This was my first ever visit to Kaufmann Stadium. I have been to every other Midwest MLB city to see a game at least once, but never Kansas City (I have been to Cincinnati, but only to Riverfront Stadium and not Great American Ballpark yet). I finally got to scratch this one off my list. I really liked the ballpark. The game was sold out but it did not feel crowded. There were not long lines for the bathrooms or the concessions. We were in the 300 level though, maybe it was different elsewhere. We also got really lucky that there were 3 of us, and we happened to get these 3 seats that were in a row by themselves next to a suite. We had a great view. The layout is really not that different from US Cellular Field in Chicago but it just has a different feel. The seating level I was on for this game doesn’t really exist in the Cell. But the big upper deck and nice outfield concourse is why I say they are kind of similar. We had a great view as you can tell from the pictures.
Before the game started they had a ceremony to induct Mike Sweeney into the Royals Hall of Fame. It was a neat ceremony. George Brett was on hand and did speak for a couple minutes.
When I saw the pitching matchup, I knew the Royals had a good chance to win. Johnny Cueto was pitching for them versus Matt Shoemaker for the Angels. Cueto struggled a bit early, giving up 5 hits in the first two innings. But he got help with double plays and baserunning errors by the Angels. After giving up all those hits (and several other hard hit balls that were outs) he really settled down. The only blemish was the homer by Albert Pujols in the 2nd inning. As a Cardinals fan it was cool to see Albert go deep. Trout had a bad day, and he and Albert were pulled from the game after the 6th inning to rest with the game out of reach, down 9-1.
The view from our seats
The Royals simply pounded Shoemaker. After Albert homered in the top of the 2nd, Salvador Perez crushed a solo homer into the fountain to tie it up. That opened the floodgates. The Royals had a barrage of singles and doubles with some walks mixed in to score 5 more runs that inning. Shoemaker was pulled from the game in favor of another former Cardinal, Fernando Salas. Salas got out of that inning finally but did allow a run in the next inning. The Royals were winning 7-1 at that point. They got 2 more runs in the 6th inning to make it 9-1. The Angels had a rally going in the 9th inning where they got 3 more runs, but Luke Hochevar finally got a strikeout to end it.
Jarrod Dyson had a big game for the Royals with 3 hits, 3 RBI and 2 runs, and 2 stolen bases. I was also really impressed with Salvador Perez. In addition to the moonshot of a home run, he also picked a runner off of first base, and had 1 more hit and RBI.
Albert Pujols Home Run
Albert Pujols HR
Albert Pujols Mike Trout
This was the River Bandits’ home opener of 2010. This game featured 6 different future MLB players:
Mike Trout – I previously wrote a post with all my good pictures of him from this game and another game here.
Jean Segura – He was in the Angels system back then. As I go through all these old games I’m struck by how good the Angels system has been over the years. In 2012 Segura was traded with Ariel Pena and Johnny Hellweg to the Brewers for Zack Greinke.
Luis Jimenez – Has played 67 games in MLB over the past 3 seasons. He played 15 this year for the Brewers and was just released and picked up by the Red Sox.
Randal Grichuk – Another Angels prospect. In 2013 he was traded with Peter Bourjos to the Cardinals for David Freese and Fernando Salas.
Matt Adams – He earned the starting first base job for the Cardinals last year and hit 15HR in 142 games for them last year, and also homered off of Clayton Kershaw and Madison Bumgarner in the playoffs.
Shelby Miller – He was traded to the Braves with Tyrell Jenkins for Jason Heyward and Jordan Walden before this season. He’s doing really well for the Braves to start the season, 4-1 eith a 1.66 ERA.
Game recap: The River Bandits won this game 2-1. Shelby Miller threw 4 scoreless innings, allowing 2 hits, 3 walks and 7 strikeouts. I think the Bandits at that time were using a piggy-back rotation. Chris Notti releived Shelby in the 5th and threw until the 8th inning. The Bandits scored first in the bottom of the 5th on back to back doubles by Robert Stock and D’Marcus Ingram. In the top of the 6th, Grichuk reached on an error and stole second base. He scored on a single by Michael Wing. In the bottom of the 6th Matt Adams homered to right field to put the Bandits up 2-1. Jesse Simpson pitched a scoreless 9th for the save.
Box Score of the game
A few other pictures:
Opening Day Ceremonies
Adams getting greeted in the dugout after his HR
Segura on the scoreboard in the 1st inning
Mike Trout played 86 games for the Cedar Rapids Kernels in the Midwest League, and 81 of those were in 2010. At that time I was just starting to pay attention to who the top prospects were from the other teams. I was not that aware of what a great prospect Trout was. According to Baseball Reference he was the 85th ranked prospect coming into the 2010 season. A lot of people underestimated how good he would be.
I can’t say I remember much from these games. The thing that I do remember is fans mocking his name. “Trout” does not sound like an MLB name. It sounds more like a minor league grinder. I remember someone yelling “Hey rainbow!” But the laughs would quickly end after the home team pitchers could not get him out. Here is what he did in the 3 games I have tickets stubs from:
April 11, 2010 – Kernels @ River Bandits – 2 for 2 with 3 walks. He was caught stealing once.
April 13, 2010 – Kernels @ River Bandits – 2 for 3 with a run, a stolen base and a walk.
May 16, 2010 – Kernels @ Lumberkings – 3 for 4 with a HR, a walk and was caught stealing. He had 1 R and 2 RBI.
So in 14 plate appearances in these games, he only made 2 outs.
So why do I say he almost “got away”? Well this was around the time I started taking pictures of players at these games. For some reason I thought I didn’t get any pictures of him. After discovering Hardball Passport, I went back and checked out my pictures from these games. Turns out I did get a few pictures of him! The reason I thought I had missed him was because his number does not appear in many of the photos. So I could not match the pictures to a player very easily. But see for yourself:
A ton of current MLB players played in these games besides Trout. I’ll be doing more posts about these games in the future.