Nothing is better than summer. The days are longer, the sun is shining, and life moves a bit slower. But don't let me forget to mention the best part: baseball.
Kansas City has been lucky enough to enjoy a great spat of baseball over the previous 4 years (preceded by some of the most embarrassing years in MLB history). The Royals were playing better than ever, and on the verge of being perennial contenders. We finally won the World Series then… well we all know how that ended.
Today, the dream of Kansas City being a baseball town is dead. Or so I thought.
The Kansas City T-Bones brought back life to that dream. T-Bones Stadium is the biggest little known gem in Kansas City. Located just west of the Legends Outlets Kansas City, the ballpark offers salvation for anyone who enjoys baseball.
I made the short drive with a buddy of mine. We planned to meet a couple more friends at the ballpark. We pulled into the parking lot to waves from the staff. I couldn’t get over the fact that parking is free, and less than 100 yards from the gate. So many stadiums charge $10 or more to park, so our three cars would have put us over $30 dollars in the hole just by showing up.
I had not been to T-Bones since I was a kid. I remember playing on the playground for hours. I played basketball and on the jungle gym, we sat on the grass in the outfield and had a blast. At that time I didn’t care about watching baseball. The ballpark was just a great place to be.
I knew that the T-Bones Stadium was a great place for families, but I learned that it can be a great place for adults also.
The stadium was beautiful. I hadn’t seen the field since the old days. The seats all have a great view, but I was especially excited to sit behind the home team dugout. I also enjoyed the hometown feel as a local singer sang The National Anthem.
Then, we were in for a treat. Frank White, former Royal/former five-time All-Star/ 1985 World Series Champion, was coaching first base for the T-Bones. He was introduced to the roar of the crowd. He tipped his hat to the crowd as he was applauded for his 18 years of service to the Royals.
The T-Bones were facing off against the Sioux City Explorers. Both teams compete in the American Association of Professional Baseball. Also, both teams are currently fighting for first place in the South Division.
The baseball was great. There were no big names. There were no big contracts, but the drive to compete was there. The young men of the T-Bones roster were there for their love of (and talent for) baseball.
The game was thrilling. Both teams traded runs in the early innings. The Explorers jumped out to a 6-3 lead in the top of the fifth inning, but the T-Bones weren’t done. The hometown team clawed their way back into the game by the bottom of the sixth inning.
Unfortunately the Explorers were too much in the later innings and the game ended 8-6 in favor of Sioux City.
The night was great. The food was affordable and delicious. I hadn’t eaten Dippin’ Dots in the last 10 years, and that night I was able to eat it out of a T-Bones helmet. And I did so proudly.
The selection of food was everything you could expect from a baseball stadium: Hot dogs, chili cheese fries, sunflower seeds, nachos, pizza, chicken tender and so much more.
Sizzle the Bull may be the best mascot in town. He got the crowd going during big moments. I even got the chance to grab a picture with him. Sizzle was great with the kids. It was amazing to see how much joy he brought to the children at the stadium.
Everything about the experience was memorable. T-Bones Stadium was truly the place to be on that summer night. The team will continue to be an astounding contributor of family fun in KCK.
The night was an excellent reminder that Kansas City, Kansas is home to some of the best kept secrets in the metro, and I will definitely be back again later this summer - Dippin' Dots in hand.
Looking to catch a Kansas City T-Bones game this summer in Kansas City, KS? Check out the home game schedule here.