On Monday afternoon, April 6, Kansas City baseball fans cheered as the Kansas City Royals opened their 47th season against the Chicago White Sox. Way back in 1969, when the Royals first called Kansas City home, they were also a hit at Starlight Theatre.
As cast members rehearsed for Starlight’s August 1969 production of Damn Yankees, they got in the swing of the show by heading to old Municipal Stadium for some batting instruction from Royals players (see photo). Then, on Aug. 4, 1969, Royals owner, local business leader and philanthropist Ewing Kauffman even took the Starlight stage. In a one-night-only cameo as the Commissioner of Baseball, Kauffman delighted the opening-night audience of Damn Yankees.
While he likely didn’t upstage star Cyd Charisse, Mr. K’s turn on the Starlight stage was notable enough to earn a mention in Sports Illustrated.
And in memoriam, we say: Thank you, Mr. K, for being a good enough sport to take our stage – and for bringing Kansas City the ball team that used grit, courage and mojo to make it all the way to Game 7 of the 2014 World Series!