06/20/08 11:30 PM ET
Royals bring huge crowd to 'The K'
Sellout at Kauffman Stadium for Friday's series opener
By Dick Kaegel / MLB.com
Nothing new for the Royals, who had just played in front of three sellout crowds at St. Louis.
In fact, in their past 10 road games at New York's Yankee Stadium, Arizona's Chase Field and St. Louis' Busch Stadium, Kansas City played in front of 462,844 fans, an average of 46,284 per game. Seven of the 10 were sellouts.
That's a good thing for players, in the view of Royals manager Trey Hillman.
"With more bodies in the stands, it just naturally provides more energy," Hillman said. "There's more of a buzz in the air, and it gives you an opportunity -- and sometimes an ability -- to turn your game up and do some things you didn't even know that you could do on a specific defensive play or on a plate appearance or on the mound to make a quality pitch to get your club out of a jam."
"In every arena and in every professional sport, the more people that are watching, the more the ego takes over and the more you want to do well."
Because of big advance ticket sales, the Royals urged fans to arrive early for Friday night's game. The fireworks display was billed as the biggest in Kansas City history.
Although a Kauffman sellout normally would be more than 37,000, the paid attendance was affected by complimentary tickets distributed to Kansas City Star Scholar-Athletes.
Tickets still remained, however, for Saturday night's Alex Gordon bobblehead game. The first 20,000 fans will receive a bobblehead of the third baseman.
Dick Kaegel is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.