My dad was a pitcher on his high school baseball team in Wright, Kansas. As a lifelong baseball fan, he and my mom moved to the Kansas City area in 1975, six years after the inception of the Kansas City Royals.
My brother and I were born in the early 80s, just when the Royals were beginning to flex their World Series-bound (and not-yet-steroid-enhanced) muscles. Thrilled to live near one of the best teams in the majors, he would haul my mom, my brother and I to games, even though between the three of us we probably could have barely identified a home run.
During each inning I would wait impatiently and eat nachos with jalapenos to stay awake, because I knew the real show started after the third out: that's when the row of fountains in the outfield went off like geysers. Sometimes colorful lights tinted them different hues; sometimes they would be silent for what felt like hours, during which I would plot whether to eat a hot dog with mustard or a frosty malt with one of those wooden tongue depressors for a spoon.
Kauffman Stadium fountains, view from the outfield seats
I always wondered why they didn't put seats in the outfield, because I imagined it would be absolutely magical to sit out there beneath the arcs of glowing water getting a cool spray to take the edge off the summer heat.
Then in 2008, Kauffman Stadium underwent extensive renovations, including a two-story scoreboard, a Royals history museum, and seats in the motherfucking outfield. Yes, that's right.
my future husband Zack Greinke
And last night, at the age of 27, I sat next to the Kauffman Stadium fountains. Granted I was eating a veggie dog instead of a hot dog, and instead of deciding between ice cream and nachos I was talking myself out of spending $12 on a "royal 'rita," but my future husband Zack Greinke was pitching and the air smelled like summer, and the Royals even pulled off a win. Dream come true? I think so.