scored two runs to tie the game, the crowd started yelling like crazy. And when Kansas City finally scored to go ahead, the crowd went wild. Fans were high-fiving each other and waving the towels they were given when they entered the stadium.
After the game ended — the Royals won 5–4 — there were many people who stayed around to cheer on the players and also to try to get players’ autographs and maybe a ball.
I was so glad to travel from my hometown, New York City, to Kansas City to see the Royals in the playoffs, and I found the people in Kansas City quite friendly. The couple who sat next to my dad and me were very sociable and told us about their childhood rooting for the Royals. They even offered to give us their tickets to the Chiefs game, but unfortunately we could not make it.
As we were driving around town, my dad and I saw many posters that said: Go Royals, Take The Crown. There were also many people walking around in Royals hats and shirts, which was a lot different than New York.
In New York there are people in Yankees and Mets hats and shirts, but in Kansas City there were many, many more people dressed in their team's attire.
I was very happy to have an opportunity to visit Kansas City and see the Royals. I loved watching a playoff game; it was so different from a regular season game!
Photos: Jamie Squire/Getty Images (action) Riley Neubauer (in the stands)