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All-Stars are looking forward to Kansas City next year

Jul 12, 2011, 11:36 AM EDT

Kansas City

The 2012 All-Star Game is in Kansas City, so Sam Mellinger made a point to ask this year’s All-Stars how they feel about that.  After some de riguer complaining about the heat, they all said some pretty nice things about it:

I asked 15 All-Stars about Kansas City and what they think the game will be like next year. Seven of them mentioned the weather, including Justin Verlander, who shut down the Royals the other day when it was a heat index of 113 in the eighth inning.

But you know what more of them said?

Good place. Great food. Beautiful stadium. Easy to get around. The Plaza helps make Kansas City a favorite around the league, and the more you talk to folks (even privately) the more you see this as one time our collective inferiority complex is severely misplaced.

Mellinger goes on to talk about all of the good points of Kansas City from the ballplayers’ point of view. And there are a lot of them: easy travel to the city due to the central location. Hotel close to the ballpark for all of the events they have to deal with. Nice field. Big clubhouses. Good food.

I’ve only been there, like, three times, but I’m a closet Kansas City lover myself. Maybe it’s my Midwesternism coming out, but it’s just an insanely easy place to manage for a few days, and every time I’m there, something good seems to happen to me, be it food or baseball or something else.

Heck, I may even go to next year’s game.

  1. trevorb06 - Jul 12, 2011 at 11:47 AM

    Good food. Go to Arthur Bryant’s BBQ joint. Mmmmm mmmm MMMMMMM

    • kopy - Jul 12, 2011 at 11:53 AM

      Or Oklahoma Joe’s. It’s a restaurant inside a gas station with some of the best BBQ on the planet. What’s not to love?

      • Old Gator - Jul 12, 2011 at 12:18 PM

        Or the Majestic Steakhouse downtown for a slab of brontosaurus perfectly broiled and a steaming baked potato the size of one of its eggs loaded with your choice of butter or sour cream and crumbled bacon – and a great night of jazz to go with it. If you’re lucky, you’ll get to hear one of Lucky Wesley’s quartets. Or Pat Metheney. Or, or, or….

        I am here to rectify Craig’s unpardonable failure to mention that KC is one of the greatest jazz towns in America – the original home of Charlie Parker, the Blue Devils, Count Basie, Lester Young – and home of the Museum of Jazz, which features, among other things, the Massey Hall plastic saxophone with which Bird carved one the great jazz myths of all time out of the ether by the side of his worthy constituent, Diz. To gaze upon it is to gaze upon proof that genius trumps acute implausibility every time.

        You can also drive forty minutes west to the University of Kansas campus in Lawrence and visit the home of William S. Burroughs, author of Naked Lunch (which they won’t let you have at the Plaza, and which they make up to you by suggesting you go stare at the giant badminton birdie on the front lawn of the art museum), and wander the beautiful campus itself – site of one of the most important intellectual conclaves in American history, the October 2004 conference on Godzilla. If only their varsity squads could think of some way to equal that in significance.

        Or you can drive an hour east to Sedalia, birthplace of the incomparable Scott Joplin and home of the annual international ragtime festival. Relieve the soundtrack of The Sting over and over again! This stuff is catchy enough to entertain you even if you possess no more than the torpid and spongiform cerebrum of a TPN viewer.

        A day’s drive to the southeast will bring you to New Madrid, capital of the Reelfoot Fault Zone, where American civilization patiently waits to die in an enormous pile of urban rubble. Millions of stunned and ragged survivors wandering about wishing they had had a geological EDIT FUNCTION! But there will, at least, be music for the funeral.

        All of this beats going soft and overripe up at the Plaza watching yuppies blather mindlessly at each other and marinating yourself with lukewarm beer any day.

      • ngearhart1981 - Jul 12, 2011 at 12:45 PM

        Gator, we actually had a scare when the Majestic Steakhouse closed for a time. New owners have taken the torch, and thankfully have stayed true to the original. The lovely Cigar Club on the 3d floor, sadly, has closed.
        I would also recommend a little place two block from the Sprint Center called The Brick. In my opinion, the best burger in town. And that’s saying a lot in this place that cherishes beef like we do.
        Several of our haunts have appeared on the Food Network, or TLC, or the like, and ever since have developed quite the SUPeriority complex.
        Finally, while the Negro Leagues Museum will and should get much love, I also highly recommend our Liberty Memorial, home of the only World War I museum in the country. It’s newly renovated, and an amazing place.

      • hotkarlsandwich - Jul 12, 2011 at 1:34 PM

        Arthur Bryants and Gates are the tourist BBQ stops. Oklahoma Joe’s is where the locals eat. CHICKEN Z-MAN w/ FRIES

      • Old Gator - Jul 12, 2011 at 2:09 PM

        ngearhart: twice I was supposed to stop for a burger at the Brick and twice got rained on someplace and ate where I was. It’s tough to have a non-decent burger in KC anyway. I did go to the Negro Leagues museum, which is wonderful – earthy, full of stories, lacking delightfully in the kitschy glitter that afflicts the “official” Cooperstown version. Didn’t know about the WWI museum, though – being a jazz snob, music is usually top of my list along with engorging myself, but must check that out next time I find an excuse to visit. Thanks for the heads-up.

      • jimbo1949 - Jul 12, 2011 at 2:36 PM

        Relieve the soundtrack of The Sting

        Why don’t you edit your mistakes?

      • Old Gator - Jul 12, 2011 at 5:39 PM

        Jimbo –

        Because I don’t have an….

        Because I don’t have an….

