Want a pair of Eric Hosmer’s size-14 royal blue and white athletic shoes? Or how about Alex Gordon’s pine tar covered batting helmet? Or new ace pitcher James Shields’ first Royals game uniform and hat?
Kansas City Royals fans who have coveted a piece of the ballpark now have a choice of items to take home - for a price.
The new Royals Authentics store — which opened Monday in Kauffman Stadium — sells Major League Baseball authenticated items, including bases, baseballs, batting gloves and helmets, jerseys, and more. It also has collectibles autographed by current and past Royal players, autographs that also are authenticated by the MLB.
A website will be launched later this season for online ordering.
“It’s a way for fans to get a little closer,” said Justin Villarreal, director of authentic merchandise sales for the Royals.
The shop, on the third base side of the Kia Diamond Club on the Plaza/Field Level, will donate about 20 percent of the proceeds to the Royals Charities, which supports children, education, youth baseball and military efforts in and around the Kansas City area.
Fans also can commemorate special events like birthdays or anniversaries by pre-ordering baseballs and bases that will be used during a specific game. But prices will vary depending on the game and significance of the item. For example, bases used during games against the New York Yankees, the St. Louis Cardinals and the Boston Red Sox will cost a little more due to the popularity of the teams in Kansas City. Display cases also will be available for purchase.
But some significant pieces — say a player’s home run winning ball in a World Series game — would probably be set aside for the player or in some cases for the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum.
The MLB Authentication Program was launched in 2001 to distinguish officially authenticated MLB memorabilia from other sports memorabilia on the market. Off-duty police officers will be in the dugout to assist in the authentication process and each item will have a seal, Villarreal said.Ballpark food
Kauffman Stadium also will have new food offerings this year.
• Farmland Foods Inc. opens its first Farmland Grill - with a tagline of “passion for pork” - in section 239. Menu items include five specialty dogs made with hot dogs or Boulevard Pale Ale Bratwurst - for example, the Kansas City Dog (with swiss cheese, grilled sauerkraut, and Boulevard Pale Ale mustard) or the All-Star BBQ Dog (with Farmland pulled pork, cole slaw, pickle slices and barbecue sauce) - or they can create their own. The menu also includes Bavarian hand-twisted pretzels, Farmland pork wings (from the shank), loaded fries, nachos, and peanuts. beers, soda, Gatorade and bottled water.
Farmland Foods and Boulevard Brewing Co. created the new brats using Boulevard’s Unfiltered Wheat and Pale Ale beers. It is available in some some area grocery stores. Farmland also has the Blue Sky Grill in the Sprint Center.
• KC Hopps Ltd. Restaurants Breweries also will bring their “Moose on the Loose” mobile food truck to the stadium this season. The truck offers a limited menu from the company’s Blue Moose Bar Grill operations and some of its other concepts. It is scheduled to be on the west side parking area between Lot H and Lot J, near Gate B, for about half of the home games this season. The menu will include polish or Italian sausages, andouille sausage corn dogs and Bleu Balls (chicken croquettes filled with Canadian bacon and swiss cheese.Hy-Vee partnership
Hy-Vee has extended its partnership with the team. It will continue to be the official grocer of the Royals through 2016. It also will add the Hy-Vee Cool Zone at Gate B, which will include live entertainment and cooling stations throughout the season.