While sitting in my favorite recliner and watching what has now become a six-hour MASH marathon on TV Land, my sports column for this week slowly wrote itself in my head.
My mind drifted back to 22nd and Brooklyn Avenue in Kansas City, site of old Municipal Stadium. That was where the Kansas City Monarchs, the Kansas City Blues, the Kansas City A’s and the Royals played their home games until the Royals moved to their current home in 1972.
Municipal Stadium was a throwback to years gone by, There were no parking lots. Home owners stood outside and sold parking spaces to fans on their property.
A’s owner Charlie Finley had a white mule named Charlie O that stayed in the leftfield bullpen and put on shows for the fans during games. Finley also had an electronic rabbit that popped up out of the ground behind home plate with a basket of baseballs for the home plate umpire between innings.
Finley also made the green and gold uniforms worn by the A’s famous along with the white shoes and later the entire team grew mustaches during the teams World Series years in the 70s.
My favorite player on that A’s team back then was shortstop Bert “Campy” Campenaris. H was one of the great baserunners back then and had a good glove and range.
I happened to be at Municipal one night when one of the all-time greats made his debut. In the bottom of the first when the A’s ran out onto the field, a big, husky, black man trotted out to rightfield. Why we had seats way out in the outfield, I have no idea. The player was wearing #9. Anyone want to take a guess?
I was looking down from my seat at a very young Reggie Jackson. He was a hot dog even back then and I have hated him ever since.