Tailgating at Kauffman Stadium



KANSAS CITY — Tailgating is a football thing. There are places in baseball where it is done, of course. Milwaukee is famous for it. I’ve been at a tailgate there, and it may as well be a college football game (and I mean that as a compliment). I am told that there is good tailgating at A’s, Rangers and White Sox games. But those places, and whatever others have tailgating scenes, are the exception, not the rule.

I wasn’t aware that there was tailgating in Kansas City until my friend Josh Fisher invited to me one today. Long time readers may remember Josh as the guy behind Dodger Divorce back in the day, but now he’s a lawyer in Kansas City. Today he’s a Royals fan having some brews and stuff with his friends:


From left to right, that’s Brent Wittrock, Scott Anderson, Josh Fisher and Kent Wittrock. Brent and Kent are brothers, because they were born in the 70s and that’s just what parents did back then, man.

They’re also all nice guys who let me hork one of their Boulevard Wheats, which is OK because it was in the interests of journalism. They also took four bucks off of me in some dice game I’m still not sure I understood:



The low number won. But six was the lowest number. I don’t know. I’m pretty sure it was designed on the spot to take money from the reporter writing about their tailgate. All I know for certain is that when each of these guys put their money in the pot, they did so from a roll of about 20-30 singles, which suggested some of their other activities to me, but about this let us say no more.

In a little while these gentlemen were joined by these ladies:


That’s, from left-to-right, Julie Woulfe, Kate Dent and Denise Rendina

  • Julie kinda sorta maybe knocked off work early to make it down to Kauffman. She also helped work on Kansas City’s World War I memorial and thinks someone needs to write a book about baseball players who were killed or injured in the Great War. She’s not wrong about that.
  • Kate is a hardcore Royals fan who bought season tickets back when the Royals stunk. She’s also a cancer survivor and Julie showed me a picture of Kate at the K last year, fully bald from chemo, nonetheless rooting the Royals on. So save me your “I’m a big, big fan” rebop.
  • Denise is a teacher, whose students are responsible for this video, which has gone viral in the past day or two and is supposed to be shown on the big board here at Kauffman tonight:

I was obviously partying with formidable people.

Josh tells me that the tailgating scene at Kauffman is not exactly a major thing. It happens but, let’s face it, people weren’t coming to Kauffman en masse until the playoffs started. He said the last month has been fun, though. It’s unlikely that it’ll ever be Milwaukee, but here’s hoping the tradition, such as it is, grows.


Anthony Volpe, 21, wins Yankees’ starting shortstop job

Dave Nelson-USA TODAY Sp

TAMPA, Fla. — Anthony Volpe grew up watching Derek Jeter star at shortstop for the New York Yankees.

Now, the 21-year-old is getting the chance to be the Yankees’ Opening Day shortstop against the San Francisco Giants.

The team announced after a 6-2 win over Toronto in spring training that Volpe had won the spot. New York manager Aaron Boone called the kid into his office to deliver the news.

“My heart was beating pretty hard,” said Volpe, rated one of baseball’s best prospects. “Incredible. I’m just so excited. It’s hard for me to even put into words.”

Yankees general manager Brian Cashman, hitting coach Dillon Lawson and bench coach Carlos Mendoza were also present.

Volpe was able to share the news with his parents and other family members near the Yankees’ dugout and said it is something he will never forget.

“It was pretty emotional,” Volpe said. “It was just an unbelievable moment to share with them.”

Volpe, who grew up a Yankees fan, lived in Manhattan as a child before moving to New Jersey. Jeter was his favorite player.

“It’s very surreal,” Volpe said. “I’ve only ever been to games at Yankee Stadium and for the most part only watched him play there.”

Volpe is hitting .314 with three homers, five RBIs and a .417 on-base percentage in 17 Grapefruit League games. He has just 22 games of experience at Triple-A.

Spring training started with Volpe, Oswald Peraza and holdover Isiah Kiner-Falefa competing for the everyday shortstop job. Kiner-Falefa was shifted into a utility role midway through camp, and Peraza was optioned to Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre.

“While certainly the performance was there, he killed it between the lines,” Boone said of Volpe. “All the other things that we’ve been hearing about showed up. There’s an energy he plays the game with, and an instinct that he has that is evident. He really checked every box that we could have had for him. Absolutely kicked the door in and earned his opportunity.”

Volpe arrived in Florida in December to work out at the Yankees’ minor league complex.

“He’s earned the right to take that spot, and we’re excited for him and excited for us,” Cashman said. “He just dominated all sides of the ball during February and March, and that bodes well obviously for him as we move forward.”

Volpe was selected out of high school with the 30th overall pick in the 2019 draft from Delbarton School in New Jersey. He passed up a college commitment to Vanderbilt to sign with the Yankees.

“It was a once-in-a-lifetime chance to get into the organization,” Volpe said. “This day, this feeling, this moment was kind of what I’ve worked my whole life for when I made that big decision.”

“Right now it’s crazy,” he added. “I don’t even know what lies ahead but Thursday I just want to go out and play, and have fun.”