        I CAN’T HEAR YOU……

      • The Rabbit - Jul 12, 2011 at 5:59 PM

        As midwestern cities go, Kansas City is extremely nice.
        One of the few advantages in living in Brigadoon in the middle of nowhere is that I can easily ride to KC for jazz and BBQ (Oklahoma Joe’s, of course) and tickets at Kauffman are cheap…and it’s even quicker to Memphis for BBQ and blues.

    • Old Gator - Jul 12, 2011 at 5:36 PM

      I’ve smoked a lot of joints in my time, but not one of them was ever full of barbecue.

  2. Mr. Jason "El Bravo" Heyward - Jul 12, 2011 at 11:49 AM

    Sounds like a good occasion to visit KC for the first time.

  3. dodger88 - Jul 12, 2011 at 11:51 AM

    Here’s hoping MLB uses the game as an opportunity to honour Negro League players who would have been All-Stars had they been given the opportunity.

    • churchoftheperpetuallyoutraged - Jul 12, 2011 at 12:10 PM

      this x1000

    • Old Gator - Jul 12, 2011 at 2:12 PM

      Yeah, like, oh, Buck O’Neil, who, by their refusal to induct him, the morons, scum and all-purpose assholes who infest the old timers’ committee covered themselves with shame and exposed their terminal ignorance to the world.

  4. The Baseball Idiot - Jul 12, 2011 at 11:51 AM

    Mellinger is the idiot, not me. There is no inferiority complex in Kansas City.

    Who do we have to feel inferior to? Not any other city in the country, that’s for damn sure.

    • APBA Guy - Jul 12, 2011 at 12:57 PM

      No ocean in KC. Otherwise, very nice.

    • swede700 - Jul 12, 2011 at 12:59 PM

      I live near KC, and yes, there is an inferiority complex. And yes, they should feel inferior…the city is okay, but it’s not anywhere near the best. It has great BBQ, but it’s really a city lacking much of an identity. It’s a nice town, but great? No.

      • The Baseball Idiot - Jul 12, 2011 at 1:40 PM

        If you live ‘near’ Kansas City and say ‘they’ instead of ‘we’, then you’re not from Kansas City. I think people from KC would have a better idea of this than a tourist.

  5. kopy - Jul 12, 2011 at 11:52 AM

    I made a typical Twins road trip to KC last year, and had a blast. And not just because the Twins won the game I was at by a score of 19-1. Great city, food, stadium, and nightlife. It’s a great Midwestern city. The only downer is sitting at a bar and having to look at the vacant Sprint Center.

    • ngearhart1981 - Jul 12, 2011 at 12:50 PM

      Odds are good there was a Motocross event or Kid Rock concert going on that very night.

  6. dapperdan50 - Jul 12, 2011 at 11:53 AM

    Gee, nothing against KC—it’s been high on my list for a road trip—but I always assumed that the 2012 ASG would be held at Fenway, which will celebrate its 100th birthday then. I know that the ASG was at Fenway more recently than it’s been at most parks, but I just assumed that it would be too historical to pass up.

    Oh well, it’s not as though I give two figs about the ASG anyway!

  7. normb11 - Jul 12, 2011 at 11:54 AM

    What happened to all the players that said they were going to boycott the ASG in Arizona this year?

    • Mr. Jason "El Bravo" Heyward - Jul 12, 2011 at 12:18 PM

      The court stayed the controversial law that AZ was attempting to enact. I don’t know if the court ruled on this proposed law or not as of yet. The court’s decision to not allow the law to take effect made it kind of too soon to protest against it. It may very well get abolished in the legal system before the law has a chance to take effect.

      • Mr. Jason "El Bravo" Heyward - Jul 12, 2011 at 12:30 PM

        It was an court injunction that did not allow the law to take effect last year. That decision was recently upheld as the link notes. I believe that’s the last decision on the topic…

      • Utley's Hair - Jul 12, 2011 at 12:52 PM

        I see it’s no longer Monday…. —Sigh—

  8. b7p19 - Jul 12, 2011 at 11:57 AM

    Consider me sold. My next “random city/ballpark trip” will be to KC. There is generally pretty good taste around here when it comes to things like food, alcohol, and leisure.

  9. ngearhart1981 - Jul 12, 2011 at 12:53 PM

    The heat will be absolutely awful that weekend. And it IS hard to find anything good to eat after say, 10 PM. (Though there are late-night BBQ trucks turning up on the weekends to save you from IHOP/Denny’s/Waffle House purgatory). BUT Kansas Citians are going to eat it up and welcome the visitors and attention. And we will be throwing some amazing parties at places worth swinging by like Davey’s Uptown Rambler’s Club, The Brick, Jimmy’s Jigger……..can’t wait!

  10. royalsfaninfargo - Jul 12, 2011 at 12:54 PM

    KC is my home town and I cant say enough about it. Anyone who hasnt been to the revamped Kauffmann Stadium is missing out. All I can say is welcome to the best kept secret in the midwest.

    • swede700 - Jul 12, 2011 at 1:01 PM

      I’ve been there. Kaufmann has always been a nice ballpark. It’s just too bad that for most of my life (I was 12 in 1985), the team that plays there hasn’t done it justice.

  11. Richard In Big D - Jul 12, 2011 at 2:21 PM

    Yeah, the food is great, the city is clean, the people are nice, and the music is awesome. Kaufman Stadium, which is the third oldest ballpark still in use in the major leagues, is a beautiful place to take in a game. But the biggest reason for a true fan of the Great Game to visit KC is the Negro League Baseball Museum ( ). Next to Cooperstown, and I mean RIGHT next to Cooperstown, my visit there was the most enriching baseball afternoon I’ve experienced. If you’re in KC, make it priority 1!

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