With a flurry of T-shirts, blankets and thousands more old promotional items, the Royals’ first-ever garage sale drew approximately 1,400 people to Kauffman Stadium early Saturday morning.
Lines wrapped around from Gate D on the first-base side of the stadium to Gate E near right field. A security guard said that before gates opened at 8 a.m. people were lined up to one of the bridges in the Truman Sports Complex parking lot.
Some had been in line before sunrise, including one family who spent the night camping outside of the stadium gates. They were the first in line, Royals vice president for publicity Toby Cook said.
“We’ve been waiting long,” said Kim Henderson, who arrived around 6:30 a.m. “We’re ready to go in.”
About 420 people were allowed onto the main concourse within the first hour of the sale. By then, the Royals had already run out of the coveted 2014 and 2015 World Series-era bobbleheads and sold most, if not all, of their University of Kansas and Missouri-themed ballcaps. Most items sold for $2 apiece. Eric Hosmer, Mike Moustakas and most Salvador Perez bobbleheads were sold within 20 minutes.
Mike Tireman, 43, managed to snag a bobblehead commemorating Perez’s game-winning single from the 2014 American League wildcard game.
But that was just one item out of a box full of what he estimated was about $100 worth of discounted merchandise. Like many others who either brought large IKEA sacks or filled bags given out at the sale, Tireman’s haul kicked off his Christmas shopping season.
He’ll find it hard to keep the bobblehead wrapped, though. It was the only postseason-themed bobblehead missing from the collection his 12-year-old son, who was diagnosed with autism as a toddler, began four years ago.
“Since he was 1 year and a half old, he’s connected with the Royals,” said Tireman, who is from Olathe. “He is a diehard Royals fan. He will really appreciate a lot of this stuff. That’s why I’ve been here since 6 a.m.”
Tireman was among the first 1,000 people in line that early, so he got the prime pick out of about 14,000 items the Royals made available.
Those who didn’t arrive at Kauffman Stadium before the sale officially started had to sort through picked over piles of leftover T-shirts, including ones of Ewing Kauffman and Bo Jackson, and white KC Monarchs-emblazoned fedoras, among other pieces of merchandise.