The rain spit, drizzled and poured on them for two hours.
Until Major League Baseball on Monday afternoon officially postponed Game 3 of the American League Championship Series between the Kansas City Royals and Baltimore Orioles, Casey Hegwald and his wife, Darcie, their daughter Mikaela, 17, and their friend, Will Holle, weren't budging.
They’d already sat, in folding chairs, first in line at the right-field gate. With their official seats in the upper deck, they’d come early in order to get an even better view from the right-field party deck.
All were huddled against the rain in sweatshirts, with umbrellas. Darcie Hegwald, of Burlington, Kan., protected herself against the cold rain with a towel over her legs, clear poncho and three layers of clothes.
“We'll be back,” said Holle of Holton, Kan., about an hour away from Kansas City. “We've waited 29 years.”
Darcie Hegwald, who works at a pharmacy, had already texted her boss to say she needed another half-day off. He texted back.
“It's going over like a (foul item) in a punch bowl,” he texted. “I'll try to make you happy.”
In Parking Lot A, Nick Hinrichs and his friend, Nick Henricks, both of Kansas City, were firing up hot dogs and cracking beers in the parking lot just as the game was being called off.
They, too, said they’d be back. The only difference is that Tuesday, Hinrichs, an assistant prosecutor in Platte County, off for Columbus Day, would have to put in a full day's work and then come back at night.
Work was also on the mind Josh Leighninger of Lee's Summit, sitting out the rain beneath a tent in Lot G, with his wife, Kristin, and friend Jeromy Watkins, of Kansas City, North.
Six others were scheduled to meet them there but would probably now turn around.
A commercial carpenter, Leighninger was already missing one day of pay to be at Monday’s game. Back at home, grandpa was caring for their 5-year-old daughter and 3-year-old son.
“They're all dressed in Royals gear,” Josh Leighninger said.
Now, the rainout had caused a dilemma. Willing to miss one day of work, the question was whether he could miss more. Besides having tickets to Monday’s Game 3, he also had tickets to Tuesday night’s Game 4. But with Game 4 moving to Wednesday, it has been switched from shortly after 7 p.m. to shortly after 3 p.m.
If he attended Game 4, he’d have miss yet another day of work.
The Game 3 tickets had cost him and Kristin $160 combined; Game Four cost $415.
Add up his lost pay, he said, and these Royals tickets would be the most expensive in his life.
Some things in life are worth missing. For Landon Wolken, 10, and his brother, Wyatt, 12, both of Chanute, Kan., that would mean at least a half-day of school.
Their mother is a kindergarten teacher and, initially, according to dad, Danny Wolken, was not a fan of idea of the boys skipping part of a day.
But, mom, it’s historic, it was explained.
They got up at 5:30 a.m. Monday to drive up to Kansas City. The boys spent the day with cousins who live nearby.
Now, with the postponement, Danny Wolken said, the plan was drive the boys back to Chanute on Monday night, perhaps after a bite to eat with the cousins. Then, Tuesday morning, the boys would go to school and he would go to work at the cement plant that employs him.
Around noon, he'll cut out from work, pick up the boys from school, and drive up to Kansas City again.
A bother? Hardly.
“Glad mom let ’em out,” Danny Wolken said.
Thank you, mom.
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