Apr 02

Guest post: On-field Opening Day experience!

Matt got there so early, Crown Vision wasn't even on yet!

Season ticket holder and Royal Blues reader Matt B. is a Royals season ticket holder. This year, he had an enviable vantage point for some of the Opening Day pre-game festivities. I invited him to share his experiences here…


Opening Day has always seemed more like a holiday to me than just the beginning of a long season.  This Opening Day was even more exciting and special to me because the Kansas City Royals chose me and many others to take part in the pre-game ceremony on the field! If you were at the game, you saw a group of people flipping over signs to collectively make the Royals logo. That was us.

Earlier this month, the Royals sent out a mass e-mail asking season ticket holders and some charities if they’d be interested in this opportunity. All you had to do was reply that you would like to be considered and if they called you back in two weeks, you were in!

The practice was an amazing experience by itself. Getting to walk on the grass for the first time with nobody else in the stadium was awesome. It was something I never thought I’d ever get to experience!  I did take some pictures with my phone just to get it all out of my system and to capture some vantage points that I will most likely never get to experience again.

The next day we were expected to arrive by 1 pm, but I couldn’t wait and got there before 12:30pm, I think. Once we found out exactly where to go, my friend and I went down to the grounds crew entrance by the visitor’s bullpen.  When we got there, we were about five feet away from Sean O’Sullivan who was concerned about a police officer who had been injured during batting practice and bleeding pretty badly.  Royals trainers helped him out and got the wound closed. Before the officer was taken from the ballpark, Jeff Francoeur came back to check on him.  I know that being a good guy in baseball doesn’t mean much, but it counts to me so I’ll be rooting twice as hard for him all season.

After some last-minute preparations, we were finally taken out to centerfield.  A few minutes after we were settled, Kila Ka’aihue ran up to where we were on the warning track. The group cheered him loudly, he smiled and said “Thanks, guys”, then turned and ran back.  That was probably the single coolest moment of the day.

Next, the Angels’ lineup was announced. We all booed the first Angel and were shushed by the guy herding us around.  It was kind of funny to me since they hadn’t mentioned we couldn’t boo them and they had chosen FANS to do this. What did they expect was going to happen? Finally comes our part and we try to walk together to shallow centerfield.  In practice, people would get in a hurry and walk too fast, so I was anxious about that happening again. Didn’t need to worry, though, and our part was soon over.

I doubt most of us will get to watch warmups from this vantage point...

We were led back near the Angels bullpen where Jered Weaver was warming up. I couldn’t resist taking a few pictures since I’ll never get to stand on the same ground level as a Major League pitcher and get to watch them pitch!  Then it was time for the Royals’ lineup, which was fun to see from that perspective. After the National Anthem, we were taken back through the grounds crew garage and up into the stadium to enjoy the game


Big thanks to Matt for sharing his unusual(ly awesome) Opening Day experience. Were there any other Royal Blues readers on the field for that event?

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