May 7, 2022
By Fred Liggett
The Kansas City Royals played host this week to their I-70 rival St. Louis Cardinals. The Royals play the Cardinals each year in a home and home series but only played four games this season. For long time fans for both teams adding interest in the games was the sight of two very familiar faces that have returned to play in this rivalry in 2022.
Heading into the new season the Cardinals brought back on a one year deal former longtime Cardinal first baseman Albert Pujols. The Royals did the same with a one time Cy Young Award winner in pitcher Zack Greinke. Both players have been away from this long running interleague series for a decade. For Pujols it has been since the 2011 season when he left via free agency for California. Greinke is back after leaving the Royals in a trade after the 2010 season.
Nearly 20,000 fans came out on Tuesday this week to see them play in person one more time. Darren and Tonya Bullard traveled from Quincy, Illinois to witness the in state rivalry. Darren says they “come every summer here and have family here in KC.” Due to the schedule having the two teams play in early May they moved up their normal trip to catch all the action. While wearing Royals gear Darren added “come here for the game and atmosphere, we love the K.”
Dressed in Cardinals outfits Jake and Pam Delaney came up from northwest Arkansas to watch their favorite team play. In addition to watching Pujols play again in person Jake says they “would have been here regardless” to watch Cardinals catcher Yadier Molina play one last time. Thanks to the new designated hitter role in the National League the Delaney’s are “hopeful for a good year and to see Pujols play a little more.”
No matter who you were rooting for in this two game midweek series you went home happy. The Royals won 7-1 on Tuesday night then the Cardinals came back to win 10-0 on Wednesday afternoon. Both Royals and Cardinals fans could agree on one thing this week, seeing longtime franchise favorites back in the lineup for an I-70 series game is a very positive outcome.