The Royals’ World Series Championship and the Chiefs making, and winning a play-off game got me thinking about the wonderful memories that were made for Kansas City fans this year, and my earliest memories of seeing the Chiefs and Royals with my dad. I was in Kansas City a couple of days ago with some time to kill so I decided to drop by the intersection where it all began for those two teams, 22nd and Brooklyn.
Municipal Stadium was big and green but the grass was even greener. Never one to just sit there, dad would always let me run around and explore the nooks and crannies. One summer day found me face-to-face with George Toma, the man responsible for the grass. Somehow I had found my way into the groundskeeping area, he politely shuffled me along by giving me some bubble gum.
But I remember Chiefs more vividly because we always sat in the Wolfpack, the temporary stands assembled out in left field. It was a rowdy group of people who liked to stomp their feet until the grandstand literally shook, enough so that this kid was even worried about their engineering. But it was always easy to find my seat because behind the Wolfpack were large round signs with each team of the AFL represented. I remember two fish games and one lightning bolt.
So many great games happened at that humble intersection…including the final one which still stands as the longest in NFL history. The Beatles even played that corner. And while the games were great, what made them really special were not so much the heroes and battles on the field, but that hero that brought me to those games and then would let me run amok. As I stood there alone with my thoughts thinking about all the exciting things I saw there, what I am truly grateful for was the opportunities given to me by my father. That’s why 22nd and Brooklyn will always be my Field of Dreams.
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