25 years ago, the Colorado Rockies were a new Major League Baseball franchise. 25 years ago, I was a 7-year-old boy growing up in a small western Kansas town who’s baseball fandom was just beginning.
That young boy, grew up watching the Blake Street Bombers and did not care for another team in baseball but them. Unless it was his dad’s favorite MLB team, the Los Angeles Dodgers. As a young man, I spent more time in Denver watching the Rockies play at both Mile High Stadium and Coors Field than any other Major League stadium. Denver was a major summer vacation spot for my family.
Why Did A Kansas Boy Root For The Colorado Rockies?
It seemed each season, I would don a Colorado Rockies hat or shirt and someone would ask me why I rooted for a team that didn’t have Kansas in the name. I left the fact out that the Kansas City Royals are in fact in Missouri, but I told them the story that I continue to tell people today.
I grew up watching the Colorado Rockies. It seemed natural at the time that I root for them because I was exposed to them more so than the Kansas City Royals. I couldn’t tell you a Royals player from the 90s. But I can tell you about an era pre-humidor with the Blake Street Bombers. I can tell you about the time that I said I’d catch a foul ball before walking into a game at Coors Field, and sure enough, a ball came right into my hat.
A Kansas City Transplant – Now Kansas City Royals Fan
Now that I have my own kids growing up loving the game of baseball, I have to understand that they are only a product of their environment. Growing up in Kansas City and going to many Royals games out at Kauffman Stadium, it is only natural that they will grow up being Royals fans. I will admit, that there is something about Kauffman Stadium. The open airiness of the stadium, the relatively new outfield experience for the kids, tailgating, and now being able to walk in the outfield and hope to catch a ball during batting practice all add to the experience that is Kauffman Stadium.
Every year for the past 6 years, our oldest has ventured out to Kauffman Stadium, watched the game, ate cotton candy, and visited the outfield experience. Last year, he even saw his favorite player, Eric Hosmer, get the Salvy Splash after one of the games we attended with his grandfather. I’ve accepted his fandom of the Royals despite wanting him to be a fan of the Colorado Rockies.
The Kansas City Royals Are My Hometown Team
As I have accepted his fandom, there is something strange happening to me after having lived in Kansas City for 10 years and having seen how this city erupted when the Royals won their first World Series Championship in 30 years, I’m starting to become a fan myself. The Royals, are after all my hometown team. I want to see nothing but the best for them.
And even though Denver and Kansas City are connected by Interstate 70, Kansas City is just across the state of Missouri from St. Louis. That interstate connection brings a rivalry that is 30 years deep to when the Royals upended the St. Louis Cardinals in the 1985 World Series. As a baseball fan, not a Royals fan at that, I knew how deep this rivalry went. At the moment, my son is not able to understand how deep it actually goes.
Thanks to Phillips 66, my son will see just how deep this rivalry is. Thanks to them, we will be making our way across I-70 to St. Louis stopping at a few of the nearly 20 Phillips 66 stations along the way and cheering on the Kansas City Royals in rivalry territory of Busch Stadium. And because Phillips 66 connects many of the cities between St. Louis and Kansas City there might even be a visit to our honeymoon destination 9 years ago in Hermann, Missouri.
You can follow our journey to St Louis, fueled by Phillips 66 to root on the Kansas City Royals by using the hashtag #rivalryroad and #i70series. Also, follow along on all my social accounts: Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram where we will be giving you insights as to our road trip with a 7-year-old and a 1-year-old and the antics that ensue when you are stuck in a car for 4 hours.
Full Disclosure: Phillips 66 did provide compensation and travel accommodations for our trip. However, the thoughts and opinions are my own.