I can’t remember the first game I went to with my dad. Partly, because there were so many. I have bits of recollections of hot dogs and the Power and Light seats that my dad would grab when nobody else wanted the tickets at his work. I remember cheering for John Mayberry and Freddie Patek. I remember being so obnoxious that a stranger paid me a dollar to go sit somewhere else.
I remember that Dad’s seats were the seats down in the lower bowl, a section up from the Royals dugout. Occasionally, we’d get a glimpse of Brett or White or Gubie poking their head over the concrete roof of the dugout. I remember there being nothing better in the world.
I don’t remember the first game I took my son to. Partly, because there were so many. Born in 2002, we had some seats in the upper deck during the lean times of 2003 and 2004. Kit Pellow and Mike Sweeney. Summer at The K is no place for a newborn, but that didn’t stop us from packing ziploc bags of Goldfish crackers and bottles of formula. I remember baking in the August heat when it was so hot we needed to find the tunnel hoping they had the “free” water. I remember forgetting the cool towel we were going to use on our necks and instead moistening some of those brown paper towels from the bathroom with water to cool us off. I remember the first time we let him go get ice cream by himself. He was plenty old enough, but my heart stopped the entire time until he was back. I remember reminding him to not run along the concourse – even though that’s what my cousin and I did for a decade – many decades before.
I remember playoff games in 2014 and 2015. I remember taking my dad and my son to a playoff game and being convinced there was nothing better in the world.
I remember the last game I went to with my dad and my son. Partly because it was last week. Dad’s had some health issues lately, and I remember worrying if his walker would fit into the back of the car. I remember to remind him to grab his handicap tag so we can park close. While I was so grateful that my son and his buddy bought tickets for their fathers and their fathers’ fathers – I remain worried that Dad was healthy enough two months out from open heart surgery to go. I remember being nervous the entire time.
I don’t remember the first game. I remember them all. There is nothing better in the world.
(Make memories with Chris Kamler on Twitter, where you’ll find him as @TheFakeNed)