Major League Baseball’s 2012 All-Star Game has descended upon Kansas City and the festivities officially kick off today. Considering the last time this game was played in my hometown I was but a mere fetus, this is a big deal.
Kansas City has a long and impressive baseball history and I’m proud of my family’s place in it. I attended my first (and only) All-Star game in 1986 in Houston, Texas. My father, Frank White, Jr., was second baseman for the Kansas City Royals and making his fifth and final All-Star game appearance.
That game has special meaning to me not only because the Royals were defending World Champions but also because my father pinch-hit for Lou Whitaker in the seventh inning and turned an 0-2 pitch into a home run, effectively clinching victory for the American League.
What, you didn’t know I was a baseball nerd too? 😉
All-Star Summer is Kansas City’s opportunity to show the world that while it’s known for fountains, jazz and BBQ, there are so many amazing things that make it a great place to call home, including a diverse array of museums, some of which have sports-themed events and exhibitions marking the occasion:
- “They Were All Stars” (through August 31, 2012), an exhibition honoring Hispanic and African-American Negro Leagues players who transitioned to Major League Baseball and were selected as All-Stars. Other All-Star events include a town hall-style meet and greet with some of the players featured in the exhibition on July 8 from Noon – 1:30 p.m. and a discussion and book signing on July 7 at Noon with author Sharon Robinson, daughter of baseball legend Jackie Robinson.
- Normally closed on Tuesdays, the museum opens its doors on July 10 for Take Me Out to the Museum! Admission to the featured exhibition “Inventing the Modern World: Decorative Arts at the World’s Fairs, 1851-1939” is free and the Kansas City Sculpture Park is the place for sports and arts activities between 1:00 – 4:00 p.m.
- “World War I All-Stars: Sports & the Inter-Allied Games” (through December 31, 2012) focuses on the little-known competitive sporting event held in 1919 following the end of World War I in an effort to unify Allied soldiers. American baseball players and other famous athletes who were World War I veterans are also featured.
- The city’s history museum is offering Kansas City baseball history trolley tours on July 7 & 9. Departing from Union Station, the tours feature stories about well-known players who made their homes and living in Kansas City and visits to sites of historic baseball significance.
- Considering the 2012 All-Star Game is being played in Kauffman Stadium, located at the Harry S. Truman Sports Complex, it makes sense that the Library & Museum offers “Presidential Pitch: Harry Truman and Baseball” (through July 15), an exhibition that features baseball-related artifacts and documents from the Truman Administration. For a closer examination, check out archivist Randy Sowell’s presentation, “Truman and Baseball: A Presidential Pastime” on July 7 from 11:00 a.m. – Noon.
Visitors: If you want to know where to go and what to do during your stay or have trouble deciphering whether you’re in Kansas or Missouri, tweet your questions with the #KC hashtag so the kind folks at the Social Media Command Center can help you out.