Foul balls are random souvenirs at a ballgame, but occasionally one of those meteors launched into the stands at a major-league park seems destined to land where it does.
So it was at the Royals’ home opener against the Oakland Athletics on Monday at Kauffman Stadium, when a serendipitous moon shot dropped into the owner’s box during the top of the fourth inning.
Look at the photo: In terms of Kansas City and regional significance, well, as they say, there’s a lot going on there.
First off, in this image captured in David Glass’ suite by Bob Bloch and shared with The Star, you have Kansas City Mayor Sly James, who has just caught the foul ball. With apologies to Eric Stonestreet and Rob Riggle, he might just be KC’s most visible and everpresent fan of local sports. To his immediate right (that’s left, in this photo), we’ve got a giant of KC (and international) business, 94-year-old H&R Block co-founder Henry Bloch.
The mayor catches the ball and promptly gives it to Mr. Bloch, who’s looking plenty sharp in a Royals-blue blazer.
“It’s always cool,” James said of catching a foul ball.
James, who got a foul ball nearly a decade ago while sitting down the right-field line, didn’t catch this one cleanly.
“I caught it in my left hand; it bounced off, went into my city manager’s lap, and he gave it back to me and I gave it to Henry Bloch,” James said.
That’s cool enough, right? But wait, over there in the background toward the upper middle-left of the photo, who’s that? Why, it’s Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback doing a little in-game texting. He’s definitely wearing the right duds, at least.
Others in the suite, according to Bob Bloch, included golf legend Tom Watson and wife, Hall of Famer George Brett, Royals Hall of Famer-turned-politician Frank White, Missouri Governor Eric Greitens and Chiefs coach Andy Reid and general manager John Dorsey.
Have we mentioned that although the home nine didn’t come out on top, the team the Royals played was formerly known as the Kansas City A’s, who played at old Municipal Stadium?
Win or lose, James is not giving up on the Royals.
“They’re struggling but it’s early,” James said. “They’ll get there.”
Just like that foul ball got there. As we said at the top, occasionally one of those meteors launched into the stands at a major-league park seems destined to land where it does.