After a few more photos from outside Werner Park, we bid farewell to Omaha and begin our journey toward today’s Game 2 in Kansas City, KS, where the T-Bones await us.
The weather no longer threatens as we travel back into Iowa over a two-lane iron toll bridge. Back to hugging the Iowa-Nebraska state line, we cross into Missouri and eventually sneak into far eastern Kansas. I’d been to Kansas City and the Overland Park area many times, but never for baseball.
Community America Ballpark is nestled near Kansas Speedway and rows of every franchise retailer and restaurant you can imagine. The same light colored brick adorns each building. The entire area appears brand new and well planned.
We park and tailgate (literally, on the truck’s tailgate), wetting our whistles with one of Mitch’s growlers. Families nearby tailgate more traditionally with grills. A gentleman greets us to ask for a match.
As more fans arrive, we make our way across the parking lot to the ticket window. The modern brick exterior is inviting, clean and appearing new although this park is ten years old in 2013.
The T-Bones match up against the Sioux City Explorers tonight. After the miles we covered since Fargo last night, I can’t help but think about the travel for these teams: bus rides covering El Paso, St. Paul, Fargo, Gary (Indiana), and even Winnipeg.
Although we don’t try much more than a craft beer and peanuts, the concessions are varied. The back concourse between first base and the plate opens up to a small street of vendors on both sides, including barbecue platters.
You can walk all around the playing field with the now popular grassy areas beyond right field. The building behind the sloped grass houses games for kids.
Mitch and I stroll about and stop near the T-Bones pen. We’re intrigued by how close the fans could be to Sean Toler, who begins to loosen for an eventual appearance in the 8th inning. We remain here until Toler gets the call and races toward the mound.
Unfortunately for the T-Bones, Sioux City scratches out an unearned run in the 8th to win a well-pitched game, 2-1. Toler takes the hard luck loss.
After the game we settle into a Holiday Inn downtown on the Missouri side, the only Holiday Inn we’ve ever experienced with a 7-11 attached. We loosely plan the next day over a Slurpee and MLB highlights.
Since we’re staying in the area, we definitely want Kansas City barbecue. We need to decide between two breweries to visit. Plus, we promise ourselves a priority stop before Wednesday night’s game, part of our overall trip plan since January.
Little did we know, UBT magic would take over yet again following a good night’s rest.
From Deep Short