ST. LOUIS (KMOX) – Thinking about taking a trip to Kansas City? Below are the 5 top things to know before you go.
1) The Negro Leagues Baseball Museum. This is a must-stop for any baseball fan, but the facility in the 18th & Vine district is more than that. It’s an American history museum. Learn about the development of
the Negro Leagues in the United States and the historic moment when Jackie Robinson, who played for the Kansas City Monarchs, broke baseball’s color barrier in 1947 with the Brooklyn Dodgers.
When you go, let the museum’s president, Bob Kendrick, know that you stopped in. He spends every day honoring the memory of his dear friend Buck O’Neil, who served as a member of the museum’s board. I will forever consider Kendrick a dear friend for allowing me to use the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum as KMOX’s headquarters for our 2012 All-Star Game coverage in Kansas City. I hope everyone who stops through that city makes it to the museum and spends time inside the Field of Legends, paying tribute to the Negro Leagues icons whose statues make up the positions on the field.
2) Kansas City is a baseball town. No, it doesn’t have the history of winning like St. Louis does. It doesn’t draw sellouts like St. Louis, Boston or San Francisco. But attendance is up at Kauffman Stadium and
Royals fans are showing that they’ll respond to a good product. The defending American League champions are entertaining and talented. People might forget this, but the Royals had a tremendous run during the George Brett era, from when Whitey Herzog managed the successful teams of the late 1970’s to well past when the 1985 team defeated Herzog’s Cardinals for KC’s only world championship. The fan base was strong, enthusiastic and is starting to get that 80’s feel back again.
3) Kansas City is one of America’s most underrated sports cities. The Royals’ run last season grabbed national attention, but KC is and will always be one of the crown jewels of the NFL. Arrowhead Stadium is not only the loudest venue in the league, domes included, but it has far and away the best tailgate atmosphere. And this was before the facility was renovated. The NFL has seen a new stadium boom, but
Arrowhead will always be in the top two or three in terms of game experience. Why? The fans. They are loyal and above all, football smart. Can you imagine if the Chiefs could actually win a playoff
game? And let’s not forget Sporting KC of the MLS, considered by some to be the best game presentation in American pro soccer. And as a college sports town, you can put Kansas City up near the top, as well.
Between Kansas, Mizzou, K-State and plenty of influence from other Big 12 schools, it’s an impressive collection of fans.
4) BBQ. Enough about St. Louis being the best BBQ city in the state of Missouri. That’s an insult to Kansas City’s deep roster of restaurants. St. Louis is emerging, sure, with the recent accolades for Pappy’s and Bogart’s. But our city is not in the same category as KC or Memphis when it comes to BBQ tradition, handed down through generations. That would be like saying Kansas City is a better city for Italian food than St. Louis because KC landed a couple of killer places to enjoy some pasta. That’s just not happening. Joe’s, LC’s, Jack Stack, Arthur Bryant’s, Gates. There. That will get you started.
5) Kansas City is a great place to spend a weekend. There are many attractions, including arts, music and shopping. Check out the Plaza and the Power & Light district. Do a little research and plan your
trip. It’s easy to get around and you’ll enjoy the friendly attitude of Kansas Citians eager to show off their town. I know a city on the other side of the state with that same pride.
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