Kaycee Fans Stand and Cheer Royals' Boss

Filed under Kansas City Royals
April 8, 1969

Two moments of high drama marked the return of baseball to Kansas City. Owner Ewing Kauffman was given a prolonged standing ovation during ceremonies prior to the game. Minnesota’s Tom Hall stymied the Royals’ bats, but it took the visiting Twins ten innings before taking an opening 1-0 victory over the expansion Royals.A threat of rain helped to hold the crowd to 17,688, but those he came to the ball park spent a rewarding afternoon.

Kauffman was the first speaker as the pre-game ceremonies got under way. When he was introduced, applause burst from the stands and grew in volume. Soon the entire crowd as on its feet, Kauffman, smiling and obviously a little overwhelmed, acknowledged the ovation. At last he smiled and said, “That’s enough.” The crowd paid no attention. When the cheering finally subsided, Kauffman addressed the crowd. He spoke slowly, the words coming in an almost monosyllabic manner. “If all of you do not believe that I have been repaid in full for buying the Kansas City Royals, you are sadly mistaken,” he said. “As long as I live, this will be your team forever and ever.” This brought the crowd to its feet again.

The hostility that many fans still feel over the loss of the Athletics was apparent when Joe Cronin, president of the American League, was introduced. Cronin was greeted with a mixture of boos and applause. He congratulated Kauffman and attempted to explain the American League had no intention of leaving Kansas City. This angered many of the fans, who started booing and heckling Cronin, who smiled bravely, and finished his talk. Sen. Stuart Symington, who was instrumental in keeping baseball here, was also given a standing ovation. Symington told the crowd he was looking forward in the not-so-distant future when there was be an all-Missouri World Series between the Royals and Cardinals. Symington also threw out the first ball.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *